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…
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.
In the context of worker–firm complementarities, the extant literature has focused primarily on worker–firm dyads that generate additional revenue for the firm. However…
In the context of worker–firm complementarities, the extant literature has focused primarily on worker–firm dyads that generate additional revenue for the firm. However, we extend the study of worker–firm complementarities by examining matches that create value through the generation of additional nonpecuniary utility for employees. Through this lens, we hypothesize that mobile employees will receive lower wages to offset the benefits they receive from these nonpecuniary complementarities. Further, we hypothesize that star employees who create unique revenue-generating complementarities receive higher wages than otherwise predicted as they can capture a share of the additional revenue they generate. We test this conceptualization using panel data on all US National Basketball Association players from 2000 to 2009. We demonstrate that NBA players accept lower than predicted wages to play for their home teams which reflects worker utility-generating complementarities. We also show that superstars receive higher than predicted wages to play for their home teams, consistent with firm revenue-generating complementarities.
Tacit knowledge is gaining importance in the productive capability of many modern firms, yet the conditions under which the ability to share this form of knowledge between…
Tacit knowledge is gaining importance in the productive capability of many modern firms, yet the conditions under which the ability to share this form of knowledge between individuals or teams are yet to be resolved. Tacit knowledge is embedded in individuals, but is often most productive when combined with other forms of capital assets into firms. Transaction cost economics has been a useful tool in explaining the boundary of the firm, as well as the formation of teams within firms. The extent to which intra-firm teams compete or co-operate is analyzed by examining the network effects between teams in situations where tacit knowledge exists. We examine the costs and benefits that can be expected from “learning” in a multi-team firm and conduct a simulation to demonstrate the effects. Two scenarios are considered: one when there is almost no specialization between teams, and the second when specialization is extreme. We are able to demonstrate that only in cases of very large differences in tacit knowledge between teams is the transfer of such knowledge profitable. Thus the existence of separate silos within firms (i.e., non-networked teams) should not be condemned out of hand.
Scholars have begun to recognize the importance of integrating organizational issues into real options theory. In doing so, some argue that options are inappropriate for…
Scholars have begun to recognize the importance of integrating organizational issues into real options theory. In doing so, some argue that options are inappropriate for evaluating critical strategic investments. In a more in-depth analysis, we argue that the organizational form that an option takes has a profound effect on exercise decisions. When options are initially integrated, organizational elements such as routines and culture become increasingly intertwined over time, raising the cost of abandoning the option – in effect, pushing firms to exercise options. In contrast, initially isolated options become idiosyncratic and more costly to integrate over time – pushing firms to kill them. There are also reputational and social capital effects that may bias exercise decisions beyond the mere consideration of costs, leading to escalation or missed opportunities.
Accordingly, firms must first be able to manage the associated organizational costs and minimize systematic bias in exercise decisions. Real options theory is moving away from the limitations of the financial options analogy and is increasingly integrated with strategy and organization theory. This shift requires that researchers consider issues such as intermediate organizational forms, external monitoring of exercise decisions, portfolios of competing options, and group process interventions.
This study aims to explore the objectivity in third-party ratings. Third-party ratings are often based on some form of aggregation of various experts' opinions with the…
This study aims to explore the objectivity in third-party ratings. Third-party ratings are often based on some form of aggregation of various experts' opinions with the assumption that the potential judgment biases of the experts cancel each other out. While psychology research has suggested that experts can be unintentionally biased, management literature has not considered the effect of expert bias on the objectivity of third-party ratings. Thus, this study seeks to address this issue.
Ranking data from the US News and World Report between 1993 and 2008, institution-related variables and, to represent sports prominence, NCAA football and basketball performance variables are leveraged in testing our hypotheses. A mediating-model is tested using regression with panel-corrected standard errors.
This study finds that the judgments of academicians and recruiters, concerning the quality of universities, have been biased by the prominence of a university's sports teams and that the bias introduced to these experts mediates the aggregated bias in the resultant rankings of MBA programs. Moreover, it finds that experts may inflate rankings by up to two positions.
This study is particularly relevant for university officials as it uncovers how universities can tangibly manipulate the relative perception of quality through sports team prominence. For third-party rating systems, the reliability of ratings based on aggregated expert judgments is called into question.
This study addresses a significant gap in the literature by examining how a rating system may be unintentionally biased through the aggregation of experts' judgments. Given the heavy reliance on third-party rating systems by both academics and the general population, addressing the objectivity of such ratings is crucial.
This chapter addresses the dynamics in inter-organizational relations. The authors probe the value networks so prevalent within contemporary manufacturing to put forward…
This chapter addresses the dynamics in inter-organizational relations. The authors probe the value networks so prevalent within contemporary manufacturing to put forward that their basic cooperation/competition duality manifests itself in practical terms as capability, appropriation, and governance paradoxes. The authors conducted a longitudinal ethnographic study aimed at capturing the process by which inter-organizational collaboration in manufacturing value networks is enacted. Our study finds that inter-organizational relations are “nested” in that a relationship plays out over an interpersonal network where the inter-organizational relationships are a framework for action, while simultaneously interpersonal interactions affect how the inter-organizational relationships take shape and evolve. Furthermore, we found that inter-organizational dynamics is essentially a stratified process. Solving particular and concrete problems at the surface level, with regard to specific collaboration issues between organizations, simultaneously shapes truces with regard to the underlying capability, appropriation, and governance paradoxes.
Using data from a top-five global executive placement firm, the authors explore how an organization's financial misconduct may affect pay for former employees not…
Using data from a top-five global executive placement firm, the authors explore how an organization's financial misconduct may affect pay for former employees not implicated in wrongdoing. Drawing on stigma theory, they hypothesize that although such alumni did not participate in the financial misconduct and they had left the organization years before the misconduct, these alumni experience a compensation penalty. The stigma effect increases in relation to the job function proximity to the misconduct, recency of the misconduct, and an employee's seniority. Collectively, results suggest that the stigma of financial misconduct could reach alumni employees and need not be confined to executives and directors that oversaw the organization during the misconduct.