Accounting for human capital and organizational effectiveness

Robin Kramar*, Vijaya Murthy, James Guthrie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article discusses how the shift to a knowledge-based economy has propelled firms' human capital (HC) and associated intellectual resources to center stage. It notes that while organizational researchers have highlighted the increasingly strategic role of HC, and despite a growing realization among firms that their human-knowledge resources are becoming more important, managerial awareness of the value of HC remains low. The article suggests that HC management, measurement, and reporting are increasingly vital capabilities that all organizations will need to acquire. It proceeds to analyse the nature of HC, trace the evolution of HC accounting, identify current accounting challenges, and describe contemporary frameworks that are seeking to address these challenges. The article defines HC within organizations as 'employee capability, knowledge, innovation, adaptability, and experience', noting that it is typically represented as one element in a tripartite framework of intellectual capital, the other two being relational capital and organizational capital.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Human Capital
EditorsAlan Burton-Jones, J. C. Spender
Place of PublicationOxford; Toronto
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780191724831
ISBN (Print)9780199532162, 0199532168
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2011


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