Preserving employee capabilities in economic turbulence

Jane F. Maley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines how, in times of austerity, employee capabilities can assist firms in augmenting their human capital and at the same time meeting their financial obligations. Real option theory, a concept borrowed from economics, is used to provide a theoretical framework to demonstrate that management has choices when making decisions in times of austerity. The framework provides a means of understanding how decisions can be made to both maintain employee capabilities and at the same time focus on company profit maximisation, typically demanded by shareholders in times of austerity. The study establishes the benefits of a continuous approach to capability development in an environment of economic turbulence. Most importantly, it paves the way for future research in this increasingly critical area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number2
Early online date27 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • capabilities
  • turbulence
  • development practice
  • employee capabilities
  • real option theory


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