Peter Drucker hit the nail on the head when he affirmed that few organizations actually believe the preached principle that people are their greatest asset.1 He goes further to say that if people believe that they are valuable assets, then they must act as valued contributors. If the firm treats its human capital like a commodity then the employees quickly realize that the management team is speaking management guru rhetoric that only matters to industry analysis and external ears. To the average person, the idea of being categorized under such terms as ‘human capital’ or ‘knowledge asset’, or merely labelled as part of the intellectual property of a firm, seems dehumanizing because it objectifies people in the same light as the company’s computers, buildings, automobiles and other capital equipment.
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- 3.C. Pass and B. Lowes, Dictionary of Economics, Leicester: Unwin Hyman, 1999, p. 19.Google Scholar