Structural Capital is the value of all of a company’s or organization’s intellectual property including software, patents, etc. It is one of the three primary components of intellectual capital and consists of the supportive infrastructure, processes, and databases of the organization that enables human capital to function. It is part of the intellectual capital of the organization. It can be both an asset and a liability; it all depends on how stakeholders view the performance of your structural capital. Structural capital is owned by an organization and remains with an organization even when people leave. It includes capabilities, routines, methods, procedures, and methodologies embedded in an organization. Some structural capital qualifies for special legal protection as intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. If your business creates strategic capital for your stakeholders, you can earn a good living.
Structural capital is the supportive non-physical infrastructure that enables human capital to function. It is the supportive infrastructure that enables the rest of an organization to function in a repeatable, scalable way. It includes the organization’s philosophy and systems for leveraging the organization’s capability. It concerns the supportive infrastructure that enables the company to function in a repeatable manner. Shortly, it includes the accumulated experience of the organization that is somehow preserved and used for normal operation and development of the organization.
There are three subcomponents that comprise structural capital:
- Organizational capital includes the organization’s philosophy and systems for leveraging the organization’s capability. It may include the library’s organizational structure, management systems, collections, automation systems, patents, and copyrights.
- Process capital includes the techniques, procedures, and programs that implement and enhance the delivery of goods and services. It is the set of procedures, processes, and internal structures that contribute to the implementation of the objectives of an organization.
- Innovation capital includes intellectual property and certain other intangible assets. It is the explicit knowledge related to the internal process of diffusion, communication, and management of scientific and technical knowledge in the organization. Intellectual property includes protected commercial rights such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Intangible assets are all of the other talents and theories by which an organization is run.