Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer
Chapter 24: Human capital and diversification choices for postal operators
Faced with a decline in their traditional core business, diversification seems to be recognized today as the best way forward for incumbent operators to find new sources of revenue to guarantee their sustainable economic development. Within such a labor-intensive sector, these diversification choices are intrinsically linked to both economic and social considerations in two ways. First, the transformation of activities and the need for increased flexibility has significant social consequences in terms of employment and work organization. Second, within an increasingly customer-driven economy, diversification strategies are influenced by the operators’ potential in terms of human resources but also by other intangible changes assets. This chapter analyzes, therefore, the relationship between diversification choices and postal operators’ social capital. To give the key elements of context, Section 2 presents the reality of the social impact of current developments in the sector and the diversity of social developments between the different European operators. Section 3 analyzes the extent to which the postal companies’ diversification can have protective social effects and lead to more well-balanced social adaptations. Section 4 explains why the emerging trend towards customer-driven diversification of companies, combined with the rise of a digital society calls for increased use of intangible assets, in particular human capital, as levers of economic development. Section 5 concludes that a successful customer-driven diversification and the development of the employees’ employability can be mutually reinforcing.
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