The broad objective of the study was to develop assumptions and guide‐lines by which the cost approach to Human Resource Accounting could be implemented. The research was specifically aimed at determining the sensitivity of the cost approach for identifying significant differences in the investments made over two years in two comparable groups (16 subjects to a group) and how these differences could contribute towards more effective decision‐making in evaluating the relevant aspects of company policy. Statistically significant differences were obtained at the 5% level for total investments, academic development investments and orientation investments. The latter could not be regarded as material in absolute terms and the difference in total investments could therefore be ascribed mainly to academic development. The extent of investments in training suggests the necessity to optimize training from a cost/benefit point of view. During the initial months of the study, investments accrued at a proportionally higher rate than in subsequent months, eg 75.1% of the total investments were made during the first three months of service. It can therefore be said that relatively high labour turnover during the early months of service would carry a substantial loss potential, especially where there was no evidence of material investments in the orientation of personnel.
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