Human Capital between Generalists and Specialists: How Does It Impact Innovation?

54 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2013 Last revised: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by KwangJoo Koo

KwangJoo Koo

Pennsylvania State University-Erie, Black School of Business

Date Written: July 30, 2013

Abstract

While human capital theory and upper echelon theory predicts that a firm should innovate better when its CEO possess more human capital, this relationship has been difficult to measure empirically. As a result, little is known about the part that individual CEO plays in explaining innovation performance. In this paper, using a unique dataset on S&P 500 CEO human capital between 1996 and 2003, I examine whether the CEO specific human capital having a critical firm expertise or science expertise affects firm innovation. This paper aims to empirically explore the effects of science specific human capital and firm specific human capital on innovation efficiency. My findings support the idea that CEOs that gather more specific human capital promote better innovation for the firm. I also find that science-specialists CEOs promote innovation performance than firm-specialists CEOs and generalists CEO. My analyses indicate that both types of human capital do matter in the context of innovation. I offer an alternative view of how intangible special human capital promotes firm outcomes by comparative advantages.

Keywords: Innovation, Human Capital, Performance, Reputation, CEO, Patents, Citations

Suggested Citation

Koo, KwangJoo, Human Capital between Generalists and Specialists: How Does It Impact Innovation? (July 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2312896 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2312896

KwangJoo Koo (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University-Erie, Black School of Business ( email )

5101 Jordan Road Erie
Erie, PA PA 16563
United States

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