Research News

Planning for & investing in every businesses’ most vital asset: Employees

A new investment strategy helps a businesses’ stock to skyrocket. A breakthrough product becomes a “must have.” An innovative manufacturing technique saves a company time and money. What do these success stories all have in common? They were most likely created or implemented with the help of a team of talented and skilled employees.

Today businesses are entering a completely new recruiting landscape in which two employees are retiring for every one individual entering the job market. Companies are being forced to create aggressive strategies on how to find and keep people with the exact experience and talents to fit their business needs. That’s where the essential skills of human capital management come in.

“Human capital is the engine behind strategy execution and ultimate success—that’s why acquiring and deploying the right talent is a company’s key investment,” said Vanderbilt professor and adviser for Owen’s Leadership Development Program Neta Moye.

Working as a human capital professional may be one of the most innovative and important new jobs in the business world today. Because of this, students from the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management who focus in human and organizational performance issues are hosting the nation’s first-ever competition focusing solely on human capital challenges.

The National MBA Human Capital Case Competition will be held in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 19-20. The teams will be judged by a panel of industry executives, including leaders from General Electric and Deloitte, who are sponsoring the competition. The teams will have the chance to win more than $20,000 in cash prizes.

“Inevitably, some of the biggest obstacles any size company will face have to do with their employees,” said competition adviser and 2007 Owen graduate Susan Strayer. “It’s imperative that business school students make employee-related issues as important as other avenues of business. That’s why Owen is taking the lead to elevate the study of human capital to be on the same level with marketing, finance and operations.”

For more information on the National MBA Human Capital Case Competition, log onto

The Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more news about Owen, visit

Media contact: Amy Wolf, (615) 322-NEWS