The New Strategic Role for HRM Pfeffer (1994) describes how changing market conditions have rendered many of the tradi- tional sources of competitive advantage, such as patents, economies of scale, access to capital, and market regulation, less important in the current economic environment than they have been in the recent past. This is not to argue that such assets are not valuable, but rather in a global economy that demands innovation, speed, adaptability, and low cost, these assets do not differentiate firms the way they once did. Instead, the core competencies (Hamel & Prahalad, 1994) and capabilities (Stalk, Evans, & Schulman, 1992) of employees that help to develop new products, provide world class customer service, and implement organizational strategy are relatively more influential. Unlike conventional assets, this form of intellectual or organizational capital (Tomer, 1987) is largely invisible (Itami, 1987) and therefore does not appear on the firmâs balance sheet.2 Although organizational and intellectual capital may well be âinvisible,â the sources of this capital are not. They are found in a skilled, motivated, and adaptable work force, and in the HRM system that develops and sustains it. Hamel and Prahalad (1994, p. 232) argue that these âpeople embodied
Human Resource Management – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1997
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