Intangible Capital and Reorientation of Manufacturing During a Pandemic

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Said, Fauzi 
Page, Andy 
Salter, Liz 

The Covid-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on firms to respond to the economic downturn, while also providing opportunities to contribute to the health-care challenges. We investigate firms within the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme, a government-funded transformation programme in the UK aerospace sector. We evaluate the firms that responded to the UK Ventilator Challenge, to provide equipment to the UK National Health Service (NHS) in order to tackle the pandemic, compared to the firms that did not respond. The study shows that intangible capital in terms of organizational capital is a key capability in responding to opportunities provided by the UK Ventilator Challenge. In particular, we show that the role of leadership in fostering a culture of engagement and empowerment via continuous experimentation and learning is a key capability for firms in responding to sudden and unexpected changes in the environment. Moreover, the study shows that the building and subsequent effectiveness of these forms of organizational capital among the SMEs would not have been possible without the benefits accruing from the SiG programme. We discuss the managerial and policy implications of our findings.

Empowerment, Intangible Capital, Organizational Capital, Pandemic, Reorienting Manufacturing
Is Part Of
Consumption, Production, and Entrepreneurship in the Time of Coronavirus
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R024367/1)
EPSRC (via University of Nottingham) (EP/T024429/1)
ESRC (via University of Manchester) (R125208)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/V062123/1)