Human Capital Analytics Group
The research in Human Capital Analytics is centered around the use of data to make companies better equipped to analyze and use their HR data more efficiently. Over the last decade Human Capital Analytics has become more and more integrated into the teaching and research agenda of CBS. Hence, it is possible to study HCA related topics as part of the masters and MBA study programs at CBS. The research of the HCA group has been carried out in close collaboration with companies and has made a significant contribution to the growing awareness of the use of data in HR management. You can read some of the testimonials under "publications".
HCA no longer offers external network and teaching activities.
If you wish to find out more about the current research please see the personal website of Professor Dana Minbaeva.
Over the years we have collected various written accounts of the work within Human Capital Analytics. First, a range of testimonials from companies working with HR data. Second, a number of publications within the field. Presented with a summary and access to the full paper. And finally, various written accounts of the work of the HCA group.
"How I did it" stories - testimonials from industry.
"How I did it": PayAnalytics
Dr. Margret Bjarnadottir and Dr. David Anderson are the co-founders of PayAnalytics, a Reykjavik based software company that offers compensation analytics enabling HR managers to measure and address gender pay gaps.
|Full story (PDF)|
"How I did it": Predictive recruitment - Praice
Andreas D. Christiansen, CEO and Co-founder of Praice - a Copenhagen-based software company helping companies make data-driven hiring decisions- explains how his team proved the business case for predicting applicant performance in call-centers, by modelling the performance- and behavioural data on existing employees.
|Full story (PDF)|
"How I did it": Unleash the Business Value of Diversity
Linda van Leeuwen, an HR analytics analyst at Shell International, explains how her team used statistical analyses to identify the conditions under which Shell could unleash the business value of diversity.
"How I did it": Linking Employee Engagement to Customer Experience
Simon Svegaard, Group Business Analytics Manager at ISS Facility Services A/S, explains how his team proved the business case for employee engagement by linking it to business outcomes.
"How I did it" : Ensuring High Employee Engagement
Thomas Møller Jeppesen, HR Manager for the LEGO Group explains how LEGO works to ensure high employee engagement in the organization.
|Full Story (PDF)|
"How I did it" : Investigating the business case for staff diversity
Henrik Gjesing Antvor, Senior Specialist, Analytics / People & Culture at Vestas Wind Systems A/S describes how the company researched the business case for staff diversity and, through it, learned about important traits of any leader of successful teams.
|Full Story (PDF)|
"How I did it" : Analyzing the impact of leadership on values alignment among HQ and subsidiaries
Professor Dana Minbaeva works with a large multinational corporation to understand the impact of parent country nationals in leadership roles in subsidiaries on value alignment.
|Full Story (PDF)|
"How I did it" : Understanding the relationship between Employee Engagement and Safety
Peter Hartmann, PhD., Business Intelligence Expert at Maersk Drilling and a member of HCA’s Advisory Board describes how he used HR analytics to look at the relationship between employee engagement and safety. This article is based on excerpts from an interview by iNostix.
|Full Story (PDF)|
Performance Appraisal and Performance Management
Key Finding: The authors find that despite years of research in the topic area, there is no evidence that improving individual-level performance will eventually lead to improvements in firm-level performance and, thus, there is a need to further investigate that relationship in future research.
Summary of: DeNisi, A. S. & Murphy, K. R. (2017). Performance appraisal and performance management: 100 years of progress?. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 421-433.
The Diversity-Valuing Behaviour for Non-White and Female Leaders
Key Finding: The authors find that ethnic minority and female leaders are discouraged from engaging in diversity-valuing behaviour because they would otherwise be penalised due to traditional negative race and sex stereotypes.
Summary of: Hekman, D.R., Johnson, S K., Foo, M.D., & Yang, W. (2017). Does diversity-valuing behavior result in diminished performance ratings for non-white and female leaders?. Academy of Management Journal, 60(2), 771-797.
Multisource Feedback, Human Capital, and the Financial Performance of Organisations
Key Finding: Multisource feedback (MSF) refers to a process whereby subordinates, peers, supervisors, and/or customers provide recipients with feedback concerning their work behaviours and/or performance. Organisations that use MSF have higher levels of employee ability, knowledge sharing and workforce productivity than organisations that do not. Furthermore, the relationship between MSF and the three outcomes can be enhanced if feedback is used for both developmental and administrative purposes.
Summary of: Summary of: Kim, K.Y., Atwater, L., Patel, P.C. & Smither, J.W. (2016). Multisource feedback, human capital, and the financial performance of organisations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(11), 1569-1584.
Diversity Goals and the Pay Premium for High-Potential Women
Key Finding: The authors find that the gender gap reverses from a pay penalty for low-potential women into a pay premium for high-potential women due to diversity value perceptions.
