Session 247

Human Capital and Knowledge as Strategic Resources

Track L

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Time: 11:00 – 12:15

Common Ground

Room: Moscu


  • Rebecca Kehoe, Rutgers University

Title: Effect of Mutual Knowledge on Profitability of Offshore-Outsourced Software Development Projects


  • Joydeep Chatterjee, University of Washington Bothell
  • Kannan Srikanth, Singapore Management University

Abstract: This paper investigates under what conditions knowledge available to team members leads to positive performance outcomes. We hypothesize that mutual knowledge that enables the team members to coordinate their work efforts is beneficial for team performance up to a limit after which excess mutual knowledge causes a decline in performance. We further suggest that the inverted U relation between mutual knowledge and performance will be amplified when team size is low and neutralized when team size is high. Similarly we hypothesize that the inverted U relation between mutual knowledge and performance will be amplified when Onsite-Offshore ratio is high and neutralized when Onsite-Offshore ratio is low. We test these hypotheses in a sample of offshored software services projects and find support for all our assertions.

Title: Experience and Knowledge as Complements to Effect Change to Organizational Capabilities


  • Amit Jain, National University of Singapore

Abstract: While prior research affirms that hiring of people with “distant” knowledge helps an organization to learn and realize effect core change to its capabilities, analysis of 38 years of U.S. biotechnology industry data indicates that this is not the case. This anomaly occurs because the distant expertise that hires possess is insufficient to facilitate learning by other organizational members. Given this, the experience that hires possess positions them to induce learning by other organizational members and also preserve their own identity and knowledge. Both of these effects are also essential for hires to catalyze change in their organizations. Consistent with these arguments, empirical analysis reveals that hire distant knowledge and experience are complementary in that both are necessary to effect core change to organizational capabilities.

Title: Exploring the Alignment Mechanisms of External Networks and Internal Involvement on Firms’ Ambidextrous Innovation


  • Yu Zhou, Renmin University of China
  • Yingying Zhang, Complutense University of Madrid

Abstract: This study is to align the firms’ internal work systems and external social networks interactively and test their impact on organizational ambidextrous capabilities (exploration vs. exploitation) and consequently innovative outcomes. Particularly, based on the rationales of balancing organizational ambidexterity, two differential mechanisms to associate work systems, networks with organizational ambidexterity are proposed--Juxtaposing Alignment that decomposed dimensions of work systems (horizontal vs. vertical involvement) and networks (vertical vs. horizontal networks) pairingly complement with each other as forming parallel dual paths to target exploration and exploitation respectively, and Hybridization Alignment that both the work systems and networks are compressed as one-dimensional constructs to interaction with each other and to affect the holistic balance of ambidextrous innovation. Mediated moderation approaches are employed to fit compound path models for examining the proposed alignment mechanisms.

Title: Knowledge Contexts of New Ventures: The Composition and Performance of Industry-Academic Hybrid Spinouts


  • Alena Marand, University of Maryland
  • Benjamin Campbell, Ohio State University

Abstract: Extant literature on spinouts has treated industry spinouts and university spinouts as two distinct types of ventures that are founded on different types of human capital. However, founding teams may not consist purely of employees or purely of university faculty but instead may be composed of a combination of industry and academic founders. We argue that these industry-academic hybrid spinouts have performance advantages over pure industry and academic spinouts and that these advantages are moderated by the level and relatedness of team members’ human capital. We explore these relationships using data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program that spans all spinout ventures in 30 large states from 1994-2008.

Title: Knowledge Specificity, Business Cycles and Employee Contracts


  • Eirik Sjaholm Knudsen, Norwegian School of Economics
  • Lasse Lien, Norwegian School of Economics

Abstract: We examine how a firm’s incentives to invest in human capital vary over the business cycle, depending on the level of firm specific knowledge of its employees. Specifically, we examine this with respect to wages, layoffs and training, and find that high share of firm specific knowledge makes wages and layoffs less cyclical, and investments in training countercyclical. Further, we find that investments in training becomes more countercyclical the higher the level of firm specific knowledge. Finally, we investigate how firms can use different non-standard clauses to employee contracts to mitigate problems with underinvestment in human capital that arise over the business cycle.

Title: Principles or Templates? The Role of Human Capital in Knowledge Transfer


  • Shad Morris, Brigham Young University
  • James Oldroyd, Brigham Young University

Abstract: Strategic use of knowledge found in far-flung reaches of the firm can be a vital but challenging element of improving performance. To overcome this inherent difficulty, firms often engage in extensive knowledge codification efforts to allow locally developed knowledge to be globally utilized. Yet, not all codified knowledge is the same. This study examines how project leaders’ human capital, characterized as either local or cosmopolitan, influences the degree to which they utilize principles or templates (two distinct types of codified knowledge). Analyzing 139 globally dispersed consulting projects in a large MNE, our research highlights the important interplay of human capital and codified knowledge, as well as how leaders are served by selecting the form of codified knowledge that best aligns with their projects’ objectives.

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

Strategic Management Society