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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how human capital is transferred across organizations in a population, by looking at the case of US corporate-law firms. Remarking on the lack of linkage between Becker's notion of general and firm-specific human capital (HC) and the organizational literature on inter-firm movement of talent, it discusses how these literatures may be reconciled and how synthesizing HC and organizational perspectives can bring HC deeper into organizational theory. The article looks to the future with the idea of bringing organizations deeper into HC theory. From an organizational-process perspective, it suggests that two alternative processes may occur when HC is transferred from one firm to another: Relocation, when general HC is transferred; and Replication, when firm-specific human capital is transferred. The article helps to appreciate both the value and the limitations of Becker's distinction between general and firm-specific human capital.

Keywords: corporate law, human capital, organizational theory, Relocation, Replication

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