Taylor's University is proud to host this International Conference on Human Capital, exploring one of the key drivers of economic growth globally, in ASEAN and in Malaysia.

Universal consensus on the need to build workforce skills to support economic development is reflected in policy documents of international agencies like the OECD, ILO, IMF and World Bank, supra-national regional bodies like ASEAN, APEC and the EU, as well as governments of nation states. All stress the importance of forecasting future skills needs to ensure that education and training systems are suitably aligned with labour market needs to avoid skills gaps, shortages and mismatches. Yet there is still confusion at the practical level as to what constitutes human capital and how best to develop the future and current workforce to meet evolving labour market needs in a period marked by increasing uncertainty and accompanied by profound restructuring. This conference provides an opportunity for academics and representatives of business and government to debate the issues.


• Human capital theory, policy and practice

Human capital theory, policy and practice
Symposium Leader: Professor Jonathan Winterton, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Most writers on human capital attribute the theoretical origins of the term to the 1960s work of Becker (1964) and Shultz (1961), economists of the Chicago School who were interested in economic returns to education. However, the conceptual foundations of human capital can be found in earlier economic writings such as Adam Smith (1776) and Karl Marx (1887).

In modern management literature, Prahalad and Hamel (1990) argued that the key to competitive advantage lay in core competencies, the ‘collective learning’ in an organization, reflected in ability to organize work and coordinate production in distinctive ways. Barney (1991) explored the circumstances under which a firm’s resources, including human capital, could be used to develop sustained competitive advantage, arguing that such advantage accrues in situations where firm resources are valuable and rare and where there are limitations to imitation and substitution. In later work, Barney (1995) added that in addition to rarity and inimitability, ‘socially complex resources and capabilities’ are likely to be a source of sustained competitive advantage, partly because they are more difficult to imitate. Cappelli and Crocker-Heft (1996) argued that ‘distinctive human resource practices help create unique competencies’, following which Becker et al. (1997: 44) suggested that for HRM to be a strategic asset to the organization, it should be thought of as ‘human capital management.’

Davenport (1999) rejected the notion of employees as organizational assets, urging managers ‘to think of workers not as human capital but rather as human capital owners and investors.’ This is more than a pedantic point because in distinguishing between individuals (‘human resources’) and the competencies they possess (‘human capital’) it also reiterates that human capital resides in and is owned by individuals. As Barney (1991) put it: ‘Human capital resources include the training, expertise, judgement, intelligence, relationships, and insight of individual managers and workers in a firm.’ Ingham (2007) used a similar approach, seeing strategic human capital management in terms of ‘leveraging advantage from people’ to gain competitive advantage, but also conflates human capital with an organization’s ‘valuable intangible capacity’. Human capital in our view consists in very tangible competencies that represent the collective capacity of the people in an organization (as in the definition of Becker et al. above), whereas social capital relates to more intangible assets.
This Symposium aims to establish a new body of knowledge is relation to human capital, with a particular emphasis on its relevance for policy and practice in ASEAN and beyond. We are especially interested in papers seeking to advance human capital theory in the context of managing people and work, and in empirical studies involving international comparisons. Papers will be considered for a Special Issue of the European Journal of Training and Development as well as an edited book.

By all means contact the Symposium Leader or Coordinator to discuss contribution(s).

Prof Jonathan Winterton
Professor of Employment, Executive Dean Faculty of Business and Law

Dr Kenneth Cafferkey
Associate Professor of Human Capital


Barney, J. (1991) ‘Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage’, Journal of Management, 17(1): 99-129.

Barney, J. B. (1995) ‘Looking inside for competitive advantage’, Academy of Management Executive, 9(4): 49-61.

Becker, B. E., Huselid, M. A., Pickus, P. S. and Spratt, M. F. (1997) ‘HR as a source of shareholder value: research and recommendations’, Human Resource Management, 36(1): 39-47.

Cappelli, P. and Crocker-Heft, A. (1996) ‘Distinctive human resources are firms’ core competencies’, Organizational Dynamics, 24(3): 7-21.

Davenport, T. O. (1999) Human Capital: What it is and why people invest it, San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Ingham, J. (2007) Strategic Human Capital Management: Creating value through people, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Marx, K. (1887) Capital,London: Lawrence and Wishart [1954 edition in 3 volumes].

Prahalad, C. K. and Hamel, G. (1990) ‘The core competence of the corporation’, Harvard Business Review, 68(3): 79-91.

Schultz, T. W. (1961) ‘Investment in human capital’, American Economic Review, 51(1): 1-17.

Smith, A. (1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and the Causes of the Wealth of Nations, London: Strahan and Cadell.

• Forecasting human capital, future skills needs and skills mismatches

Forecasting human capital, future skills needs and skills mismatches
Symposium Leader: Professor Lars Magnusson, Uppsala University, Sweden

Forecasting human capital requirements and future skills needs is essential to ensure the labour force is adequately prepared to meet labour market needs. Predicting labour market needs should enable institutions involved in education and training to adjust their offer appropriately, but there is inevitably a lag between labour market demand and supply. Even the most responsive education and training systems need time to develop curricula and time individuals are in the system can mean they graduate with skill sets reflecting what the labour market needed several years ago. Moreover, by definition at least half of a country’s current workforce at any time completed their formal education at least 20 years ago, so continuing education and training is necessary to maintain and update the skills of the labour force.   

The need to forecast human capital requirements and future skills needs becomes both more crucial and more difficult in proportion to the scale and complexity of changes in labour markets. Rapid and profound restructuring being brought about by globalization and the application of new technologies in the ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ is rendering some skills obsolete (Autour et al., 2003), whilst simultaneously creating demand for new occupations that have yet to be described in qualification frameworks (WEF, 2016). These changes affect demand for human capital, while human capital supply is being influenced not only by demographic trends but also factors like increasing higher education participation rates and migration (Cedefop, 2016).  

This Symposium aims to confront the difficulties of predicting human capital needs in such turbulent times and to explore ways of addressing associated problem of skills mismatches appearing in labour markets (Cedefop, 2015). Questions of ‘over-education’ and ‘over-qualification’ (Allen and Van der Velden, 2001; Quintini, 2011) must be considered alongside employer concerns with employability in general (Ehiyazaryan and Barraclough, 2009) and the work-readiness of graduates in particular (Cameron, Dhakal and Burgess, 2018).

We are interested in theoretical contributions as well as empirical studies addressing issues of forecasting human capital needs, at sector or enterprise level. The interface between theory, policy and practice with respect to forecasting jobs and skills is important and one of the aims of the stream is to promote dialogue between academics and representatives of government and the corporate world.

Papers that offer international comparative analyses are particularly welcome, whether focused on the EU, ASEAN, or other regions. Papers will be considered for Special Issues of Scopus journals and an edited collection, on which further details will be provided in due course.

By all means contact the Symposium Leader or Coordinator to discuss your contribution(s).

Prof Lars Magnusson
Professor of Economic History, Uppsala University, Sweden

Dr Saeed Palevansharif


Allen, J. and Van der Velden, R. (2001) ‘Educational mismatches versus skill mismatches: Effects on wages, job satisfaction, and on-the-job search’ Oxford Economic Papers 53(3): 434–452.

Autor, D.H., Levy, F. and Murnane, R.J. (2003) ‘The skill content of recent technological change: An empirical exploration’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics 118(4): 1279-1333.

Cameron, R., Dhakal, S. and Burgess, J. (eds) (2018) Transitions from Education to Work: Workforce ready challenges in the Asia Pacific, London: Routledge.

Cedefop (2015) Skill Shortages and Gaps in European Enterprises: Striking A Balance between Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market. Luxembourg: Publications Office.