Summary of: Leslie, L.M., Manchester, C.F., & Dahm, P.C. (2017). Why and when does the gender gap reverse? Diversity goals and the pay premium for high potential women. Academy of Management Journal, 60(2), 402-432
How Turnover Affects Organizational Performance
Key Finding: The study investigates the relationship between turnover rates and organizational performance by integrating context-related moderators that can influence the relationship. The paper can help practitioners evaluate whether they are correct in their estimations of the potential costs of turnover in their firms.
Summary of: Park, T. Y., & Shaw, J. D. (2013). Turnover rates and organizational performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 268-309.
Causes and Consequences of Collective Turnover
Key Finding: The article summarizes the vast amount of research on the drivers and outcomes of organizational turnover. It shows that multiple drivers affect organizational turnover and that high turnover is associated with various negative outcomes for the firm. This knowledge is useful for managers wishing to understand the underlying causes of turnover and its effects on firm performance.
Summary of: Heavey, A. L., Holwerda, J. A., & Hausknecht, J. P. (2013). Causes and consequences of collective turnover: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(3), 412-453.
The Dynamic Nature of Collective Turnover
Key Finding: The article examines dynamic properties of turnover rates from a context-emergent turnover (CET) perspective. It analyses the impact of turnover rates in terms of quantity and quality, replacement hires' quantity and quality, and turnover dispersion on unit performance over time. The results are useful for understanding how to manage "real-world" turnover, which is embedded in a certain context and in time.
Summary of: Call, M. L., Nyberg, A. J., Ployhart, R. E., & Weekley, J. (2015). The dynamic nature of collective turnover and unit performance: The impact of time, quality, and replacements. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1208-1232.
The Relationship between Performance Ratings and Job Performance
Key Finding: The paper explains why ratings of job performance are perceived as poor measures of actual job performance. The author suggests some solutions for mitigating the harmful effects inherent in such ratings to improve the measurement of job performance.'
Summary of: Murphy, K. (2008). Explaining the Weak Relationship Between Job Performance and Ratings of Job Performance. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(2), 148-160.
The Influence of Personality on Job Performance and Career Success
Key Finding: Personality traits directly and indirectly affect work outcomes, such as career success and job performance, through their effect on positions in networks.
Summary of: Fang, R., Landis, B., Zhang, Z., Anderson, M. H., Shaw, J. D., and Kilduff, M. (2015), “Integrating Personality and Social Networks: A Meta-Analysis of Personality, Network Position, and Work Outcomes in Organizations”, Organization Science, 26, pp. 1243-1260.
Does Job Satisfaction Increase with Time?
Key Finding: The paper distinguishes between two concepts of time—age and tenure—and shows that age and tenure affect job satisfaction in opposite directions (positively and negatively, respectively) after taking their effects on pay into account.
Summary of: Riza, S. D., Ganzach, Y., and Liu, Y. (2016), Time and Job Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study of the Differential Roles of Age and Tenure, Journal of Management, 1-22.
An Integrated Theory of Employee Engagement
Key Finding: There are different types of engagement that are affected by the psychological condition of employees, which can be regulated through job demands and resources.
Summary of: Saks, Alan M., Jamie A. Gruman. (2014) “What Do We Really Know About Employee Engagement?”, Human Resource Development Quarterly 25 (2), 2014: 155-182.
Linking Working Conditions to Burnout, Engagement, and Safety
Key Finding: Improve safety in the workplace by increasing engagement and decreasing burnout through the regulation of working conditions.
Summary of: Nahrgang, J. D., Morgeson, F. P., and Hofmann, D. A. (2011). Safety at work: A meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1), 71-94.
Linking Job Resources and Demands to Engagement and Burnout
Key Finding: Job demands have differing natures, which affect the relationships among job demands, engagement, and burnout.
Summary of: Crawford, E. R., LePine, J. A., and Rich, B. L. (2010). Linking Job Demands and Resources to Employee Engagement and Burnout: A Theoretical Extension and Meta-Analytics Test. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(5), 834-848.
Modelling Teamwork Engagement
Key Finding: Teamwork engagement is not simply the aggregate of individual work engagement, but refers to a shared state that is shaped by processes specific to team work.
Summary of: Costa, Patrícia L., Ana M. Passos, and Arnold B. Bakker. (2014) “Team Work Engagement: A Model of Emergence”. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 87 (2), 2014, 414-436.
Employee Engagement Decreases Job Burnout
Key Finding: Burnout and employee engagement, as currently measured, can be viewed as belonging to opposite ends of the same continuum.
Summary of: Cole, M. S. et al. (2012): “Job Burnout and Employee Engagement: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Construct Proliferation”. Journal of Management 38(5), Sep. 2012, 1550-1581.
Work Engagement and Its Relations with Task and Contextual Performance
Key Finding: Work engagement is a relatively stable state of mind and refers to the investment of one’s personal energies (physical, emotional, and cognitive) in the performance of job-related tasks.
