Triaging your human capital: an integrative perspective on strategic human capital asset allocation

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Issue Date
2022-05-26
Authors
Bonner, Robert L.
Neely, Andrea R.
Stone, Christopher B.
Lengnick-Hall, Cynthia A.
Lengnick-Hall, Mark L.
Advisor
Citation

Bonner, R.L., Neely, A.R., Stone, C.B., Lengnick-Hall, C.A. and Lengnick-Hall, M.L. (2022), "Triaging your human capital: an integrative perspective on strategic human capital asset allocation", Management Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-12-2020-0735

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an overarching framework to guide the understanding of the allocation and deployment of strategic human capital assets within an organization. Using the concept of medical triage with business units analogous to “patients” and their performance to “symptoms or injuries,” the framework suggests a “steal from the poor” perspective that is counter to conventional organizational decline literature. Design/methodology/approach This is a conceptual paper proposing that there are five different categories of business unit need for human capital assets: expectant, deceased, immediate, delayed or minimal; all based on the type of environment and holistic performance of the business unit. Based on a business unit’s specific situation, the authors suggest a process model guiding how to conduct a triage analysis to optimize the allocation of strategic human capital assets within an organization. Findings The authors argue that current trends in assessing strategic human capital assets which make comparisons across organizations are necessary but insufficient (e.g. comparing a store to other stores in its district or region). Each business unit has its own unique internal capabilities and external constraints that also must be accurately assessed to make an informed organizational-level decision about where and how to deploy strategic human capital assets. Originality/value Borrowing from medical science, this paper demonstrates a new conceptual framework with propositions for researchers and guidance for practitioners.

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