Cedefop (2016) Future skill needs in Europe: critical labour force trends, Luxembourg: Publications Office, Cedefop research paper No. 59.

Ehiyazaryan, E. and Barraclough, N. (2009) ‘Enhancing employability: Integrating real world experience in the curriculum’, Education + Training, 51(4): 292-308.

Quintini G (2011) Over-qualified or under-skilled: A review of existing literature. Report for OECD. Report no. 121, 01 September. Paris: OECD Publishing.

WEF (2016) The Future of Jobs. Empoyment, skills and workforce strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Geneva: World Economic Forum.

• Employability and work readiness

Employability and work readiness
Symposium leader: Dr Jason Turner, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Global debate surrounding graduate employability and work readiness has dominated education journals, practitioner reports and media commentary for well over half a century. This debate has centred around the need to better prepare future employees, graduates and school leavers, with an appropriate transition to work (Cameron, Dhakal and Burgess, 2018) addressing the ‘skills gap’ (Moore and Morton, 2017) between education and the workplace. The increased use and application of technology in business has intensified the debate and brought about further government, employer and education-led responses to prepare future employees for the tasks they will undertake in a disruptive employment market.  

According to McQuaid and Lindsay (2005) employability is dependent upon individual and external factors as well personal circumstances and is usually referred to as “a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and be successful in their chosen occupation” (Moreland, 2006, p.7). The concept of employability and the skills necessary for graduate employment is usually couched in terms of experiential learning (Beard and Wilson, 2006), and involves activities where there is a degree of practical application. These activities include work based learning (WBL), engagement with real-world business scenarios, simulations and other initiatives which involve a student being exposed to the challenges of business (Ehiyazaryan and Barraclough, 2009; Mason, Williams, and Cranmer, 2009; Beard and Wilson, 2006). The experience gained from such activities can improve a graduate’s work readiness but it is in conjunction with the type of skills developed, which enhance graduate employability.

Developing a graduate’s skills set is essential but as they are individuals with their own identities (Daniels and Brooker, 2014) can education providers further personalise employability related activities? It is well documented that current activities can cultivate hard skills (project management, creative thinking, problem solving and leadership) and soft skills (communication, confidence and reflection) (Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2015; Draycott and Rae, 2011; Fiala, Gertler and Carney, 2014; Jones and Iredale, 2010). However, what about the ability of employment related activities to develop self-awareness, self-management and self-motivation? The skill of emotional intelligence deemed important to employers (Jameson, Carthy, McGuinness and McSweeney, 2016). The challenge for education providers is to bridge the gap between those identified needs of individuals and employers, working together to ensure a graduate’s work readiness.

This Symposium aims to take literature forward in the area of graduate job readiness, with particular emphasis on the documented gap between employer needs and graduate employability skills in ASEAN and across the globe. We are especially interested in empirical studies involving stakeholder perspectives of the graduate transition to the workplace and international comparisons of how job readiness is dealt with by higher education providers. Papers will be considered for a Special Issue of the Scopus journal Education+Training.

By all means contact the Symposium leader or coordinator to discuss planned contribution(s).
Dr Jason Turner, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Dr Gary Mulholland, Abertay University, Dundee


Andrews, J. and Higson, H. (2008) ‘Graduate employability, ‘soft skills’ versus ‘hard’ business knowledge: A European Study’, Higher Education in Europe, 33(4): pp.411-422.

Beard, C. and Wilson, J. (2006) Experiential learning: A best practice handbook for educators and trainers, London: Kogan Page.

Cameron, R., Dhakal, S. and Burgess, J. (eds) (2018) Transitions from Education to Work: Workforce ready challenges in the Asia Pacific, London: Routledge.

Daniels, J. and Brooker, J. (2014) ‘Student identity development in higher education: implications for graduate attributes and work-readiness’, Educational Research, 56(1): pp.65-76.

Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2015) ‘Entrepreneurship skills: literature and policy review’, [online]. BIS Research Paper, No.236: pp.1-50.

Draycott, M. C. and Rae, D. (2011) ‘Enterprise education in schools and the role of competency frameworks’, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol.17(2): pp.127-145.

Ehiyazaryan, E. and Barraclough, N. (2009) ‘Enhancing employability: Integrating real world experience in the curriculum’, Education + Training, 51(4): 292-308.

Fiala, N., Gertler, P. and Carney, D. (2014) ‘The role of hard and soft skills in entrepreneurial success: Experimental evidence from Uganda’, AEA RCT Registry, November 07.

Jameson, A., Carthy, A., McGuinness, C. and McSweeney, F. (2016) ‘Emotional intelli­gence and graduates – employer’s perspectives’, Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 228: pp.515–522.

Jones, B. and Iredale, N. (2010) ‘Enterprise education as pedagogy’, Education + Training, Vol.52(1): pp.7-19.

McQuaid, R. and Lindsay, C. (2005) ‘The concept of employability’, Urban Studies, 42(2): pp.197-219.

Mason, G., Williams, G. and Cranmer, S. (2009) ‘Employability skills initiatives in higher education: what effects do they have on graduate labour market outcomes?’ Education Economics, 17(1): pp.1-30.

Moore, T. and Morton, J. (2017) ‘The myth of job readiness? Written communication, employability, and the ‘skills gap’ in high education’, Studies in Higher Education, 42(3): 591-609.

Moreland, N. (2006) Learning & Employability: Entrepreneurship and Higher Education – An Employability Perspective, Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team, York: The Higher Education Academy.

• Leadership and human capital creation

Leadership and Human Capital Creation
Symposium Leader: Professor Nicholas Clarke, EADA, Barcelona  

SHRM literature has highlighted the importance of HR practices for developing a firm’s human capital, but the processes by which this occurs remain largely uncertain (McClean and Collins, 2011). Hitt et al. (2001) identified the importance of a new variable labelled leveraging human capital as a key intervening variable depicting this as a process undertaken by managers or leaders convert collective and individual tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. This has highlighted a new area for considering the role leadership plays in both creating and leveraging human capital in organisations. Given the emphasis placed on leadership as responsible for influencing many outcomes and processes in organisations, this is perhaps unsurprising (Kaiser et al., 2008).

As yet there has been limited exploration of the role leadership plays in developing human capital. The concept of knowledge leadership (Viitala, 2004; Lakshman, 2009; 2014) has been suggested, focussing on the leader’s role in developmental performance management as a key route to enhancing human capital.    

A number of studies have explored the role of transformational leadership on organisational performance, suggesting this is mediated by knowledge acquisition, knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge exploitation (Bryant, 2003; Politis, 2001). This approach has sought to examine how transformational leadership behaviours may support employees’ needs for achievement and growth and provide learning opportunities. Others have examined the role leadership plays in organisational learning (Aragon-Correa, Garcia-Morales and Gordon-Pozo, 2007; Garcia-Morales, Jimenez-Barrionuevo and Gutierrez-Gutierrez, 2012), whilst Zhu, Chew and Spangler (2005) found that the effects of CEO transformational leadership on organizational performance was mediated by human capital enhancing HR practices.

Employees’ innovative behaviour and creative performance have been suggested as human capital measures, since these enhance human capital effectiveness (Phillips, 2005). A number of studies have examined the relationship between transformational leadership and employee creativity, although the findings have been mixed (Elkins and Keller, 2003; Shin and Zhou, 2003). More recently the impact of HRD (strategic value) on organizational performance has been found to be mediated by HR practices and leadership (Alagarajaa, Cumberland and Choi, 2015).

It would seem then that leadership has a role to play in both creating and leveraging human capital – however much of this work is fragmented. Our planned symposium aims to map out the terrain of this new and emerging field of leadership. We would welcome empirical or conceptual papers that seek to further our understanding in this area.

