Impacts of Long-term Learning Interventions on Organizational Human Capital and Performance in the Korean Business Context

Open Access
Kim, Taesung
Graduate Program:
Workforce Education and Development
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 18, 2014
Committee Members:
  • William J Rothwell, Committee Chair
  • David Lynn Passmore, Committee Member
  • Judith Ann Kolb, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • learning intervention
  • employee development
  • career development
  • human capital
  • organizational performance
The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of long-term learning interventions on organizational human capital and performance in the Korean business context. The long-term interventions were operationalized as employee and career development interventions based on the classification of workplace learning and performance (WLP); organizational human capital was defined as a subset of organizational intellectual capital focusing on employee potential to create organizational knowledge; and organizational performance involved a look at process and customer competencies based on the measures of balanced scorecard (BSC). A conceptual research framework derived from a review of relevant literature resulted in four research questions, which were examined through a statistical analysis of survey data from 473 sample corporations included in the Human Capital Corporate Panel (HCCP) 2009 data set (a data set collected and shared for research purposes in Korea). The research variables included two independent variables—employee development interventions (consisting of education funding programs, learning community program, and learning mileage program) and career development interventions (consisting of succession planning, career development planning, mentoring and coaching, and job rotation program); one mediating variable—organization-level human capital (consisting of employees’ job capability, productivity, motivation, and retention); and two dependent variables—process competency (consisting of new product and service development, work process effectiveness, and product and service competitive advantage through cost reduction) and customer competency (consisting of prompt response to customer needs, product and service variety, new customer acquisition, loyal customer retention, and brand image). Statistical strategies included measurement testing through the factor analysis and reliability test, examination of the research questions with regard to predicting and mediating relationships between variables through the multiple regression analysis, and supplemental testing of the Sobel test and effect size comparison. Results indicated that, controlling for the mediating variable, no statistically significant relationship was established between the two independent and two dependent variables, at the significance level of .05 (β = .04, t = .88, p > .05; β = .08, t = 1.55, p > .05; β = .05, t = .95, p > .05; β = .05, t = .91, p > .05). That is, the positive impacts of employee and career development interventions on organizational process and customer competencies were fully mediated by improved human capital. In conclusion, the current research suggested that human resource (HR) practitioners translate the effects of important interventions into managerial values, especially in the form of return on investment or business impacts; communicate learning interventions as organization-level job resources that help make employees engaged in their work and perform better; and collaborate in managing and developing human resources, especially talent, in organizations. Also, this research recommended that HR scholars conduct subsequent longitudinal or cross-sectional studies to make the scientific findings even more robust; concrete ROI studies that look at the relationship examined in this research from the perspective of economic outcomes; comparative studies of the effect sizes of multiple interventions and other organizational arrangements; and in-depth explorations into the two concepts of human resources and human capital in the workplace context.