Exploring the role and importance of human capital in resilient high performing organisations: evidence from business clusters
This paper investigates and explores the link between the resilience of organisations, its human capital and firm performance. We base our analysis on the resource-based view of the firm, cluster strategy, and conservation of resources theories. Our contribution is contextualised by comparing the performance of business clusters across two observational periods, namely pre-recession (2005-2007) and recession (2008-2009) period. We identify six relevant indicators from the extant literature that capture economic dynamism, human capital, and financial viability of firms in order to capture the performance across clusters and capture resilience to the global financial crisis. We contribute by identifying organisations in business clusters that perform better due to being more resilient, particularly during challenging times. Through triangulation we find overwhelming evidence of the overarching role and importance of human capital (people) in driving more successful organisations in business clusters as they possess greater resilience during challenging times such as the recent global financial crises. We show that strong clusters not only improve regional employment and turnover growth over time, but improve resilience of regional economies to downturns through resource gain and crossover processes. We further illustrate that understanding the impact of resource reservoirs, resource passageways and crossover provides a framework for further research and intervention to promote resilience in organisations.