Retaining valued human capital: A commentary on the role of firm-specificity as a mobility constraint

John E. Delery, Dorothea Roumpi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The traditional strategic human capital literature suggests the role of firm-specificity is critical as a mobility-limiting mechanism that enables organizations to retain their valued human capital. Recently, however, numerous scholars have raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of firm-specificity as an employee mobility barrier. On the basis of this debate, we decided to take a step back in this chapter and offer a more practical approach to what may constitute firm-specific human capital. We develop a broad typology of various forms of firm-specificity (e.g., firm-specific human capital stemming from the interaction with organizational resources, and relational firm-specific human capital stemming from interactions with external constituents of the firm) and explore, on a theoretical basis, their effectiveness as employee mobility constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Strategic Human Capital Resources
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781788116695
ISBN (Print)9781788116688
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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