Firm-specific human capital (FSHC) has been an integral part of the vocabulary in the strategy field. Many scholars argue that FSHC inhibits employee mobility and drives employee retention at a discount, value appropriation, and firms' competitive advantage. FSHC also plays a central role in the resource-based view of the firm. In recent years, however, a significant debate has emerged on the validity and usefulness of the construct. The purpose of the chapter is to revisit this debate and discuss both challenges and opportunities related to FSHC. In a form of conversation, we take aim at FSHC from different angles and discuss its role as a mobility friction, in value appropriation of established firms, in the context of transitions between paid employment and entrepreneurship, and in the views of practitioners. While we agree that our understanding of the concept of FSHC must evolve, we continue to see its value in our theoretical toolbox.
Coff, R., El-Zayaty, A., Ganco, M. and Mawdsley, J.K. (2020), "Firm-specific Human Capital at the Crossroads: A Conversation on Current Issues and Future Directions
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