Original Research

Changing domains in human capital measurement

Pharny D. Chrysler-Fox, Gert Roodt
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 12, No 1 | a585 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v12i1.585 | © 2014 Pharny D. Chrysler-Fox, Gert Roodt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 August 2013 | Published: 01 September 2014

About the author(s)

Pharny D. Chrysler-Fox, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Gert Roodt, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The management context is dynamic; this is especially evident in human capital as the primary source of value creation as opposed to physical and natural resources. In response, measurement methodologies have moved from a transactional approach (strategy implementation) to a transformational approach (human capital contribution paradigm), as well as diverging into different purposes. To date, there has been little overlap on recent domains to consider in managing and measuring the contribution of the human resource function and employees, and how to unlock and add value.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to explore and describe changing domains within human capital management to be managed and measured.

Motivation for the study: The motivation was to advance the understanding of changing measurement domains to aid practitioners to manage and measure the contribution of the human resource function and employees, in order to unlock and add value and ultimately contribute to the success of an organisation.

Research design, approach and method: Unstructured, in-depth interview data of purposively selected cases from a selected panel of human resource practitioners specialising in human capital measurement was thematically analysed in this exploratory-descriptive investigation.

Main findings: Findings suggested that seven domains should be managed and measured. These domains highlight new areas of impact and levels of management. In addition, crossdomain relationships in measurement allow for an understanding of the impact and potential value on which to capitalise.

Practical/managerial implications: New domains to manage and measure focus the attention of practitioners beyond the transactional performance management paradigm to a transformational approach to influence the business strategy. Higher education institutions need to develop students’ cognitive skills to facilitate systems thinking.

Contribution: This study suggests a new approach to managing and measuring the human capital function and the workforce.


Keywords

Decision-making; human resource management; measurement framework; metrics; multiple case studies; qualitative research; scorecard; South Africa; strategy

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