By all means contact the Symposium Leader or Coordinator to discuss contribution(s).

Prof Nicholas Clarke
Professor of Organisational Behaviour & HRM, EADA Business School, Barcelona

Dr Manimakelai Jambulingham


Alagarajaa, M., Cumberland, D. M. and Choi, N. (2015) ‘The mediating role of people management practices on HRD and organizational performance’, Human Resource Development International, 18, 220-234.

Aragon-Correa, J. A., Garcia-Morales, V. J. and Cordon-Pozo, E. (2007) ‘Leadership and organizational learning’s role on innovation and performance: Lessons from Spain’, Industrial Marketing Management, 36, 349-59.

Elkins, T. K., and Keller, R. T. (2003) ‘Leadership in research and development organizations: A literature review and conceptual framework’, Leadership Quarterly, 14, 587-606.

Garcia-Morales, V. J., Jimenez-Barrionuevo, M. M. and Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, L. (2012) ‘Transformational leadership influence on organizational performance through organizational learning and innovation’, Journal of Business Research, 65, 1040-1050.

Gilmore, P. L., Hu, X., Wei, F. and Tetrick, L. E. (2013) ‘Positive affectivity neutralizes transformational leadership´s influence on creative performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34, 1061-1075.

Hitt, M.A., Bierman, L., Shimuzu, K. and Kochnar, R. (2001) ‘Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource based perspective’, Academy of Management Journal, 44, 13-28.

Kaiser, R. B., Hogan, R. and Craig, S. B. (2008) ‘Leadership and the fate of organizations’, American Psychologist, 63, 96-111.

Laksham, C. (2009) ‘Organizational knowledge leadership: An empirical examination of knowledge management by top executive leaders’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 30, 338-364.

Laksham, C. (2014) ‘Leveraging human capital through performance management process: the role of leadership in the USA, France and India’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25, 1351-1372.

McClean, E. and Collins, C. J. (2011) ‘High commitment HR practices, employee effort, and firm performance: Investigating the effects of HR practices across employee groups within professional service firms’, Human Resource Management, 50, 341-363.

Phillips, J. J. (2005) Investing in your company´s human capital: Strategies to avoid spending too little – or too much, New York, NY: AMACOM.

Viitala, R. (2004) ‘Towards knowledge leadership’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 25, 528-544

Zhu W. C., Chew I. K.H. and Spangler, W.D. (2005) ‘CEO transformational leadership and organizational outcomes: the mediating role of human-capital-enhancing human resource management’, Leadership Quarterly, 16, 39–52.

• Human capital in family business

Human capital in family business
Stream Leader: Professor Claire Seaman, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Past studies in family business research have demonstrated the significant contribution family enterprises have made to economic, community and country development. It is believed that they constitute 60% to 98% of all firms in different regions of the world (Miller and Le-Breton Miller, 2005). Family businesses predominate in South East Asia (Carney and Gedajlovic, 2002) and some rank among the world’s great companies. In recent years, family business research has grown exponentially because of their economic impact, generation of employment, and contribution to economic development (Colli, 2003; Dawson, 2012; Zahra, 2005) and the results they achieve (Sharma et al., 2007; Stewart and Miner, 2011).

In family enterprises, human capital is also a critical resource which enables differentiation between competitors and the development of sustainable competitive advantage. Many studies using the theoretical lens of resource based-view (Barney, 1991) and the concept of familiness, which represents the unique bundle of resources and capabilities generated from the interaction of the family and business systems (Habbershon and Williams, 1999; Habbershon, Williams and Macmillan, 2003), found human capital the most valuable and difficult to imitate resource, the result of a complex social structure established over time.

However, there is still a research gap in understanding how family businesses acquire, develop and retain human capital given the context and presence of family and non-family members, as well as the influence of the family in the process and system. Family businesses cannot extend and maximise existing strengths without attracting and retaining the best talent in the world (Klein and Bell, 2007). Building successful family-owned businesses take an immense amount of energy and achieving long term growth and inter-generational survival can only be achieved by attracting and retaining exceptional people. Maximizing the acquisition of talent and improving employee engagement and motivation results in enhanced firm performance (Ronn, 2007). A critical issue for family firms is their capacity to attract good family and non-family managers and to build social networks (Seaman, McQuaid and Pearson, 2017). There exist challenges and perhaps, limitations, for family firms because of the dynamics and complexity of broader family agendas (Cunningham, Seaman and McGuire, 2016).

This Stream aims to address the above mentioned issues as well as other facets of research namely on training and development of the next generation’s leadership, knowledge, skills and competencies. In addition, performance and remuneration systems, motivation, power and authority, parenting, obedience, groupthink, group cohesion, stewardship and commitment are also areas related to human capital strategies for the family business (Kenyon-Rouvinez and Ward, 2005). Papers will be considered for a Special Issue of the Journal of Family Business Management.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss contribution(s).

Prof Claire Seaman
Professor in Enterprise and Family Business, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Dr Leilanie Mohd Nor


Barney, J. (1991) ‘Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage’, Journal of Management, 17(1): 99-129.

Carney, M. and Gedajlovic, E. (2002) ‘The co-evolution of institutional environments and organizational strategies: The rise of family business groups in the ASEAN region’, Organization Studies, 23(1): 1-29.

Colli, A. (2003) The History of Family Business, 1850–2000, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cunningham, J., Seaman, C. and McGuire, D. (2016) ‘Knowledge sharing in small family firms: A leadership perspective’, Journal of Family Business Strategy, 7(1): 24-46.

Dawson, A. (2012) ‘Human capital in family business: focussing on the individual level’, Journal of Business Strategy, 3(1): 3–11.

Habbershon, T. G. and Williams, M. (1999) ‘A Resource-Based Framework for Assessing the Strategic Advantages of Family Firms’, Family Business Review, 12(1): 1-25.

Habbershon, T. G., Williams, M. and MacMillan, I. C. (2003) ‘A Unified Systems Perspective of Family Firm Performance’, Journal of Business Venturing, 18(4): 451-465.

Kenyon-Rovinez, D. and Ward, J. L. (2005) Family Business Key Issues, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Klein, S. B. and F. A. Bell (2007) ‘Non-family executives in family businesses – A literature review’, Electronic Journal of Family Business Studies, 1(1): 19-37.

Miller, D. and Le Breton-Miller, I. (2005) Managing for the Long Run: Lessons in Competitive Advantage from Great Family Businesses, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Ronn, K. (2007) ‘Rethinking talent acquisition’, Business Week Online, No. 3 June.

Seaman, C., McQuaid, R. and Pearson, M. (2017) ‘Social networking in family businesses in a local economy’, Local Economy, 32(5): 451-466.

Sharma, P., Hoy, F., Astrachan, J. H. and Koiranen, M. (2007) ‘The practice driven evolution of family business education’, Journal of Business Research, 60: 1012–1021.

Stewart, A. and Miner, A. S. (2011) ‘The prospects for family business in research universities’, Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2(1): 3–14.

Zahra, S. A. (2005) ‘Entrepreneurial risk taking in family firms’, Family Business Review, 18(1): 23-40.

• Education, training and human capital formation in:
- post-communist transition economies

Human capital formation in post-communist transition economies
Stream Leader: Dr. Vidmantas Tūtlys, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Although human capital theory explains the formation and application of human capital mainly from the perspective of individuals and companies, more holistic understanding of human capital recognises it is context-depending and largely socially defined. Human capital formation regimes are shaped by production strategies, welfare and labour market regimes, as well as education and training systems (O’Riain, 2013; Streeck, 2012).

