Human Capital: What It Is and Why People Invest It / Edition 1

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No longer mere company "assets," today's in-demand workers have become free agents who can and do invest their ability, behavior, and energy-their human capital-in the companies of their choice. And the companies they choose, the companies that will win in the marketplace, will be the ones that know how to create and deliver the best return on that investment. In this book, author Thomas O. Davenport explores the dynamics of this emerging workplace phenomenon and describes specific strategies that companies and workers can use to build mutually beneficial relationships in the new knowledge economy.

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Editorial Reviews

Davenport, a corporate strategy and human relations consultant, explores the concept of the worker as investor. Of likely current interest to senior executives, managers and supervisors, and skilled white-collar employees. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"The notion of the employee as investor represents a major paradigm shift from a top-down, care-and-feeding management orientation to one where the employee-investor is an equal partner in the management equation. I find Davenport's perspective to be highly relevant in today's business and workplace environments." (Andy Rich, executive vice president of human resources, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.)

"The new reality of tighter labor markets has fundamentally changed the landscape of employee management. Successful companies are finding that employee knowledge is the key source of competitive advantage. Tom Davenport offers an engaging roadmap for effective management in this challenging new context." (Peter Cappelli, director, Center for Human Resources, Wharton School of Business)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470436813
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/19/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,477,093
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS O. DAVENPORT is a principal with Towers-Perrin, an international strategy, organization, and human resources consulting firm. Formerly, he was responsible for operations management at JAMS/Endispute, one of the nation's largest mediation and arbitration companies. He lives in San Francisco.

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Table of Contents


The Author

1 Worker as Investor: A New Metaphor 3

2 Human Capital Investments and Returns 17

3 Human Capital and Competitive Strategy 44

4 Hiring Human Capital Investors 65

5 Setting the Stage Through Workplace Environment 94

6 Paving the Way for High Investment 121

7 Building Human Capital 143

8 Holding On to Human Capital Investors 169

9 Optimizing and Measuring Human Capital Investment 202

Notes 227

Index 243

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