Human Capital Formation Regimes

Seán Ó Riain

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Capital

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199532162
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Human Capital Formation Regimes

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  • Business and Management
  • International Business
  • Business Strategy



This article relocates managing human capital (HC) into the larger world of which firms are merely part. A firm's production strategies work in an institutional framework that shapes how the benefits of education are distributed and the nature of skills, work, its control, and rewards. The article builds a complex model of five elements: inputs from firms' production strategies, national welfare production regimes, pertinent labour norms and interests, the firms' goals and interests, and the political system – collectively determining a sixth, the politics of firm-level HC formation. It contrasts notions of work, education, and welfare in Germany, Japan, Sweden, the US, and the UK. This analysis stands on Esping-Andersen's distinction between modes of welfare capitalism: Liberal, Social Democratic, and Christian Democrat.

Keywords: human capital; production strategies; welfare; labour norms; political system

Article.  11327 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; International Business ; Business Strategy

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