Buchanan et al. (2017) propose the concept of skill ecosystems as regional or sectoral social formations that develop and deploy the human capital and deploy it for productive purposes. The variety of capitalism literature distinguishes models of skill formation in liberal and coordinated market economies, typified by Anglophone and German approaches respectively (Brockmann, Clarke and Winch, 2011; Hall and Soskice, 2009).

Despite obvious institutional and socioeconomic similarities of the societies at the point of collapse of communist systems, post-communist or former state socialist countries are not homogeneous and do not fit into any established model of human capital development, skill formation or employment relations (Martinaitis, 2010; Myant, 2014). Transition to market economies followed different pathways, so these countries approached the institutional model of liberal market economies with low labour market regulation, weak labour representation and skill formation focused on market needs, typical of the Baltic states, or institutional settings like coordinated market economies with corporatist structures, regularized negotiation and bargaining at all levels, typified by Slovenia (Myant, 2014). Transition in skill formation involved the construction of new institutions on the vestiges of the institutions of the former communist states, with concomitant struggles to gain legitimacy and institutional effectiveness (Norkus, 2008; Wolfson, 2008).  

This Symposium aims to explore the development of skill formation models and systems in post-communist countries. We are interested in conceptual and empirical papers that elaborate historical, institutional, socioeconomic, cultural and other factors that define the current state of skill formation and human capital in these countries, as well as their future development pathways. We would also welcome papers with a comparative perspective that analyse similarities and differences in the evolution of methodological approaches and political-institutional development of skill formation and human capital development. Papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited book that will involve contributions from several international conferences.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s).
Dr Vidmantas Tūtlys, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania

Dr Tamara Duraisingam


Brockmann, M., Clarke, L. and Winch, C. (2011) Knowledge, skills and competences in the European labour market. What’s in a vocational qualification? London: Routledge.

Hall, P. A. and Soskice, D. (2009) ‘An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism’, in B. Hancké (ed.) Debating Varieties of Capitalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 21-74. 

Martinaitis, Ž. (2010) The Political Economy of Skills Formation: Explaining Differences in Central and Eastern Europe, Vilnius: Vilnius University.

Myant, M. (2014) ‘Economies Undergoing Long Transition. Employment Relations in Central and Eastern Europe’, in A. Wilkinson, G. Wood and R. Deeg (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 359-384.

Norkus, Z. (2008) Kokia demokratija, koks kapitalizmas? Pokomunistinė transformacija Lietuvoje lyginamosios istorinės sociologijos požiūriu. [Which Democracy, which Capitalism? Post-communist Transformation in Lithuania from the Viewpoint of Comparative Historical Sociology], Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, Vilnius.  

O’Riain, S. (2013), “Human Capital Formation Regimes: States, Markets, and Human Capital in an Era of Globalization”, in A. Burton-Jones and J. C. Spender (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Human Capital, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.588-617.

Sommers, J. and Woolfson, C. (eds) (2014) The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model, London: Routledge.

Streeck, W. (2012) ‘Skills and Politics: General and Specific’, in M. R. Busemeyer and C. Trampush (eds) The Political Economy of Collective Skill Formation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 317-352. 

Woolfson, C. (2008) ‘Social dialogue and lifelong learning in new EU member states: ‘reform fit’ in Latvia’, Journal of European Social Policy, 18(1): 79–87.

- ASEAN and APEC emerging market economies

Human capital formation in ASEAN and APEC emerging market economies
Stream Leaders: Professor Julia Connell, University of Newcastle, Australia and Professor Alan Nankervis, RMIT, Australia
Human capital - broadly defined as the skills and competencies of a population - has been strongly associated with the distribution of income and economic growth in developing countries (Bhattacharya & Bathla, 2011). Education is widely touted as the key to human capital development, and in broader terms to a country’s economic success. However, education is generally associated with financial capital, which in many developing countries has resulted in a gendered aspect to human capital - reflected in a lack of access to education for women and girls. Other factors influencing human capital development in emerging countries include: talent and skills mismatches; high unemployment (or under-employment and ‘hidden unemployment’); significant ‘brain mobility’, supply-demand imbalances, and concerns that levels of educational development do not always match the demands of technological development (Tullao and Cabuay, 2013). All these factors can adversely affect human capital development aspirations and ultimately a country’s economic future.

In 2007 ASEAN agreed to create the ASEAN economic community (AEC) by 2015 to pursue economic integration as a way of creating better economic opportunities by allowing a ‘free flow of skilled migration’ in the region (HUELSER & HEAL, 2014). The intention was that this would address the large labour deficits and surpluses among ASEAN member countries caused by different levels of economic development, population growth and aging, and a lack of regional distribution mechanisms (Chia, 2013). Delios (2017) argues that, whilst the AEC was established in late 2015 as planned, this vision is still a work in progress for a number of reasons.

Some of these reasons include the differences amongst the ASEAN countries. For example, many low income and low wage economies have very large populations, ageing workforces, high numbers of unemployed, and low skilled workforces.  Conversely, high-income countries such as Singapore and Brunei Darussalam have limited land and populations, and would face spatial, social and cultural challenges if their populations greatly increased through significant talent mobility (Chia, 2013, p.35). Less successful ASEAN economies would suffer significantly if too many of their talented workers were to take advantage of the job opportunities and higher rewards offered by their high-income neighbours under the AEC provisions.

In summary, this Symposium aims to analyse and report on the progress of human capital development (HCD) imperatives across the AEC, with particular emphasis on the challenges encountered and their causes in particular ASEAN countries. Comparative studies, successful HCD strategies, innovative cases and practices, policy and future research implications are welcome. While there is a focus on ASEAN member countries, human capital development studies from other regions are also welcome. We are interested in both conceptual and empirical papers which explore the challenges and choices that help to promote human capital development for all, through access to relevant education pathways, employment opportunities and more.

The stream co-ordinators will provide publication opportunities, further details to be communicated.

If you have any queries, please contact:

Professor Julia Connell, University of Newcastle, Australia

Professor Alan Nankervis, RMIT, Australia

Dr Ratneswary Rasiah


Bhattacharya, B. B. and Bathla, S. (2011) ‘Sustaining India’s High Economic Growth: Does Human Capital Formation Matter?’ Indian Economic Journal, 58(4): 31-50.

Chia, Siow Yue (2013) The ASEAN Economic Community: Progress, Challenges, and Prospects, Asian Development Bank Institute, Working Paper Series, No. 440

Delios, A. (2017) ‘Commentary: Is ASEAN’s economic integration still a work in progress?’
03 May 2017 10:53PM (Updated: 15 Jun 2017 10:10PM),  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/commentary-is-asean-s-economic-integration-still-a-work-in-8814696 viewed 16/3/2018

Huelser, S. and Heal, A. (2014) Moving Freely? Labour mobility in ASEAN, Policy Brief no. 40, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade, file:///C:/Users/104609/Documents/Human%20Capital%20Conference/policy%20brief%20ASEAN.pdf, viewed 16/3/2018

Tullao, T. and Cabuay, C. (2013) Education and Human Capital Development to Strengthen R&D Capacity in ASEAN, ERIA Discussion Paper Series, Eria-Dp-2013-36.

- least developed economies

Human capital formation in least developed countries 
Stream Leader: Professor Rona Beattie, Glasgow Caledonian University

The United Nations categorises some 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa as ‘least developed countries’ along with nine countries in Asia (three of which are ASEAN member states) and four in Oceania (all small island developing states).

