Human Capital Resources: How Individual Differences Contribute to Organizational Heterogeneity
Dr. Robert Ployhart, Bank of America Professor of Business, University of South Carolina
Each year the Beebe Institute hosts a Multidisciplinary Research Colloquium within RCB on “People at Work.” For this event, the presenter has a research focus within the topic of “people at work” that is relevant to more than one field or discipline as well as a perspective that informs both scientific and practical points of view. Recently, we hosted Dr. Robert Ployhart, Bank of America Professor of Business, University of South Carolina. In addition to offering a well-attended colloquium to Robinson College faculty and students, Professor Ployhart had research meetings with RCB Ph.D. students and faculty who are part of the Georgia State University Panther PAW (People at Work) Research Interest Group within RCB.
Dr. Ployhart’s research focuses on human capital, staffing, and applied statistical models. His most recent research focuses on the intersection of psychology with organizational strategy. In that vein, the title of his talk for the colloquium was “Human Capital Resources: How Individual Differences Contribute to Organizational Heterogeneity.” He presented a very interesting talk that was relevant to multiple disciplines. This presentation summarized a program of research that unites psychology and strategic management to understand how individual differences contribute to organizational heterogeneity. Dr. Ployhart presented theory and empirical studies to show how the psychological characteristics of individuals contribute to the emergence of human capital resources, and how such resources may contribute to firm performance and competitive advantage. These studies were broad and touched upon adjacent literatures in marketing (e.g., the role of customer perceptions), international business (e.g., resources in non-U.S. cultures), accounting and finance (e.g., valuation of human capital resources), and risk management (e.g., where risk is operationalized in terms of human capital, customer, and financial resources). Dr. Ployhart suggested that, when integrated, micro and macro theory are “both sort of right…and…sort of wrong.” Overall, Dr. Ployhart argued that by integrating psychology and strategic management, many new insights are generated that challenge the received wisdom of both micro and macro literatures.