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ANSWERED on Tue 3 Feb 2009 - 9:54 pm UTC by byrd

Question: Strategic Human Capital definintion

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 3 Feb 2009 01:16 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 1:16 am UTC 

Can you rustle up a bunch of definitions for "Strategic Human Capital?"


Phil Answerfinder 


 3 Feb 2009 14:30 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 2:30 pm UTC 

Dear Mike,

I’m not familiar with this topic, so I am unsure if Strategic Human Capital is the same as Human Capital Management. That’s why I am placing this as a clarification as the first two are the only ones I could find using SHC without the word management. Let me know if I’m on target here, if not, I’ll try again.


"Strategic Human Capital addresses the people aspect of the people, process and technology triad. If you think of people, process, and technology as being the critical components of a whole organization - people are the cornerstone. Strategic Human Capital looks to align an organization's people with its strategic vision, mission and business performance goals, and it drives the use of technology for greater efficiency, knowledge sharing and collaboration."

"Strategic Human Capital is one of the most powerful levers for industry growth in today’s knowledge economy"

"Strategic HCM focuses all people management and development practices on maximizing the capability and engagement of the people working for an organisation to create valuable intangible capability, human capital, which enables the organisation to take full advantage of potential business opportunities."

"Strategic HCM focuses on aligning all people management and development practices to maximise the capability and engagement of all the people associated with an organisation."

"Human Capital Management ('HCM'), also known as Talent Management, is the ongoing process that organisations use to attract appropriately skilled and motivated employees ('talent'); integrate them into their organisations, assess and develop their competences and retain their commitment."

"HCM is about managing people in a way that leads to the optimal accumulation of human capital: for the individuals who are investing it; the organisations which are using it and also the financial investors who are funding it."
Page xvi Strategic Human Capital Management By Jon Ingham

This author also has a blog on the subject.
"HCM is an evolving approach to creating value in an organisation based upon the capability of its people. HCM strategies are tightly aligned with a business’ needs."

Power point presentation: strategic human capital management
"The Human Capital Idea: Two Central Principles
People are assets whose value can be enhanced through investment.
Human capital approaches should be designed, implemented, and assessed by how well they help the agency achieve strategic results and pursue its mission."

"Human capital management (HCM) has been described as ‘a strategic approach to people management that focuses on the issues that are critical to an organisation’s success’ (Kingsmill, 2003) and ‘the possession of knowledge, applied experience, organisational technology, customer relationships and professional skills that provides [a company] with a competitive edge in the market’ (Edvinsson, 1997)."




 3 Feb 2009 21:54 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 9:54 pm UTC 

Hi Mike,

I was able to find, extract and/or infer definitions of Strategic Human Capital as listed below. I hope the information is helpful and what you were looking for. Also I wasn't sure what exactly you meant by "a bunch," so if these are not enough, please let me know with a Request for Clarification how many more you'd like to see, or if you require any other further assistance, and I'll be happy to respond.





strategic = 1: of, relating to, or marked by strategy <a strategic retreat> 2 a: necessary to or important in the initiation, conduct, or completion of a strategic plan b: required for the conduct of war and not available in adequate quantities domestically <strategic materials> c: of great importance within an integrated whole or to a planned effect <emphasized strategic points>

strategy = 2 a: a careful plan or method : a clever stratagem b: the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal.

human capital = "the attributes of a person that are productive in some economic context. Often refers to formal educational attainment, with the implication that education is investment whose returns are in the form of wage, salary, or other compensation. These are normally measured and conceived of as private returns to the individual but can also be social returns."

Therefore, based on the above, one definition of strategic human capital might be "humans possessed of economically productive attributes that may used or integrated in a long term strategy or plan to help ensure the successful achievement of its stated goals."


And then:

As applied to "the strategic political, economic, and political objectives of national security," strategic human capital means "...the skills, training and work experience aggregated across employees within public institutions and private industries that are instrumental to the achievement of national security objectives"

In the context of strategic national socio-economic planning and development, it means "... "the knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being" as related to growth, national competitiveness, quality of life, and economic fortitude.

"... strategic management of human capital"

Integration of the "knowledge, skills [and] abilities of individuals" "with strategy formulation and implementation."

"... employees as a resource, an asset, that provides competitive advantage to an organization, and on whom organizational success is leveraged."

"... high performance employees in a superior, effective culture"

"... people's capabilities" leveraged in order to achieve "sustained competitive advantage"

"... high performance workforce that will increase productivity, quality and customer satisfaction while decreasing employee turnover, business risk, and cycle time"

"... high performing employees with ... appropriate skills and competencies ... able to respond to the needs  of the public on a daily basis and in times of crisis" with "daily decision-making and planning for ... program results."

Employees who "embod[y] perishable skills ...[are] not easily substitutable, and cannot be passively mothballed like physical capital. Trained, skilled, experienced employees ..." whose employment is crucial to "industries that can best make use of their specialized training and experience."

As applied to the scientific aspect of global community, "Scientists have been defined as "strategic human capital" and "elites" whose normative orientations are a basis for global cooperation and the development of a world community."

"... what they call “strategic human capital”. This is the individual’s “strategic expertise in cost-cutting, growth and cyclical markets.”

"... critically skilled personnel" necessary for present and future accomplishment of "strategic mission and programmatic goals"

"... employees [who] have the skills and training they need to fulfill the mission of the [company] and customer expectations and to close the skill gaps now and in the future."





 3 Feb 2009 22:39 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 10:39 pm UTC 

Super job!  Phil, I just retired as a Chief of Human Capital and I'm not sure I have the exact definition either.  Byrd, wonderful as always.
I'd like to tip both you Human Capital geeks :>) but how do I do that?
Answer accepted.




 3 Feb 2009 23:03 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 11:03 pm UTC 

Hi Mike,

Thanks for accepting the answer! I'm glad you were happy with it - thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately since I posted the answer, there is no way to compensate Phil via this question. However, what you can do is open a new question and put "For Phil" or "For Answerfinder" in the subject line, and then invite him to post his information there, or ask a simple question that he can post in the answer box to close it out. Hope that works for you. 

Best wishes,





 3 Feb 2009 23:05 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 11:05 pm UTC 

Really great job




 3 Feb 2009 23:33 UTCTue 3 Feb 2009 - 11:33 pm UTC 

Thank you, Mike, for the kind words and tip! I think I like being called a "Human Capital geek." Has a nice ring to it.  :-)  ~Byrd


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