Session 145

Individual Differences & Human Capital-based Advantage: Vive la différence

Track L

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Time: 15:45 – 17:00

Common Ground

Room: Terrace 2


  • Russell Coff, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: Contextual Ambidexterity as a Mediator between Business-Unit Engagement and Performance


  • Petra Poljsak, Coventry University
  • Paul Jackson, University of Manchester

Abstract: The majority of studies concerned with the strategic outcomes of employee engagement have argued for its direct positive effect on performance. Nevertheless, engagement as one of the initial drivers of the overall performance management process might influence more proximal performance outcomes, before having an impact on the ultimate objective of the process, namely superior performance. We propose the relationship between business-unit engagement and superior performance to be mediated by contextual ambidexterity. That is, highly engaged business units demonstrate collective adaptive and aligned behaviours, which stimulate the development of business-unit ambidexterity. In turn, ambidexterity positively affects business-unit performance, while the initial engagement-performance effect disappears altogether. Our hypotheses were tested on quantitative data aggregated from 3,828 individuals in 121 business units.

Title: Ethical Culture as a Strategic Asset: A Resource-Based View of Firm Heterogeneity


  • Chinasa Oparaugo, Katec Consulting

Abstract: The corporate scandals and resultant negative organizational outcomes of the past decade have led to new regulatory control from governments and new rules on how business should be done. The attention of strategic management scholars and practitioners alike have also been focused on new concepts and theories to explain this phenomenon, with various researchers linking negative organizational outcome to a weak ethical culture. This position can lead one to suggest that, if a weak ethical culture can lead to organizational failure, then a strong ethical culture can also contribute to organizational success and should therefore be considered a source of competitive advantage. Consequently, this paper proposes the consideration of ethical culture as an intangible firm resource capable of functioning as a strategic asset, exploring the linkage to sustainable competitive advantage from a resource based perspective; while taking a look at the methodological challenge in actively pursuing research in this area.

Title: Explaining Away the Paradox: How Workplace Identity Motivates Firm-specific Investments


  • David Kryscynski, Brigham Young University
  • Colby Green, Rice University

Abstract: The paradox of firm-specific human capital is that firms need workers to make firm-specific investments, but workers should prefer not to make them. Casual observation suggests, however, that workers frequently make such investments even when economic theory predicts that they should not. The present paper proposes one such explanation for this casual observation - workers may identify with their firms. When workers identify with their firms they may be willing to invest in those firms despite the inherent risk. Additionally, workers who identify strongly with their firms may actually increase investments in the face of increased risk, contrary to economic theory. The present paper tests the effects of worker identification on their investments in firm-specific human capital using a novel experimental approach.

Title: Human and Social Capital Effects on Job Search Strategies and Entry Wages


  • Daniel Muehlbauer, LMU Munich
  • Agnes Michalik, University of Munich
  • Ingo Weller, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich

Abstract: Given the demographic challenges of today firms find it increasingly difficult to fill key employee positions. Strategic HRM scholars have identified attraction, selection, and attrition processes as a major driver of firm performance, and recruitment source use as an important component of this broader relation. We advance this stream of research by asking (a) who self-selects into particular recruitment source types; and (b) how recruitment source use (given self-selection) translates into firm entry wages. By connecting individual differences, recruitment sources, and wages we suggest novel theory and provide important evidence for both individuals and firms. Empirically, we draw on a large and representative dataset of German university graduates. Our hypotheses are widely supported by regression analyses.

Title: Learning, Capability Development and Competitive Advantage


  • Kannan Srikanth, Singapore Management University

Abstract: One of the fundamental questions in strategy is to understand how managers impact a firm’s competitive advantage. We argue that managers can impact a firm’s competitive advantage by enabling better learning that leads to superior capability development. Manager’s can improve capability development by increasing rates of individual learning within the firm by appropriately matching employee skills to task environments. In this paper we show that individual learning curves are significantly influenced by the context of work and the nature of an individual's experience. These findings also contribute to the learning curves literature by focusing on work context, a contingency neglected by prior work. We demonstrate that work context – normal vs. heavy workload conditions – matters for rates of individual learning.

Title: Rewards Prevalence and Effectiveness in the Life Cycle of New Ventures


  • Michael Koch, University of Kent
  • Sarah Park, King's College London

Abstract: This paper investigates different rewards strategies for new ventures and their respective impact on employee outcomes and firm performance. Based on a total rewards perspective that includes monetary as well as non-monetary rewards, we develop a framework that explains how the composition and effectiveness of both rewards elements change over the life cycle of a new venture. Our paper suggests that as new ventures grow and overcome their liabilities of newness and smallness, they gradually shift their emphasis from non-monetary rewards to monetary rewards elements and from incentive compensation to fixed pay.

All Sessions in Track L...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 133: Transitioning from Faculty to Administrator: Building Strategic Human Capital
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 134: Management Practices across Firms and Countries
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 135: Linked Employer-Employee Data and Strategic Human Capital Research
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 144: Stars and Human Capital Flows
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 140: Knowledge Management & Knowledge Structures: Who knows?
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 112: CEO and TMT Turnover: Firm Implications
Session 138: Value Creation & Appropriation: Take the money and run
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 139: Impact of Human Capital Loss: Going Mobile
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 137: CEO Human Capital: Take a Little off the Top
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 143: The Strategic Human Capital Process: A look inside the sausage factory
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 141: Impact of the Acquisition & Loss of Human Capital: Putting a new spin on things
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 145: Individual Differences & Human Capital-based Advantage: Vive la différence
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 142: Social Networks & Human Capital: Tying things together
Session 215: CEO Personality and Characteristics Influencing Decision Making

Strategic Management Society