Photo of Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli

George W. Taylor Professor of Management

Director, Center for Human Resources

Research Interests: human resource practices, public policy related to employment, talent and performance management

Links: CV, Center for Human Resources, Talent on Demand

Contact Information

Address: 2205 SH-DH, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email: cappelli@wharton.upenn.edu
Office: (215) 898-2722

Overview

Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employment Policy from 2003-2005, and since 2007 is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ministry of Manpower for Singapore.  He has degrees in industrial relations from Cornell University and in labor economics from Oxford where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has been a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution, a German Marshall Fund Fellow, and a faculty member at MIT, the University of Illinois, and the University of California at Berkeley. He was a staff member on the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency from 1988-’90, Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, and a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Post-Secondary Improvement at Stanford University.  Professor Cappelli has served on three committees of the National Academy of Sciences and three panels of the National Goals for Education.  He was recently named by HR Magazine as one of the top 5 most influential thinkers in management and was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.  He received the 2009 PRO award from the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters for contributions to human resources.  He serves on Global Agenda Council on Employment for the World Economic Forum and a number of advisory boards.  

Professor Cappelli’s recent research examines changes in employment relations in the U.S. and their implications.  These publications include The New Deal at Work: Managing the Market-Driven Workforce, which examines the decline in lifetime employment relationships, Talent Management: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty, which outlines the strategies that employers should consider in developing and managing talent (named a “best business book” for 2008 by Booz-Allen), and The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders are Revolutionizing Management (with colleagues), which describes a mission-driven and employee-focused approach to strategy and competitiveness.  His 2010 book Managing the Older Worker (with Bill Novelli) dispels myths about older workers and describes how employers can best engage them. Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs (2012) identifies shortfalls with current hiring practices and training practices and has been excerpted in Time Magazine (online) and reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and most major business publications.  Related work on managing retention, electronic recruiting, and changing career paths appears in the Harvard Business Review.

Relevant websites

Wharton Leadership Conference

Talent on Demand

Research


  • Peter Cappelli, Joseph Keller (2014), Talent management: Conceptual approaches and practical challenges, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior , 1.  Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli, Monica Hamori (2013), Who Says Yes When the Headhunter Calls? Understanding Executive Job Search , Organization Science, forthcoming. (NBER Working Paper 19295).    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli, Joseph Keller (2013), Classifying work in the new economy, Academy of Management Review, 38 (4), 1 - 22.    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli, Joseph Keller (2013), A study of the extent and potential causes of alternative employment arrangements, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 6 (4), 874 - 901.    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli, ed., Strategic Talent Management: Contemporary Issues in an International Context (2013).
  • Joseph Keller, Peter Cappelli, "A supply chain approach to talent management". In Strategic Talent Management: Contemporary Issues in International Context, edited by Paul Sparrow, Hugh Scullion, Ibraiz Tarique, (2012).
  • Peter Cappelli, ed., Strategic Talent Management: Contemporary Issues in an International Context (2012).
  • Peter Cappelli (2011), HR Sourcing Decisions and Risk Management, Organizational Dynamics, 40, 310 - 316.
  • Peter Cappelli, Bill Novelli, Managing the Older Worker: How to Prepare for the New Organizational Order (2010).
  • Peter Cappelli, "Succession Planning". In APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, edited by S. Zedeck, (2010).
  • Jitendra Singh, Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Michael Useem, The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders are Revolutionizing Management, Harvard Business Press (2010).  Related Materials
  • Fali Huang, Peter Cappelli (2010), Applicant Screening and Performance-Related Outcomes, American Economic Review    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli (2010), The Rise and Decline of Executive Development, Industrial and Corporate Change, 19 (2), 509 - 548.
  • Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Jitendra Singh, Michael Useem (2010), "Leadership Lessons From India", Harvard Business Review, 90-97.  Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli (2009), What’s Old is New Again: Managerial ‘Talent’ in an Historical Context, Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 28.
  • Monica Hamori, Rocio Bonet, Peter Cappelli, "How Organizations Obtain the Human Capital They Need". In Oxford Handbook of Human Capital, edited by Alan Burton-Jones, J.C. Spender, (2009).
  • Peter Cappelli (2009), A Supply Chain Approach to Workforce Planning, Organizational Dynamics, 30 (1), 8 - 15.
  • Peter Cappelli (2008), Talent Management for the 21st Century, Harvard Business Review
  • Peter Cappelli, Monica Hamori (2008), Are Franchises Bad Employers?, . Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61 (2), 147 - 162.
  • Peter Cappelli, "Changes at Work and the Opportunities for Theory". In Social Theory at Work, edited by Marek Korczinski, Randall Hodson, Paul Edwards, (2007).
  • Peter Cappelli, Monica Hamori, "The External Labor Market". In The Handbook of Career Studies, edited by Hugh Gunz, Maury Pieperl, (2007).
  • Peter Cappelli (2006), