Bringing Sen’s capability approach to work and human resource practices

Bringing Sen’s capability approach to work and human resource practices Purpose – The aim of this paper is to introduce the special issue of the International Journal of Manpower on capabilities, work and human resource policies and practices. After presenting the main concepts of the capability approach, inspired by Amartya Sen's work, the paper goes on to review the major findings of the contributions to this issue. Design/methodology/approach – Bringing together economists and sociologists, the special issue develops a relevant range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Findings – The special issue adopts the capability approach as a yardstick to assess corporate policies from the combined perspective of economic and human development. It asks how firms can contribute to developing sustainable human capabilities at work. Originality/value – Human resource management is mainly oriented towards optimising workers’ labour for the benefit of employers and shareholders. The papers in this issue provide some well‐documented suggestions on how to break with a reductionist understanding of employees as “human capital”, considered from the sole viewpoint of economic efficiency, by introducing a shift in perspective towards an integrated approach, embracing both economic and human development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Manpower Emerald Publishing

Bringing Sen’s capability approach to work and human resource practices

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7720
DOI
10.1108/IJM-05-2013-0092
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to introduce the special issue of the International Journal of Manpower on capabilities, work and human resource policies and practices. After presenting the main concepts of the capability approach, inspired by Amartya Sen's work, the paper goes on to review the major findings of the contributions to this issue. Design/methodology/approach – Bringing together economists and sociologists, the special issue develops a relevant range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Findings – The special issue adopts the capability approach as a yardstick to assess corporate policies from the combined perspective of economic and human development. It asks how firms can contribute to developing sustainable human capabilities at work. Originality/value – Human resource management is mainly oriented towards optimising workers’ labour for the benefit of employers and shareholders. The papers in this issue provide some well‐documented suggestions on how to break with a reductionist understanding of employees as “human capital”, considered from the sole viewpoint of economic efficiency, by introducing a shift in perspective towards an integrated approach, embracing both economic and human development.

Journal

International Journal of ManpowerEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 5, 2013

Keywords: Capability approach; Corporate policies; Corporate responsibility; Vocational training; Accreditation of prior learning; Professional development; Occupational mobility; Restructuring processes

References

  • Activation policies and organisational innovation: the added value of the capability approach
    Bonvin, J.M.; Orton, M.
  • Strategy, human resource management and performance: sharpening line of sight
    Buller, P.F.; McEvoy, G.M.
  • Amartya Sen's capability approach to education: a critical exploration
    Saito, M.
  • Managing Human Resources and Industrial Relations
    Storey, J.; Sisson, K.
  • Strategic human resource management and the decline of employee focus
    Van Buren, H.J.; Greenwood, M.; Sheelan, C.

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