Summary of: Christian, M. S., Garza, A. S. & Slaughter, J. E. (2011). ” Work Engagement: A Quantitative Review and Test of its Relations with Task and Contextual Performance”, Personnel Psychology, Vol 64(1), 2011, 89-136.
Collective Organizational Engagement: Antecedents and Connection to Firm Performance
Key Finding: Organizational-level engagement is different from individual engagement, and specific strategic managerial actions can facilitate collective organizational engagement, which increases value by enhancing firm performance.
Summary of: Barrick, M. R., Thurgood, G. R., Smith, T.A. & Courtright, S.H. (2015). ”Collective organizational engagement: Linking Motivational Antecedents, Strategic Implementation, and Firm Performance”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol 58(1), 2015, 111-135.
Building a Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation That is Useful in Practice
Key Finding: Specific, difficult to achieve goals affect performance positively.
Summary of: Latham, G. P. & Locke, E. A. (2002): ”Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation”, American Psychologist, Vol 57(9), Sep 2002, 705-717.
Employee Engagement Leads to Financial Performance
Key Finding: Improved financial performance is achieved by linking employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance at the business unit level. The results can be compared within one or more organizations.
Summary of Harter, K. J., Scmidt, L. F., & Hayes L. T. (2002): 'Business-Unit-Level Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction, Employee Engagement, and Business Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis' Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(2):268-279.
How to measure work engagement
Key Finding: Work engagement can be defined as a unique positive, fulfilling, work related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. It can be measured using a valid and reliable self-reporting questionnaire - the UWES (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale).
Summary of Schaufeli B. W. & Bakker, B. A. (2003): 'Utrecht Work Engagement Scale' Occupational Health Psychology Unit. Utrecht University
How to improve your team´s well-being and engagement with JD-R-model
Key Finding: The Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model can predict employee burnout and engagement, and consequently organizational performance.
Summary of Schaufeli B. W. & Bakker, B. A. (2004) ‘Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: a multi-sample study' Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25:293-315.
Tips for increasing job engagement to drive job performance
Key Finding: Engagement explains the link between job performance and individual and organizational factors better than job involvement and job satisfaction. Managers should therefor invest resources in activities that assess and enhance employee engagement.
Summary of: Rich, B., Lepine, J. & Crawford, E. (2010) 'Job Engagement: Antecedents and Effects on Job Performance' Academy of Management Journal, 53(3):617-635.
How to reduce conflict and turnover in diverse teams? Create an inclusive climate!
Key Finding: An inclusive work climate can reduce levels of conflict in diverse groups. A highly inclusive climate can even eliminate the negative relationship between conflict and satisfaction.
Summary of: Nishii, L. H. (2013). The Benefits of Climate for Inclusion for Gender-Diverse Groups. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), 1754-1774.
Can diversity help drive performance for your team?
Key Finding: Whether diversity improves team performance depends on the type of team you are working with.
Summary of Bell, S., Vilado, A., Lukasik, M., Belau, L. and Briggs, A. (2011). Getting Specific about Demographic Diversity Variable and Team Performance Relationships
The effect of line manager communication on the success of HR policies
Key Finding: Line managers’ communication quality plays a vital role in successfully implementing HR policies and procedures.
Summary of Den Hartog, N., C. Boon, R. M. Verburg, and M. A. Croon. "HRM, Communication, Satisfaction, and Perceived Performance: A Cross-Level Test." Journal of Management 39, no. 6 (2013): 1637-1665.
Inclusive Leaders Help to Reduce Turnover in Diverse Teams
Key Finding: Inclusive and consistent relationships between leaders and team members can help reduce turnover that is associated with diverse teams.
Summary of Nishii, L.H. & Mayer, D. (2009). Do inclusive leaders help to reduce turnover in diverse groups? The moderating role of leader-member exchange in the diversity to performance relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1412-1426.
Awareness of HR practices increases employee commitment and achievement of organizational goals
Key Finding: The more employees are aware of HR measures, the more intense their bond to the firm, and the more likely their behaviors and attitudes contribute to the achievement of organizational goals.
Summary of: Kehoe, R. and Wright, P. (2013). The Impact of High‐Performance Human Resource Practices on Employees’ Attitudes and Behaviors. Journal of Management, 39: 366‐391.
HRM systems affect individual and firm performance
Key Finding: Strong and well-designed HRM systems and practices lead employees to adopt desired attitudes which helps the organization to achieve its strategic goals.
Summary of Bowen, D. and Ostroff, C. (2004). Understanding HRM-firm performance linkages: The role of the “strength” of the HRM system. Academy of Management Review, 29: 203–221.
