Edited by Anthony J. Nyberg and Thomas P. Moliterno
Chapter 10: Retaining valued human capital: a commentary on the role of firm-specificity as a mobility constraint
The traditional strategic human capital literature suggests the role of firm-specificity is critical as a mobility-limiting mechanism that enables organizations to retain their valued human capital. Recently, however, numerous scholars have raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of firm-specificity as an employee mobility barrier. On the basis of this debate, we decided to take a step back in this chapter and offer a more practical approach to what may constitute firm-specific human capital. We develop a broad typology of various forms of firm-specificity (e.g., firm-specific human capital stemming from the interaction with organizational resources, and relational firm-specific human capital stemming from interactions with external constituents of the firm) and explore, on a theoretical basis, their effectiveness as employee mobility constraints.
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