In a declining economy with declining sales, how has Cabela’s managed to maintain its competitive advantage? Cabela’s has maintained its competitive advantage through its use of Human Capital (HC) and the use of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). Some factors that have led to Cabela’s competitive advantage are its customer service policies, the quality of the equipment they sell, and the ease with which a customer can order items (via in-store, mail order, and online).
As defined in one textbook (Mathis & Jackson, 2010, p. 604), HC is defined as “The collective value of the capabilities, knowledge, skills, life experiences, and motivation of an organizational workforce.” Additionally, OCB must also be mentioned here as it interconnects HC with Staffing and Talent Management (TM), three vital functions within Human Resource Leadership (HRL). Although OCB is a function of Organizational Behavior, this paper will demonstrate its relationship to these three factors of HRM in the hopes that a clearer understanding of the HC, Staffing, and TM functions can be made.
The definition of OB can be found in the textbook for Organizational Behavior (Hitt, Miller & Colella, 2011), but OCB can essentially be summed up as how far an employee or ‘associate’ is willing to go, using their organization’s guidance on good employee behavior and expectations in order to perform their duties and jobs. This also includes how much help that associate is willing to give others, seek out others when needed, and willingness to take steps to help improve the performance of their jobs and the efficiency of the company. This may or may not include customer service and as the text also states, “expending extra effort to bring positive publicity to the organization” (Hitt, Miller & Colella, 2011).
Before proceeding, the definitions for these three areas must also be given. Human capital, according to the textbook is defined as “the collective value of the capabilities, knowledge, skills, life experiences, and motivation of an organizational workforce” (Mathis & Jackson, p. 5). Staffing is described in the HRL textbook as “providing a sufficient supply of qualified individuals to fill jobs in an organization” (Mathis & Jackson, 2010, p. 6). Lastly, talent management “focuses on key positions, key job families, skills that will be needed, competency models, talent pools, and assessments for employees” (Mathis & Jackson, p. 284).
What this means is that talent management seeks to have an available pool of candidates (a ‘pipeline’ of replacement string personnel) available in the event an employee leaves the organization. This doesn’t apply to just top level management, but Cabela’s has also extended this function to all levels of employees within the organization. This ‘succession planning’ in turn also overlaps with and supports the staffing and talent management functions.
Cabela’s began from humble beginnings: the brain child of Dick Cabela,...