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 28: Retention is not a strategic imperative: on the pros and cons of employee turnover

Christopher I. Rider and David Tan


Prior research implies a “retention imperative”: to sustain competitive advantage over rivals, employers must retain valuable human capital. We briefly review the genesis of this idea and then focus on recent research suggesting that employee departures – even those of highly-valued employees – can lead to favorable outcomes for employers. Integrating research from various literatures, we propose two key directions for future research on strategic human capital resources (SHCRs). First, we propose that SHCR researchers consider how employers are affected differently by three career choices faced by their employees: (1) remain with the employer, (2) change employers, and (3) engage in entrepreneurship. Second, we propose that SHCR researchers also develop theories of strategic trade-offs that integrate both pros and cons of employee departures for departed organizations. We focus specifically on labor market implications for each of these employee departure types.

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