Original Research

Monetary value of human capital disclosure for predicting future business earnings

Mpho D. Magau, Gerhard Roodt, Gerhardus van Zyl
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1398 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1398 | © 2021 Mpho D. Magau, Gerhard Roodt, Gerhardus van Zyl | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2020 | Published: 25 February 2021

About the author(s)

Mpho D. Magau, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gerhard Roodt, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gerhardus van Zyl, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Human capital (HC) is a key dimension of intellectual capital (IC) that creates shareholder value when integrated with structural capital (SC) and relational capital (RC). The disclosure of HC reveals how the human resource (HR) practices support business growth.

Research purpose: The primary focus of this study was to investigate the extent of how human capital disclosure (HCD) could predict organisational performance (expected future earnings) of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed companies.

Motivation for the study: Human capital disclosure reduces information asymmetry, predicts future business performance and improves the investors’ buy-sell-hold decisions.

Research approach/design and method: A causal, comparative design was applied quantitatively in a cross-sectional survey of 150 top- and low-performing JSE-listed companies sampled based on their market capitalisation. A self-constructed disclosure index with a seven-point scoring system was developed to examine the extent of disclosure across 81 items. Subsequently, multiple regression analysis was computed to test the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.

Main findings: Human capital disclosure was associated with both the market capitalisation and book value. Overall, no mediation of human resource risk disclosure (HRRD) against organisational performance was found. Lastly, information disclosed on gender diversity yielded the interaction effect with both structural capital disclosure (SCD) and relational capital disclosure (RCD) but not with HCD.

Practical/managerial implications: Human capital disclosure identifies key HR practices that drive organisational performance and create shareholder value. This information can potentially improve benchmarking and support investor decision-making.

Contribution/value-add: The study provides a novel contribution to IC theory by demonstrating how HCD can be used to identify HR practices that leverage the monetary value of HC for business improvement.


Keywords

human capital; human capital disclosure; human resource management; intellectual capital; organisational performance

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