Is Human Capital for One Organization the Same as Another since Contexts Are Different?

Today, human resources play a very important role in the functioning of any organization. The socioeconomic progress and the introduction of new technologies, along with the orientation of many organizations on the introduction of innovations have made human resources probably the most valuable asset of any organization. The reason is obvious since people are able to creative work and taking decisions respectively to the changing environment. As a result, the more creative and flexible human resources of an organization are the more innovations these organization can introduce and the more flexible its marketing performance will be. However, the importance and seemingly similar role of human resources do not necessarily mean that human resources of different organizations are identical. In stark contrast, the role, functions and work of human resources in different organizations can differ consistently, because either organization has its own unique structure and organizational culture which distinguish the organization from all the others and, simultaneously, shape a specific behavior of its human resources and corporate culture.

In actuality, organizations target at the prevention of the high personnel turnover and formation of a positive organizational culture, which can stimulate the loyalty of employees to the organization where they work. In fact, many organization views such a policy as a part of their strategic management because the preservation of human resources contributes to the stability within the organization, minimization of the risk of conflicts between employees and accumulation of professional knowledge and experience of employees (Keener, 1999). In addition, the stability of human resources contributes to the prevention of the problem of the adaptation of new employees, which naturally arises when new employees join an organization and need some time for the adaptation to the work in the specific organizational culture.

In such a context, it is hardly possible to speak about any substantial similarities between human capital for different organization.

Naturally, it is possible to admit the fact that all organizations highly appreciate their human capital, which, as it has been just mentioned above, constitutes a considerable part of an organization’s assets. As a result, human capital can be viewed as a highly valuable capital for any organization.

However, even in this regard, the value of human capital varies consistently depending on organizations. For instance, such organizations as Intel, or IBM, which are oriented on the introduction of innovation and work in the knowledge-based industry, heavily rely on their human resources because it is human resources who generate new ideas, contribute  to the introduction of innovations and new technologies and, therefore, stimulate the marketing growth and progress of such companies as Intel and IBM.

On the other hand, there are such companies as Wal-Mart, which are characterized by the high level of the personnel turn-over and which employees are traditionally get a part-time job (Keener, 1999). Obviously, for such organizations the significance of human resources is consistently lower compared to organizations operating in knowledge-based industry, such as Intel, for instance. As a result, the value of human capital for such an organization as Wal-Mart is lower compared to human capital of Intel. In this respect, it is necessary to take into consideration the difference in the qualification of the personnel and potential of employees, as well as industry which the organization performs in.

At the same time, often organizations need to adapt new employees which join the organization in the result of a merger or acquisition. In such a situation, the importance of human resources and the striking difference of the organizational culture become particularly evident.

In fact, in case of a merger or an acquisition, an organization needs to restructure the target company or both merged companies in order to shape a solid body (Clarke, 2000). However, either organization has its own organizational culture, traditions and standards, which employees get used to. As a result, when the need to adopt new organizational culture, traditions and standards of work and corporate behavior arise, many employees turn out to be unable or simply unwilling to get integrated in a new organizational culture, which contradicts to their personal inclinations. For instance, it is difficult for an employee working under the leadership of a liberal and democratic manager to get used to an authoritarian leadership style. Hence, such an individual is likely to flee from the new organization, while the organization faces a problem of the loss of valuable employees who have not only experience but also a considerable potential.

Thus, the difference of human capital in different organizations does exist and raises the problem of the adaptation of new employees, who have experience of work in another organization, to organizational culture and standards of the new organization. In such a situation, it is very important to develop a really effective and flexible system of integration of new employees in the organizational structure, which can be very helpful in case of merger, acquisition, or simply in case of recruiting of new employees in terms of the enlargement of the organization.

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