The Future of Human Capital: An Employment Relations Perspective

OXFORD HANDBOOK OF HUMAN CAPITAL, pp. 647-670, Alan Burton-Jones and John-Christopher Spender, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011

24 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2011

See all articles by Thomas A. Kochan

Thomas A. Kochan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Adam Seth Litwin

Cornell University

Date Written: March 3, 2011

Abstract

Key features of the employment relationship need to be better incorporated into human capital theory and policy. Moreover, significant changes in the assumptions and practices embedded in employment systems will be required if human capital is to serve as an economy’s predominant source of competitive advantage. This chapter considers the assumptions that guided researchers and policymakers, among others, in the ‘industrial era’ and the institutions constructed to address three particular labor market/human resource-related issues - human capital formation and development, work-life integration and the role of women in the labor market, and the relationships between technology, technological change, and employment practices. It uses the US employment relations system as a case in point to illustrate how practices and assumptions that once enabled the employment relationship to ‘manage’ these three challenges must change in fundamental ways if the American economy is to gain competitive advantage from human capital in the future.

Keywords: Human Capital, Employment Relations, Employment Policy, Human Resource Management, Technological Change

JEL Classification: J18, J21, J53, J58

Suggested Citation

Kochan, Thomas A. and Litwin, Adam Seth, The Future of Human Capital: An Employment Relations Perspective (March 3, 2011). OXFORD HANDBOOK OF HUMAN CAPITAL, pp. 647-670, Alan Burton-Jones and John-Christopher Spender, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1776066

Thomas A. Kochan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-583
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6689 (Phone)
617-253-7696 (Fax)

Adam Seth Litwin (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

ILR School
363 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
(607) 255-7326 (Phone)

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