Managing Age Diversity
Key Finding: Companies with employees of wide ranging ages can implement diversity friendly HR policies, and work to minmize top managers' negative age stereotypes, to counteract a climate of age‐discrimination which negatively affects company performance.
Kunze et al. (2013). Organizational Performance Consequences of Age Diversity: Inspecting the Role of Diversity‐Friendly HR Policies and Top Managers’ Negative Age Stereotypes. Journal of Management Studies, 50: 413‐442.
HR practices are only as strong as the weakest link
Key Finding: HR practices that enhance employee skills, motivation and opportunity to contribute have an impact on business outcomes. The combined value-add of HR is only as strong as the weakest link, so it is more important to focus on getting all HR elements above a certain threshold, than it is to bring one HR element from 90% to 95%.
Jiang, K., Lepak, D., Hu, J., and Baer, J. (2012). How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? Academy of Management Journal, 55(6): 1264-1294.
For highest performing teams, reduce gender and age diversity and increase educational background and work-experience diversity
Key Finding: Educational background and work‐experience diversity has a positive effect is much stronger than the negative effect of age and gender diversity.
Seong et al. (2012). Person‐Group Fit: Diversity Antecedents, Proximal Outcomes, and Performance at the Group Level. Journal of Management, published online 25 July 2012.
Human Capital Analytics: Why Aren't We There?
There has been enormous interest in HCA among businesses, consultants, and academics. Analytics has been called a game changer for the future of HR. Nevertheless, organizations have struggled to move from operational reporting to true analytics.
By: Professor Dana Minbaeva. Introduction to the Special Issue of Journal of Organizational Effectiveness, People and Performance on Human Capital Analytics.
|Human Capital Analytics: Why Aren't We There?|
Competencies for the future: CBS Master Student Survey
In relation to "VL Døgnet 2017" HCA Group has surveyed the CBS master students about their competences and readiness for the future.
|Competencies for the future (PDF)|
Building Credible Human Capital Analytics for Organizational Competitive Advantage
Despite the enormous interest in human capital analytics (HCA), organizations have struggled to move from operational reporting to HCA. This is mainly the result of the inability of analytics teams to establish credible internal HCA and demonstrate its value.
By: Professor Dana Minbaeva. Forthcoming in Human Resource Management (Special Issue on “Workforce Analytics”)
|Building Credible HCA (PDF)|
Too Much Focus on Point Estimates: A Severe Trap in HC Analytics
Many managers use data from a sample and not from the entire population, but that they make the mistake of treating their sample as if it was the population. Overlooking this point can lead to wrong decisions and potential costly mistakes.
This piece discusses how you can use range estimates (or confidence intervals) to analyze your data and make better predictions.
|Point vs. Range Estimates (PDF)|
Can You Aggregate Individual-Level Data?
Data is often aggregated without much explication of the aggregation method, which can result in several problems and make the interpretation of results difficult. Furthermore, data aggregation often happens for pragmatic reasons, as it can be difficult to collect data at the exact level desired. However, it is possible to examine data to better understand whether aggregation is appropriate in a specific case.
This piece is based on the article Van Mierlo, H., Vermunt, J., & Rutte, C. (2009). Composing Group-level Constructs From Individual-level Survey Data. Organizational Research Methods, 12(2), 368-392.
|Aggregating data (PDF)|
Skills Gap in Denmark
Human Capital Analytics Group has conducted a study on the skills gap in Denmark. We surveyed HR managers from the largest companies in Denmark and conducted interviews with company representatives to learn which positions are hard-to-fill, which skills are sought-after, and how companies cope with the gap.
|Full Report (PDF)||Full report (epub)|
Employee Engagement Surveys: The Use and Usefulness
Human Capital Analytics Group has conducted a study on the use of employee engagement surveys in Danish companies. We interviewed representatives from the large Danish companies and major survey providers, and conducted a quantitative research on the use of employee engagement surveys in Denmark
|Full Report (PDF)||Full Report (epub)|
Five costly mistakes companies make when working with human capital data
HCA Groups’ Dana Minbaeva and Larissa Rabbiosi elaborate on the biggest mistakes companies should avoid when dealing with their data.
|Five mistakes (PDF)|
Hvorfor gætte, når du kan vide? Human Capital Analytics
Article featured at Dansk HR's online newsletter (in Danish)
Samfundsrelevant Forskning På CBS - Socially Relevant Research at CBS
Stop Guessing - Start Knowing!
Although we all like the idea of using data to document the value added by HR, we face numerous challenges when we start to act. This article discusses the most sigficiant and often encountered challenges and suggests possible steps that might bring us closer to a key goal: “Stop guessing – start knowing!”
Sådan bruger du dine medarbejder-data
Ledelseidag.dk nr. 9, oktober 2015
Article in Lederne on how to use your workforce data strategically (in Danish).
|Full Article (PDF)|