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Alison Mackey and Jay B. Barney

The array of human capital (HC) attributes a firm needs for building its ideal human capital pool directly influences how firms will attempt to access and build human capital resources (HCRs). Of course, firms can access and build HCRs both directly, through labor markets, and indirectly, through a variety of other business relationships. This chapter examines both the competitive and theoretical implications of these important observations found within the chapters by Kehoe and Bentley and Camuffo and De Stefano, specifically in the context of the theory of the firm literature. Namely, this chapter explores when HCRs should be brought within the boundary of the firm and when they should be kept outside the firm’s boundary to best create and implement strategies towards building strategic human capital resources (SHCRs).