UN Development Goals highlight the need for least developed countries to develop human capital in their countries to sustain and improve the socio-economic conditions of their citizens.  However, relatively little is known about human capital formation and human resource development in these developing countries, in comparison to the developed world. This stream is an attempt to bridge the gaps in research, policy and practice in this area. Recognising that developing countries are at different stages of human capital development, in this stream we particularly welcome contributions focused on countries where human capital formation is relatively under-developed but where there are leading edge initiatives.

In Bangladesh, developing health care provision, a basic foundation for socio-economic stability and progress, and the empowerment of women, a underutilised resource due to cultural and religious norms, are fundamental concerns. Crossan et al. (forthcoming) are exploring how Western supported nursing education can address the development challenge of increasing nursing capacity and capability in the Bangladeshi nursing workforce, particularly in terms of developing a leadership cadre to facilitate the embedding of those knowledge, skills and attitudes to help the country develop its human capital and in turn improve the country’s health, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable economy and stable society.
As one of the poorest countries in the world Bangladesh could benefit greatly from learning transferred from other parts of the world; whilst other countries could learn from some of the innovatory development practices within Bangladesh. Comparisons with emerging economies, such as the MINT countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey), other ASEAN member states and even developed economies may offer insights into how human capital development can be accelerated in the least developed countries. However, it would be naïve to assume one country’s practices will transfer easily or without adaption to another where there are substantial cultural and institutional differences (Tūtlys, Kaminskienė and Winterton, 2016). 

We are interested in conceptual and empirical papers, using any methodological paradigm, that consider historical, institutional, socioeconomic, cultural and other factors that influence human capital development in least developed countries at national, sectoral, organisational and individual levels.  Papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited book that will involve contributions from several international conferences.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s).

Professor Rona Beattie
Professor of Human Resource Development
Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Dr Marina Binti Mustapha


Crossan, Brunetto, Beattie, R., Nur, Ashleigh Farr-Wharton (forthcoming)

Tūtlys, V., Kaminskienė, L. and Winterton, J. (2016) ‘Policy borrowing and policy learning in initial VET reforms of Lithuania after 1990’, in S. Bohlinger, T.K.A. Dang and M. Klatt (eds) Education policy: Mapping the landscape and scope, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 377-402.

• Equality, diversity and inclusion issues in human capital development

Equality diversity and inclusion issues in human capital development
Stream Leader: Dr Michaela Brockmann, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton

The concept of human capital (Becker, 1964; Schultz, 1995) is pivotal to organisational success, as recently reinforced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, 2017). Broadly defined as ‘the knowledge, skills and abilities’ of the workforce, human capital is described as ‘a fundamental concept for the HR profession to understand if organisations of the future are to deliver long-term success’ (ibid: 2). The authors also highlight the need for converting individual human capital into organisational human capital, making human capital development and management of paramount importance.

Equally, a growing body of academic literature argues that a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion has positive impacts on workers and organisations, linking this to increased productivity, innovation and reduced staff turnover (Armstrong et al., 2010; Han et al., 2014; Ostergaard et al., 2011). Equality and diversity have become critical elements in human capital development. Increasingly organisations are required by law to demonstrate policy commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Nevertheless, there is also increasing evidence that ‘diverse’ people may experience discrimination and inequality. For example, women and people from certain ethnic minorities may be overlooked for training and promotion opportunities (see Shore et al., 2011).

Commentators from disciplines like sociology, have long adopted a more critical stance, suggesting that notions of equality, diversity and inclusion sit uneasily with human capital theory. Lips (2013), discussing the gender pay gap, critiques the human capital approach for its assumptions about ‘rational’ and gender-neutral investments in education and work, ignoring underlying issues of power and a host of constraining factors, including perceived choice and gender stereotypes. Similarly, analysing the limited success of initiatives to widen participation in higher education, Burke (2012) argues that while diversity is celebrated, issues of ‘difference’ are ignored.

The literature suggests further research is needed to enhance understanding of diverse workplaces. There are few qualitative studies exploring complex processes, and contrasting perspectives of workers and managers through ethnographies or case studies. Work on inclusion is rare, as are satisfactory attempts to define this notion. Finally, questions need to be asked whether the human capital concept in its current form is still appropriate as a theoretical underpinning.

In this Stream we invite papers addressing some of these issues in relation to both Western countries and ASEAN. We are interested in empirical studies as well as in papers that seek to develop human capital theory in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your contribution(s).

Dr Michaela Brockmann
Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, UK

Dr Vinitha Guptan


Armstrong, C., Flood, P.C., Guthrie, J. P., Wenchaun, L., Macurtain, S. and Mkamwa, T. (2010) ‘The impact of diversity and equality management on firm performance: beyond high performance work systems’, Human Resource Management, 46 (6): 977–98.

Becker, G. S. (1964) Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education, New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Burke, P. J. (2012) The Right to HE: Beyond Widening Participation, Abingdon: Routledge.

CIPD (2017) Human Capital Theory: Assessing the evidence for the value and importance of people to organisational success, Technical report, online: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/human-capital-theory-assessing-the-evidence_tcm18-22292.pdf (accessed 15.01.18).

Han, Jing, Han, Jian, and Brass, D.J. (2014) ‘Human capital diversity in the creation of social capital for team creativity’, Journal of Organisational Behavior, 35: 54-71.

Lips, H. M. (2013) ‘The gender pay gap: Challenging the rationalizations. Perceived equity, discrimination, and the limits of human capital models’, Sex Roles, 68: 169-185.

Ostergaard, C. R., Timmermans, B. and Kristinsson, K. (2011) ‘Does a different view create something new? The effect of employee diversity on innovation’, Research Policy, 40: 500-509.

Schultz, T. P. (ed.) (1995) Investment in women’s human capital, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Shore, L.M., Randel, A.E., Chung, B.G., Dean, M.A., Ehrhart, K.H. and Singh, G. (2011) ‘Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research’, Journal of Management, 37 (4): 1262-1289.

• Precarious work, vulnerable workers, migration and poverty

Precarious work, vulnerable workers, migration and poverty
Stream leader: Professor Rob MacKenzie, Karlstad University, Sweden  

Recent decades have brought successive waves of restructuring, more profound and persistent than any since the Depression driven by financial crises, globalization and technological change (Winterton and Forde, 2013). The impact on human capital of these changes is the central concern of this stream.

There is substantial evidence of an increase in precarious work and the number of workers that can be considered vulnerable (Sargeant and Ori, 2013; Vosco, 2006), as well as the challenges these pose for trade unions and HR specialists (Burgess, Connell and Winterton, 2013). Progress has been made in world terms towards reducing poverty, but a staggering proportion of the world’s population remains in poverty and inequality is increasing in many countries even where average income levels are rising.

Migration is taking place on an unprecedented scale as people flee conflicts or simply seek more attractive labour market opportunities. International migration contributes to the formation of human capital (Ratha, Mohapatra and Scheja, 2011), while international remittances contribute to poverty reduction (Adams and Page, 2005). Refugees and migrants from MENA entering the EU created opportunities for human trafficking and challenges for regulatory authorities, whilst fuelling nationalist and right-wing movements. Intra-European migration revealed ambiguities of British employers praising the human capital of workers from Eastern Europe, whilst simultaneously exploiting them (MacKenzie and Forde, 2009).

Similar contradictions are evident in ASEAN, which despite the declaration of a single market, does not permit free movement of labour, thus stimulating irregular migration, often through ‘agencies’ that secure documentation from corrupt officials. Hypocrisy and complexity make it difficult to entangle the implications for human capital in the country of origin, countries of transit and country of destination. Indeed, where human capital is mentioned in the context of migration, the focus is mostly on international ‘talent management’ and expatriate employees of multinational enterprises. Where policy issues are addressed, the dominant issue is how the brain drain affects the human capital stock of the sending countries rather than the positive impact on transit and receiving countries.

