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 11: Human resource management strategy and practice: from individual motivation to dynamic capabilities

David Lewin and David J. Teece


Economics-based approaches to understanding the firm-specificity of strategic human capital, such as the “isolating mechanisms” perspective, require simplifying assumptions about firms. This chapter places the management of human capital resources in a system-level strategic framework. We begin by opening the black box of employee motivation and discuss models, such as expectancy theory, for increasing employee engagement. We then examine how specific bundles of mutually reinforcing HR practices that have been widely studied can lead to a positive organizational climate and strong business performance. HR practices should differ, however, for knowledge-based and task-based work. HR practices should also be closely aligned with the firm’s strategic business processes. We show how the dynamic capabilities framework helps identify which HR alignments need to be prioritized. The combination of a company’s strong organizational capabilities, relevant and flexible strategic human capital resources, and astute management can create unique value and long-term advantage.

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