Dynamic capabilities and managing human capital
© The Academy of Management Perspectives 2014. We apply the dynamic capabilities framework to explore the management of human capital, with particular emphasis on the process of "acqui-hiring." Acqui-hiring is the acquisition of small companies primarily to gain access to their employees and has been proliferating according to publicly available data. While this trend has received considerable attention from practitioners, scholars have not systematically explored these acquisitions or explained how they fit into the corporate strategy of the acquirers, mostly Silicon Valley-based technology companies. We use a hand-collected dataset to document recent trends in acqui-hiring and present two case studies to provide insights into how acqui-hiring works in practice. We then draw on prior work in strategic management on dynamic capabilities to explain how acqui-hiring relates to the broader set of strategies firms employ to sustain competitive advantage. Specifically, we present acqui-hiring as one example of asset orchestration-an important dynamic capability embodied in top management and implemented in the management of human capital. Finally, we outline potential directions for a more comprehensive and systematic research agenda on acqui-hiring.
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