Session 245

Human Capital Complementarities

Track L

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014

Track X

Time: 16:30 – 17:45

Common Ground

Room: Budapest


  • Rajshree Agarwal, University of Maryland

Title: Rethinking Sustained Competitive Advantage from Human Capital Again


  • Bo H. Eriksen, University of Southern Denmark

Abstract: In this paper I propose a resource-based model of sustainable competitive advantage from human capital resources. I integrate labor-market theories of job search and matching and theories of efficiency wages with earlier resource-based contributions. I develop propositions about the conditions where firms can obtain competitive advantage from mobile human capital resources where earning positive rent does not depend on appropriating quasi-rents from employees but on (a) identifying and realizing valuable matches in labor markets with informational frictions and (b) exploiting complementarities between human capital and other resources under the firm’s control.

Title: Team Players Until Payday? The Tenuous Link Between Social Complexity and Firm Profit


  • Flore Bridoux, University of Amsterdam
  • Russell Coff, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • J W Stoelhorst, University of Amsterdam

Abstract: Value creation is often the result of team production. Social complexity is usually a key attribute of team production and can promote a sustained competitive advantage. The resource-based view implicitly assumes that investors are likely to benefit from a competitive advantage based on social complexity. This paper questions this assumption and explores the division of the surplus value generated by team production among investors, managers, and employees as a function of the level of social complexity. Based on our discussion, it appears that the higher social complexity, the less surplus value will be captured by investors. Yet, high social complexity characterizes the settings where the resource-based-view tends to be applied most often, namely multi-level, multi-team firms with heterogeneous resources.

Title: Uncovering the Dark Side of Manager-Worker Colocation on Worker Productivity


  • Rocio Bonet, IE Business School
  • Fabrizio Salvador, IE Business School

Abstract: The general view on distributed work has defended that having workers non-colocated with managers may impair the ability of managers to effectively supervise workers. In this paper, we build on agency and control theory to argue that, under conditions of uncertainty, non-colocation of the manager and the worker may actually positively impact worker productivity. We also contend that the dysfunctional effect of manager-worker colocation is mitigated when the tasks assigned to the worker are interdependent of other non-colocated workers, when the projects where the worker is involved are led by the same manager, and when the manager is an experienced manager. We find support for our arguments, demystifying the idea that colocation is necessarily a desirable feature in work design.

Title: Value Creation and Capture of ex ante Worker-Firm Complementarities: Home Court Advantage


  • David Kryscynski, Brigham Young University
  • Russell Coff, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract: In the context of worker-based competitive advantage, the extant literature has focused on worker-firm complementarities that require active ex post investments in firm-specific human capital. However, if firms have heterogeneous resources and workers have heterogeneous preferences, characteristics, and abilities, then ex ante worker-firm complementarities can arise without active investment. We argue that ex ante complementarities may create greater non-pecuniary utility for the worker and/or greater revenue for the firm than other matches and both types of value may be split between the firm and workers. We test this conceptualization using panel data on all domestic National Basketball Association players from 2000-2009 and find evidence for both of these ex ante complementarities.

Title: When Stars Align: The Performance Benefits of Human Capital Complementarities


  • Alia Crocker, Babson College
  • Thomas P. Moliterno, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Abstract: Different streams in the strategic human capital (HC) literature have considered star employees and unit-level HC, examining how these different kinds of HC relate to performance outcomes. In this study we bring these threads together in an empirical examination of HC combinations. In particular, we explore how individual star employees interact with the broader unit-level HC in which they are embedded. Using data on investment bank security analysts; we find that the relationship between stars and unit-level human capital is complex: having a star in the unit leads to performance outcomes, and this effect is moderated by the level of firm-specificity in the unit-level HC. Our results contribute to the growing literature on strategic HC by exploring cross-level interactions of individual- and unit-level HC configurations.

All Sessions in Track L...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 280: Strategic Human Capital and Human Resource Management: The Role of Context
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 285: Micro-foundations and Human Capital: The Power of Multiple Perspectives
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 281: New Frontiers: CSR, Ethics and Human Capital
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 242: The Strategic Effects of Management Human Capital
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 608: Strategic Human Capital IG Business Meeting
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 402: Microfoundations of Strategic Human Capital
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 248: Strategic Talent Management
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 245: Human Capital Complementarities
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 247: Human Capital and Knowledge as Strategic Resources
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 244: Labor Markets and Strategic Human Capital
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 243: Strategic Perspectives on Employee Turnover and Retention

All Sessions in Track X...

Sun: 13:45 – 14:30
Session 295: Keynote: Lifetime Achievement Award
Sun: 14:30 – 15:15
Session 471: Keynote: CK Prahalad Award
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 203: Acquisition Implementation
Session 215: Yikes: What Now (Reloaded)?: Firm Responses to Stakeholder Activism
Session 398: Corporate Strategy and Corporate Finance: Continuing the Research Conversation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 260: IPRs, Appropriability and Innovation
Session 338: Making Strategy, Strategic Change and the Role of Sensemaking and Sensegiving
Mon: 09:30 – 10:30
Session 296: How Social Networks Create Competitive Advantage: The Microfoundations Reputation
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 213: What is In It For Us? How Sustainability Matters for Firm Strategy
Session 352: CEO Decision Making
Session 405: Multi-Sided Platform Strategies
Mon: 13:30 – 14:30
Session 4: Business Models in their Competitive Context
Session 5: Building Strategic States
Session 298: Using Networks to Shape Strategy
Session 299: Dealing with the Euro Area Economic Crisis: Strategic Adjustment in the Period of Turmoil
Session 300: Methodological and Conceptual Frontiers in the New World of Networks
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 368: Firm Scope and Industry Competition
Session 375: Changing External Environments: How do Multinationals Respond?
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 245: Human Capital Complementarities
Session 344: Paradoxical Tensions and Innovative Strategies
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 409: Increasing the Relevance of Strategy Research
Session 446: Empirical Studies and Case Studies of Business Models
Tue: 09:30 – 10:30
Session 297: Granularity of Profit
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 469: M&As and Innovation
Tue: 14:15 – 15:15
Session 301: Strategy Frameworks: In Quest of Relevance in a Turbulent World
Session 302: Directing Strategy: The Process Challenges of Formulating and Implementing Strategy in a World of Networks
Session 470: Governance Challenges in Globalized Networks
Session 473: Rethinking the Architecture of Global Corporations
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 208: Interactions, Recombination and Adaptation Processes
Session 346: Management and Strategy Practices Reconsidered
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 441: Funding Entrepreneurial Ventures: Sources and Successes

Strategic Management Society