We are particularly interested in contributions that address issues of human capital in relation to the challenges of precarious work, migrants and vulnerable workers. What are the net effects of migration on the stock of human capital in the countries involved? To what extent does poverty render implausible the very investments in human capital that could realise its liberating potential? Papers that analyse human capital issues associated with migration or vulnerability from a comparative (cross country) perspective would be particularly welcome as we are aiming to produce an edited book and a special issue of an academic journal. 

Please feel free to contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss contribution(s).

Prof Robert MacKenzie
Professor of Working Life Science, Karlstad University, Sweden

Dr Shanthi Bavani


Adams, R.H. and Page, J. (2005) ‘Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries?’ World Development, 33(10): 1645-1669.

Burgess, J., Connell, J. and Winterton, J. (2013) ‘Vulnerable workers, precarious work and the role of trade unions and HRM’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management Special Issue on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work, 24(22): 4083-4093.

MacKenzie, R. and Forde, C. (2009) ‘The rhetoric of the “good worker” versus the reality of employers’ use and the experiences of migrant workers’, Work, Employment and Society, 23(1): 142-259.

Ratha, D., Mohapatra, S. and Scheja. E. (2011) Impact of Migration on Economic and Social Development: A Review of Evidence and Emerging Issues, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper. Washington DC: World Bank.

Sargeant, M. and Ori, M. (2013) Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Working, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Vosko, L. F. (ed.) (2006) Precarious Employment: understanding labour market insecurity in Canada, Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Winterton, J. and Forde, C. (2013) ‘Europe en crise: vers un modèle heuristique de la restructuration’ in F. Le Deist (ed.) Restructurations et santé au travail: regards pluridisciplinaires, Toulouse: Octarès, pp. 27-46.

• The future of work and employment in the 4th Industrial Revolution

The Future of Work and Employment in the 4th Industrial Revolution
Stream Leader: Professor Valeria Pulignano, KU Leuven, Belgium

Employment and the character of work is changing as the result of increased digitalization, robotization and use of the Internet. The emergence of these new technologies contribute to shift the boundaries between human and machine capabilities, with dramatic implications on individual jobs and their working conditions as well as the knowledge and skills of human capital alike (Valenduc and Vandramin, 2016). In particular, several studies emphasise a shift towards the ‘commodification’ or ‘marketisation’ of knowledge (Fleissner, 2009). Specifically, it is claimed that recent technological innovations lead to a major shift in the boundary between codified and tacit knowledge, to the detriment of the latter (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2015). Regarding what the social effects of this shift will be, some scholars argue that machines and robots will replace human capital. This is because technological innovation within the field of big data processing requires a new way to classify tasks (cognitive and manual as well as routine and non-routine) and skills, which will dramatically change the way of working (Autor et al., 2003; Frey and Osborne, 2013). On the other hand, it is argued that society needs to learn to work together with robots i.e. ‘race with the machine rather than against it’ (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2015). Accordingly, the future of work will depend on achieving an optimum balance between the new generation of high-performance machines and human skills, which is a very different perspective to the traditional view of machines as a substitute for human capital espoused earlier by Frey and Osborne (2013) and Autor et al. (2003).

As a society within an increasingly on-demand economy, choices must be made about how to deploy new technologies, and critically to consider the possibility of shaping their impact. Therefore, crucial questions include: what balance will there be among jobs created as the digital wave flows through our economy and society, and which workers will be displaced (if any)? Will the new technologies generate converging trends in how enterprises will interact with customers and employees? If so, why? What will be the conditions (or factors) for successful adaptations within the interconnections of value chains or the creation of digital customer interfaces? Irrespective of whether it may be feasible to catalogue existing work, particularly work that is routine, as likely to be replaced or recon­figured by digital tools, and perhaps to estimate the numbers of such existing jobs that will be digitized away, it may be more difficult to envisage the new jobs which will be redefined and reorganized in the future.

This stream aims to discuss the challenges digitalization, robotization and the use of Internet and new technologies alike pose for human capital, as well as the way in which to generate new knowledge and emphasise its relevance for policy and practice. We are particularly interested in papers which help in understanding the social implications, and theorize the processes and dynamics, guiding the changes at the intersections of new technology and human capital. We are also interested in empirical papers involving international comparisons. Papers will be considered for a Special Issue of an academic journal or an edited collection.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s).

Prof Valeria Pulignano
Professor of Sociology of Labour and Industrial Relations, KU Leuven, Belgium 

Dr Puteri Sofia Amirnuddin


Autor D. H., Levy F. and Murmane R.J. (2003) ‘The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118 (4): 1279-1333.

Brynjolfsson E. and McAfee A. (2015) The second machine age. Work, progress and   prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies, New York, W. W. Norton & Company.

Fleissner P. (2009) ‘The “commodification” of knowledge in the global information society’,   Triple-C, 7(2): 228-238.

Frey C. B. and Osborne M. A. (2013) The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to   computerisation?, Oxford Martin School Working paper, Oxford, Oxford University.

Valenduc G. and Vandramin, P. (2016) Work in the digital economy: sorting the old from the   new, ETUI Working Paper 2016.03

• Work-based learning, adult and community learning

Work-based /Work-place Learning, Adult and Community Learning
Stream Leader: Dr Emma Wallis, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

This stream aims not only to advance knowledge in relation to work-based /work-place learning and adult and community learning, but to pose key questions about who is driving work-based /work-place learning and adult and community learning for what purposes and how this impacts on pedagogical practices. We are especially interested in contributions that focus on policy and practice in ASEAN and beyond. The European Union explicitly linked lifelong learning with social inclusion and social mobility (European Commission, 1996; 2001), whilst researchers have explored the extent to which adult learning initiatives can widen participation in post compulsory education (Callaghan et al., 2001), particularly given the barriers to learning that groups under-represented in learning activities continue to face (McGivney, 2001).

Fast changing, dynamic work, labour market and community landscapes have seen policy, operating mostly from a human capital perspective, increasingly support workplace/based learning and pull resources away from adult and community learning. Work-based learning is initiated and organised through an educational institution as part of a qualification. Workplace learning is that which takes place at or though work and that employers drive, intentionally or unintentionally. While workplace learning is part of work-based learning, its main focus is on those engaged in work and their learning through everyday practices. Access to workplace learning is not only dependent on employment status (e.g. permanent or non-permanent workers), but is highly varied from one work setting to another due to the productive process, including the business model, the nature of the work, the culture and structures and division of labour in an industry sector and in work places. Community learning, often delivered through structured interactions through community centres, has declined in status and access to funding in countries such as Australia and also in different ways in Singapore. There are different political and economic agendas being serviced by adult and community learning and workplace/based learning.

The agendas and perspectives that drive workplace/based learning and adult and community learning are not only driven by social, political and economic factors, but by understandings and beliefs about learning. There are many lenses through which workplace/based learning and adult and community education are researched, designed and implemented. The predominant policy lens is the human capital lens, whereas much research in the field employs a socio-cultural lens. Adult and community education has a long history rooted in agendas for change and social justice. Within these broad theoretical approaches are varied discipline and theoretical understandings that support or question the human capital paradigm. Learning theories, organisational psychology, workforce development, management literatures, professional learning literature and others have contributed to the contested understandings and practices in the field. As such this stream will be one involving lively debate and bring a critical focus to our discussions.

The stream will provide an opportunity for contributors to present first drafts of work in progress, and papers will be considered for a special issue of the Journal of Workplace Learning and an edited book.

By all means contact the Stream Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s).

Dr Emma Wallis, Research Fellow, Taylor’s University, Malaysia


Becker, G. (1975) Human Capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Boud, D. and Solomon, N. (eds) (2001) Work-based Learning. A new higher education? Buckingham: SRHE and Open University.

