Employability And Talent Development In The Knowledge Economy: What’s Going On?

By Ana Martins, Isabel Martins and Liu Xiao.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 24, 2014 $US5.00

This paper aims to demonstrate that there is a link between soft skills and organisational performance in the knowledge economy. The objective resides in expandng and developing human capital base in organisations. The paper substantiates the debate inherent in dichotomy of soft and hard skills. Organisations require to develop their ‘knowledge base’ in order to achieve competitive advantage. Over the last two decades, the question of Knowledge Management has been the subject of consideration because knowledge is the capital which instills value for organisational sustainability and also employability of individual employees. The key for developing soft skills lies in cultivating tacit knowledge to boost organisational sustainability, as well as to demonstrate the impact of the three intelligences, namely, practical, emotional and intuitive, on the adaptability and flexibility of contemporary organisations. The fundamental element of practical intelligence sustains the organisation’s competitive advantage through innovation and creativity. The current research findings obtained from an analysis of a case study pertaining to an Multinational Corporation in Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province, China, highlight the role of soft skills in increasing work performance as compared to technical skills in improving employees’ performance. The current research further revealed that employees in the Research and Development department generally consider soft skills more helpful than expertise competencies (hard skills). This paper is of value to practitioners, scholars, and academics in the field of Human Capital Development.

Keywords: Skills, Performance, Sustainability

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.23-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 24, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 515.422KB)).

Ana Martins

Lecturer, Business, Economics and Management Department, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China

Isabel Martins

Assistant Professor, Department of Business Management, Australian College of Kuwait, Kuwait

Isabel Martins is a freelance Consultant in Human Capital Development.

Liu Xiao

Postgraduate Student, Department of Cultural, Media, and Creative Industries,, King's College London, London, UK