Thesis Defence - Mengyuan Huan

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Can Human Capital be Tracked? An Analysis of Human Resource Disclosures

Mengyuan Huan
MSc Candidate in Management
Telfer School of Management


This thesis presents a new methodology for measuring and reporting the value of human capital (HC). Building on prior research in strategic HC management and related fields, a disclosure-based HC index, which contains both HC proxies and disclosures scores, is built based on information collected from the annual reports and other stakeholder reports of “the best companies to work for” survey (“Universum” 2010).

This thesis examines the importance of the degree of HC disclosure and its correlation with company “Universum” ranks and tests whether higher employee benefits and welfare are positively related to HC information disclosed in the issued reports. Furthermore, it investigates whether higher levels of financial and non-financial HC information disclosure are associated with better firm performance and tests whether the positive relationship between human capital proxies and firm performance (concluded by resource-based theory and strategic HRM) is still valid during the crisis years (2008-2010). Regression results indicate that human capital information disclosed in previous years has a weak effect on company’s Universum rank and no influence on firm performance. Moreover, the commonly used employee incentive-based management methods may no longer be effective during the economic crisis years. Investing in training during the financial crisis period is critical for better firm performance. More research is needed in the future to examine the role of human capital in firm performance and how it should be measured, managed and governed in modern corporations.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Telfer School of Management
Desmarais Building
DMS 4140
55 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
View on Google Maps

Important notice regarding photography