Handbook of Research on Strategic Human Capital Resources
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Handbook of Research on Strategic Human Capital Resources

Edited by Anthony J. Nyberg and Thomas P. Moliterno

Strategic human capital resources are a relatively new construct with a scholarly literature that is still evolving. Work in this area requires the integration of multiple theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches, but that integration rarely occurs. Within these pages, the editors have combined the voices of leading scholars from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to provide a comprehensive introduction to the current state of the field.
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Chapter 8: Specific human capital: a matching perspective

Ingo Weller


Human capital consists of sets or bundles of general knowledge, skills, abilities, and other attributes (KSAOs). When KSAO sets are aligned with an organization’s production technology, specific human capital emerges. Alignment is achieved through matching activities. Specificity is a necessary but insufficient condition for firm-specificity: Uniqueness, labor market frictions, matching capabilities, and luck may lead to quasi firm-specific human capital. Quasi firm-specific human capital potentially leads to sustained competitive advantage; but the conversion is bound to assumptions, and is less likely to occur than often assumed.

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