The focus on costs that characterised organisations in the 1980s and early 1990s is now being replaced by an interest in the concept of value. In assessing value, it is the “intangible assets” of an organisation that are likely to be worth considerably more than the measured tangible ones. Traditional accounting systems find themselves challenged as a result. These intangible assets need to be understood and identified. People form a very critical part of them, and indeed the “human capital” can be logically argued to be the ultimate driver of all value growth. The contribution of human capital to current and future value for stakeholders is examined. The key conditions for such growth are suggested as individual capability, individual motivation, leadership, the organisational climate, and workgroup effectiveness. Each of these is examined in some detail together with options for quantifiable measures. Employee development, including the continuing generation and exchange of knowledge and experience, is concluded to be the key driver of value growth in any kind of organisation.
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