Bramley, P. (1996) Evaluating Training Effectiveness (second edition) London, McGraw Hill.

Callaghan, G., Newton, D., Wallis, E., Winterton, J., and Winterton, R. (2001) Adult and Community Learning: What? Why? Who? Where? A Literature Review on Adult and Community Learning, Department for Education and Skills, Research Report RR262.

Claydon, t., and Green, F. (1994) ‘Can Trade Unions Improve Training in Britain?’ Personnel Review, 23,1: 37-51.

Danford, A., Richardson, M., and Upchurch, M. (2003) New Unions, New Workplaces. A study of union resilience in the restructured workplace, London, Routledge.

European Commission (1996) Teaching and Learning: Towards the Learning Society, Luxembourg, European Commission Publications Office.

European Commission (2001) Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality, COM (2001) 678 final, Brussels.

Fuller, A. and Unwin, L. (2003) ‘Learning as apprentices in the contemporary UK workplace: creating and managing expansive and restrictive participation’, Journal of Education and Work, 16(4): 407-426.

Fryer, R. H. (Ch.) (1997) Learning for the Twenty First Century, First Report of the National Advisory Group for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, London, NAGCELL.

Kennedy, H. (1997) Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education, Coventry, Further Education Funding Council.

Kirkpatrick, D. (1967) ‘Evaluation of Training’ in R. Craig and L. Bittel (eds) Training Evaluation Handbook, New York, McGraw Hill.

Lester, S. and Costley, C. (2010) ‘Work-based learning at higher education level: value, practice and critique’, Studies in Higher Education, 35(5): 561-575.

Little, B. (2006) Employability and Work-Based Learning, York: Higher Education Academy.

McGivney, V. (2001) Fixing or changing the pattern? Reflections on widening adult participation in learning, Leicester, NIACE.

Pedlar, M., Burgoyne, J., and Boydell, T., (1997) The Learning Company, New York, McGraw Hill.

Santos, A., and Stuart, M. (2003) ‘Employees’ perceptions of training effectiveness’, Human Resource Management Journal, 13, 1: 27-45.

Senge, P. (1990) The Fifth Discipline, New York, Doubleday.

Skule, S. (2004) ‘Learning conditions at work: a framework to understand and assess informal learning in the workplace’, International Journal of Training and Development, 8(1): 8-20.

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H. and Winterton, J. (2013) ‘Who stands to gain from union-led learning in Britain? Evidence from surveys of learners, union officers and employers’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 34(2): 227-246.

Sutherland, J., and Rainbird, H. (2000) ‘Unions and workplace learning: conflict or cooperation with the employer?’, in H. Rainbird (ed) Training in the Workplace. Critical Perspectives on Learning at Work, Basingstoke, Macmillan: 188-209.

• Competence, validation, accreditation and qualifications

Competence, validation, accreditation and qualifications  
Stream leader: Professor Kirby Barrick, University of Florida

Human capital theory offers a more nuanced approach to labour market analysis and people management precisely because of its explicit incorporation of measures, however imperfect, of the quality of the labour force in terms of levels of educational attainment and specific qualifications. From the perspective of the world of work, of course, qualifications are shorthand proxy measures for what employers are seeking to deploy, which is competence.

There are evident differences in stakeholder perspectives of competence, and especially the views of educational professionals and leaders of the corporate world, which raise issues of how to bridge the worlds of education and work (Mulder, 2017). It is often said of higher education that we are teaching yesterday’s knowledge to today’s students expecting them to meet tomorrow’s needs. The corporate world is often critical of the extent to which students enter the world of work without the key competencies employers expect. There are also profound country differences in how competence is understood, which are rooted in the differences in national systems of human capital formation and labour market regimes (Brockmann, Clarke and Winch, 2011; Winterton, 2009). This stream aims to explore research issues concerning different understandings and conceptual approaches to competence, such as the implications of national differences for labour mobility and stakeholder differences for ensuring education is better aligned with labour market needs.

The relationship between competence and qualifications is not unproblematic and there are vigorous debates between the advocates (Mansfield and Mitchell, 1996) and detractors (Young, 2008) of competence-based qualifications. How can employer needs, often for very specific task-related competencies, be reconciled with wider educational objectives that seek to maintain the integrity of holistic qualifications underpinning occupations? How can more flexibility be introduced to qualifications frameworks to facilitate transfer of competencies as technological developments make some occupations obsolete and create new ones that do not yet exist?

The expansion of competence-based qualifications necessitated new mechanisms for accrediting the associated underpinning competencies and validating experiential learning, offering new routes to qualifications for those with restricted access to formal education (Downes, 2014). How can these mechanisms be adapted to facilitate human capital development in developing countries?
Papers will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of an academic journal.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s).

Professor Kirby Barrick
Professor of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida

Dr Maryam Moradbeigi


Brockmann, M., Clarke, L. and Winch, C. (2011) Knowledge, skills and competences in the European labour market. What’s in a vocational qualification? London: Routledge.

Downes, P. (2014) Access to Education in Europe: A framework and agenda for system change, Heidelberg: Springer.

Mansfield, B. and Mitchell, L. (1996) Towards a Competent Workforce, London: Gower.

Mulder, M. (ed.) (2017) Competence-based Vocational and Professional Education: Bridging the World of Work and Education, Berlin: Springer.

Winterton, J. (2009) ‘Competence across Europe: highest common factor or lowest common denominator?’ Journal of European Industrial Training, 33(8/9): 681-700.

Young, M. F. D. (2008) Bringing Knowledge Back In: From social constuctivism to social realism in the sociology of education, London: Routledge.

• High performance work systems and worker well-being

High Performance Work Systems and worker well-being
Stream Leader: Dr Kenneth Cafferkey, Taylor’s University Malaysia

The debate surrounding High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) has become a mainstay of HRM research over the past three decades (Cafferkey and Dundon, 2015). Early research traditionally focused on hard financial outcomes, but contemporary research has started to consider what impact HPWS has upon employees (Huang et al., 2016). This redirection of focus attempts to remove HPWS from its unitarist ‘one team, one dream’ underpinnings whereby organisational intent and outcomes take precedence over employee concerns. It has also led to the emergence of the variant of High Involvement Work Processes (HIWP) where the emphasis is on factors such as autonomy and skill utilisation (Boxall and Winterton, 2018).  

How is the changing impact of technology on work affecting interactions among key contingencies such as capital intensity (Blauner, 1964), uncertainty (Cordery et al., 2010) and innovation (McGrath, 2001), which have all been associated with high-involvement route to high performance (Boxall and Winterton, 2018)? How do managerial choices over work design (Taplin, 2001) interact with workers’ responses to opportunities for increased proximal control over work activities (Billett, 2001) and how do institutional arrangements affect these (Bélanger et al., 2003).

This stream aims to address the impact on worker well-being by specifically addressing the processes through which this occurs, whether the outcomes are positive (such as increased engagement - Zhang et al., 2013) or negative (such as work intensification - Ramsay et al., 2000). We are particularly interested in papers that focus on chronicling the link between HPWS or HIWP and worker well-being as opposed to papers simply purporting a link (Heffernan and Dundon, 2016). In a similar vein we are very interested in papers that focus on objective measures, group well-being, and well-being as evidenced by human capital development. Papers dealing with empirical studies, particularly those with an international, comparative dimension are encouraged, but we are also interested in theoretical and conceptual contributions to this emerging field.

Papers will be considered for a Special Issue of an academic journal or an edited collection.

By all means contact the Symposium Coordinators to discuss your planned contribution(s).

