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 15: Agonistic relations, social capital, and (dis)complementarity in the emergence of human capital resources

Rhett A. Brymer and Michael A. Hitt

Abstract

Human capital complementarities in an organization are strongly influenced by the social relations among employees. We argue that the nature of these relations, both value enhancing and prohibiting, are essential elements for the emergence of human capital resources. Yet, scholarship to date has supported a prevailing assumption of social relations that recognizes only positive, productive relations that build social capital. Our work here challenges this assumption and specifies a range of social relations that includes agonistic relations – those capable of producing human capital discomplementarities – that stand in contrast to classical conceptions of social capital. Using employee mobility as an illustration, we explain how (dis)complementarities can shift with different firm and employee actions, including turnover, retention, and hiring. We conclude with a broader outline of firm-level strategies and policies that can prompt human capital (dis)complementarities in the emergence process.

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