Session 21

Revisiting Theory in Strategic Human Capital Research

Track L

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time: 17:30 – 18:45

Common Ground

Room: Plaza Court 2


  • Michael A. Hitt, Texas A&M University and TCU

Title: Can too Much of a Good Thing be even Better?: Slack and Development


  • Eirik Sjaholm Knudsen, Norwegian School of Economics
  • Lasse Lien, Norwegian School of Economics

Abstract: Can too much of a good thing be even better? The strategy and organization literature argues that up to a point, organizational slack is beneficial because it fosters dynamic efficiency and innovation. We analyze situations where exogenous shocks increase slack in human resources above the levels that under normal circumstances would be considered consistent with dynamic efficiency. We argue that under certain circumstances such excessive slack will induce a boost to development activities, while under different circumstances it will not. Our analysis concerns when and why one or the other will happen, and what kind of development is most reasonable to expect.

Title: On Star Employees and Value Capture: When Do the Stars Align?


  • Matthew Call, Texas A&M University
  • Robert Ployhart, University of South Carolina

Abstract: Star employees present a significant management quandary: while they are observed to create tremendous value in firms, their disproportionately high visibility and social capital gives them extreme job mobility. A star’s job mobility increases their bargaining power, limiting a firm’s ability to capture value from stars. As such, this essay takes a multi-disciplinary approach to build theory on the factors that act as discretionary mobility constraints, thus, retaining a star through non-monetary means and increasing a firm’s value capturing ability. By delineation how firms can increase a stars job embeddedness, we outline ways firms can “align the stars” in order to isolate them from the alluring financial opportunities outside the firm that often tempt them away.

Title: Rethinking the “Hierarchical Fiat” Assumption: Governance Implications and New Organizational Forms


  • Shad Morris, Brigham Young University
  • Alison Mackey, University of Utah

Abstract: Current theories around the employment relationship make an implicit assumption that the authority embedded in managerial fiat is absolute and hence represents a direct opposite to market transactions. However, increasing globalization and hypercompetitive markets have increased contractual, fragile, partial, and short-lived employment relationships and caused a decline in long-term commitment. This paper critically examines traditional virtues of managerial fiat with the realities of today’s modern workforce. We argue that fiat, as a form of compliance of specific assets, may not be as useful a concept as previously thought. We propose a theoretical model in which the erosion of the employment relationship is accounted for in understanding how organizations achieve compliance through such means as altruism, prestige, and social pressure rather than coercion and remuneration.

Title: Revisiting The Limits of Organizations As Governance Choices


  • Alison Mackey, University of Utah
  • Janice Molloy, Michigan State University
  • Lyda Bigelow, University of Utah

Abstract: Scholarship on governance and firm-market boundaries is well-developed and flourishing. There is, however, one aspect of this scholarship that scholars consistently point to as underdeveloped: the limitations of organizations as governance choices. This proposal begins to address this void by proposing previously unidentified conditions that limit the usefulness of organizations. To link these contributions to the broader literature on governance choices, the insights are presented within the context of and as extensions of theory delineating the virtues and limitations of markets and organizations for governing economic exchange. The paper closes with a discussion of how this paper contributes to strategic management scholarship as a whole, and firm-market boundary scholarship in particular.

Title: Talent Matching as a Dynamic Capability: Integrating Economic and Strategic Human Resource Management Perspectives


  • Ingo Weller, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
  • Anthony Nyberg, University of South Carolina

Abstract: We provide theoretically driven propositions about talent matching processes and their value creation potential for employees and organizations alike. The propositions extend the attraction-selection-attrition (ASA) model to include talent matching and altering it to ASMA (attraction-selection-matching-attrition). We make four primary contributions regarding placing the right employees in the right place at the right time: We integrate strategic human resource management (HRM), strategy, economic and psychological literatures to develop our understanding about talent matching as a source for creating value; second, we examine the multi-level nature of talent matching; third, we integrate the dynamic capabilities literature into the talent matching framework to explain how organizational flexibility is essential for creating value; fourth, we expand the attraction, selection, attrition model to incorporate talent matching.

Title: Toward a Theory of Value Capture for Human Capital from Interpersonal Relationships


  • Brian Saxton, John Carroll University
  • Alison Dachner, John Carroll University

Abstract: Human capital theory usually relates issues of value capture to the generality (or firm-specificity) of a particular human capital investment. However, this may not be the whole story. Recent papers (e.g., Campbell, Coff, and Kryscynski, 2012) have suggested that certain human capital investments may reduce the likelihood of employees to resort to the labor market, and thus, may enable employers to capture value from general human capital. In this paper, we build on that idea by a model relating the ability of employers to capture value form human capital to the extent to which that investment increases employee commitment to the firm, or increases the quality of inter-employee relationships.

All Sessions in Track L...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 287: Strategic Human Capital in a Global Market
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 289: Seeing the Future in the Recent Past: Predicting Seminal Work
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 288: Strategy Microfoundations and Human Capital: What Have We Learned?
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 13: Employee Mobility: Barriers and Enablers
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 321: Strategic Human Capital Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 14: Typologies of Human Capital and Strategy
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 15: Human Capital, Company Networks, and Reputation
Session 204: Acquiring human capital: Process and outcomes
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 16: Human Capital and Innovation
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 18: Human Capital Architectures
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 19: Motivating and Governing Human Capital
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 20: New Frontiers in Human Capital Research
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 17: Human Capital and Entrepreneurship
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 21: Revisiting Theory in Strategic Human Capital Research

Strategic Management Society