Dr Kenneth Cafferkey
Associate Professor of Human Capital, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Prof Jonathan Winterton
Professor of Employment, Taylor’s University, Malaysia


Bélanger, J., Edwards, P. and Wright, M. (2003) ‘Commitment at work and independence from management: a study of advanced teamwork’, Work and Occupations, 30(2): 234-252.

Billett, S. (2001) ‘Learning through work: workplace affordances and individual engagement’, Journal of Workplace Learning, 13(5): 209-214.

Blauner, R. (1964) Alienation and Freedom: The Factory Worker and His Industry, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Boxall, P. and Winterton, J. (2018) ‘What factors predict better utilisation of skills in the British workplace? An analysis using the 5th European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2010’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 39(1): 27-47.

Cafferkey, K. and Dundon, T. (2015) ‘Explaining the black box: HPWS and organisational climate’, Personnel Review, 44(5): 666-688.

Cordery, J., Morrison, D., Wright, B. and Wall, T. (2010) ‘The impact of autonomy and task uncertainty on team performance: a longitudinal field study’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3): 240-258.

Heffernan, M. and Dundon, T. (2016) ‘Cross‐level effects of high‐performance work systems (HPWS) and employee well‐being: the mediating effect of organisational justice’, Human Resource Management Journal, 26(2): 211-231.

Huang, L. C., Ahlstrom, D., Lee, A. Y. P., Chen, S. Y. and Hsieh, M. J. (2016) ‘High performance work systems, employee well-being, and job involvement: An empirical study’, Personnel Review, 45(2): 296-314.

McGrath, R. (2001) ‘Exploring learning, innovative capacity, and managerial oversight’, Academy of Management Journal, 44(1): 118-31.

Ramsey, H., Scholarios, D. and Harley, B. (2000) ‘Employees and high-performance work systems: testing inside the black box’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 38(4): 501-531.

Taplin, I. (2001) ‘Managerial resistance to high performance workplace practices’ Research in the Sociology of Work, 10(1): 1-24.

Zhang, M., Zhu, C. J., Dowling, P. J. and Bartram, T. (2013) ‘Exploring the effects of high-performance work systems (HPWS) on the work-related well-being of Chinese hospital employees’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(16): 3196-3212.

• Entrepreneurial and intellectual human and social capital

Entrepreneurial and Intellectual Human and Social Capital
Stream Leader: Dr Jan Brinckmann, ESADE, Barcelona, Spain
Entrepreneurship and intellectual capital have become important concepts for economies around the world over the last decades, even though, due to their multidisciplinary nature, different definitions have been developed concerning these concepts (Oviatt and McDougall, 2005). Entrepreneurs play an important role, contributing to job creation and economic growth, promoting crucial competitiveness, unlocking human potential, and providing societies with wealth, jobs and more choice for consumers (European Commission, 2003). There is growing awareness of intellectual capital and its contribution to the value creation of the entrepreneurial firm (Guthrie et al., 2001).

Investments in human and social capital are widely believed to improve the performance of employees (Arthur, 1994; Boselie, Paauwe and Jansen, 2001). Similarly, many authors argue this is also the case for entrepreneurial performance (Blanchflower and Oswald, 1998; Van Praag, 2003; Van Praag and Cramer, 2001). Marshall and Oliver (2005) noted that entrepreneurs are often constrained by lack of knowledge or skill, shortage of capital, or absence of a supportive social network. In the entrepreneurial process, there are three basic categories of capital that contribute to a successful venture: human, financial, and social. Herrington et al. (2009) found that lack of education and training, an important aspect of human capital, is the most important cause of failure. Gumede and Ramussen (2002) attributed business failure to insufficient networking, implying a lack of social capital.

Brinckmann and Kim (2015) showed how entrepreneurial self-efficacy facilitates the formulation of business plans while entrepreneurial perseverance promoted business planning activities. Different forms of intellectual capital are inter-related (Swart, 2006) and separable and embodied forms of capital are interdependent in value creation and capture (Bowman and Swart, 2007). Since these are socially situated and embedded in social interaction, this implies a need to shift the focus from individual intellectual capital to collective knowledge management. Dew et al. (2015), for example discuss the role of ‘situated cognition’ in entrepreneurial co-creation and interaction.

This symposium aims to explore the importance of intellectual human and social capital towards the growth and development of enterprises in ASEAN and across the globe. We are interested in conceptual and empirical papers that elaborate historical, institutional, socioeconomic, cultural and other factors that define the current state of intellectual human and social capital, as well as the development pathways for entrepreneurs. We also welcome papers with a comparative perspective that analyse similarities and differences in the evolution of human capital and social capital.

By all means contact the Stream Leader or Coordinator to discuss your planned contribution(s):

Dr Jan Brinckmann
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, ESADE, Barcelona, Spain

Dr Jesrina Xavier


Arthur, J. B. (1994) ‘Effects of human resource systems on manufacturing performance and turnover’, Academy of Management Journal, 37(3): 670-687.

Blanchflower, D. G. and Oswald, A. J. (1998) ‘What makes an entrepreneur?’ Journal of Labor Economics,16(1): 26-60.

Boselie, P., Paauwe, J. and Jansen, P. (2001) ‘Human resource management and performance: lessons from the Netherlands’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(7): 1107-1125.

Bowman, C. and Swart, J. (2007) ‘Whose human capital? The challenge of value capture when capital is embedded’, Journal of Management Studies, 44(4): 488-505.

Brinckmann, J. and Kim, S. M. (2015) ‘Why we plan: The impact of nascent entrepreneurs’ cognitive characteristics and human capital on business planning’, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9(9): 153-166.

Dew, N., Grichnik, D., Mayer-Haug, K., Read, S. and Brinckmann, J. (2015) ‘Situated entrepreneurial cognition’, International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(2): 143-164.

European Commission (2003) Green Paper Entrepreneurship in Europe, Commission of the European Communities, Brussels 21.1.2003 COM(2003) 27 final.

Gumede V. and Rasmussen V. (2002) ‘Small manufacturing enterprises and exporting in South Africa: An assessment of key export factors’, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 9(2): 162-171.

Guthrie, J., Petty, R. and Johanson, U. (2001) ‘Sunrise in the knowledge economy: managing, measuring and reporting Intellectual Capital’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 14(4): 365-382.

Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C. and Oliver, R. (2009) A practical guide to authentic e-learning. London: Routledge.

Marshal M. L. and Oliver W. N. (2005) The Effect of Human Financial and Social on Entrepreneurial Process for Entrepreneurs in India. Masters Thesis, Unpublished.Purdue: Purdue University.

Oviatt, B. M. and McDougall, P. P. (2005) ‘Defining International Entrepreneurship and Modelling the Speed of Internationalization’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(5): 537-554.

Swart, J. (2006) ‘Intellectual capital: disentangling an enigmatic concept’, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 7(2): 136-159.
Van Praag, C. (2003) ‘Business survival and success of young business owners’, Journal of Small Business Economics, 21(1): 1-17.

Van Praag C. M. and Cramer J. S. (2001) ‘The root of entrepreneurship and labour demand: Individual ability and low risk aversion economics’, Economica, 269: 45-62.

This list of topics is neither exhaustive nor exclusive: we encourage papers from diverse disciplines and research that employs a variety of methodologies. Contributions with an international comparative dimension based on sound empirical research are particularly welcome, as are papers that advance theories and concepts or propose innovative methodological approaches.

The language of the conference and publications will be English. Selected papers presented at this conference will be considered for inclusion in edited collections or Special Issues of the following Scopus journals:

• Education + Training
• European Journal of Training and Development
Journal of Family Business Management
Journal of Management Development
• Journal of Workplace Learning

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