Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Library and Information Science


The current research uncovers problems with a religious organisation's Intellectual Capital (IC), and the approaches organisational leaders take to overcome these problems. It is situated as an issue of complexity, in which there are varying levels in both problem and approach. This is outlined according to David Snowden's Cyne¯n model. It is suggested that complex IC problems require complex IC approaches, while simple problems can make use of simple approaches. Two case studies with churches in the American South were used. Focus groups with these churches identi¯ed IC assets of strategic importance, problems, approaches, and current success. Surveys were distributed to church attendees to identify levels of vitality — a well-established measure of success in churches that aligns closely with the areas of IC. Analysis showed that when the complexity of approaches matched the complexity of the identi¯ed IC problems, churches were more optimistic about their ability to extract value from these assets. This led to increased e®orts to realise that value, and members were more likely to agree that this value was present in the church. Mismatches were associated with chaos, decreased perception of church vitality and movement away from the mission. This research adds to existing research on IC complexity, operationalises problems and liabilities in these assets, and provides insight into a unique organisational setting for IC research.