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Assessing human capital in knowledge intensive business services

Assessing human capital in knowledge intensive business services Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address human capital (HC) evaluation methods in service industries. As suggested by literature some services may be as different from others as they are from products. Thus there is a great need for studies clarifying the distinctions between different service‐oriented firms with respect to the role and the measurement of intellectual capital (IC) and, in particular, of human capital, which is generally considered as the most significant element of IC. Design/methodology/approach – An action‐research approach has been followed. Action research attempts to combine the process of research and action based on the key assumption that one can never really understand any human system without trying to change it. Findings – The research focused on a high‐tech service company. The paper suggests that methods to measure human capital should consider, as a key factor, the firm's project management organisation. In fact, the temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to operations which are repetitive to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills. Originality/value – As far as IC literature offers several IC frameworks and suggests several tools, the paper's goal is not to develop a new one but to highlight the process leading to implement IC framework in practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Measuring Business Excellence Emerald Publishing

Assessing human capital in knowledge intensive business services

Measuring Business Excellence , Volume 15 (4): 11 – Nov 15, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1368-3047
DOI
10.1108/13683041111184071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address human capital (HC) evaluation methods in service industries. As suggested by literature some services may be as different from others as they are from products. Thus there is a great need for studies clarifying the distinctions between different service‐oriented firms with respect to the role and the measurement of intellectual capital (IC) and, in particular, of human capital, which is generally considered as the most significant element of IC. Design/methodology/approach – An action‐research approach has been followed. Action research attempts to combine the process of research and action based on the key assumption that one can never really understand any human system without trying to change it. Findings – The research focused on a high‐tech service company. The paper suggests that methods to measure human capital should consider, as a key factor, the firm's project management organisation. In fact, the temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to operations which are repetitive to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills. Originality/value – As far as IC literature offers several IC frameworks and suggests several tools, the paper's goal is not to develop a new one but to highlight the process leading to implement IC framework in practice.

Journal

Measuring Business ExcellenceEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 15, 2011

Keywords: Intellectual capital; Action research; Human resources management; Business performance; Human capital; Services

References

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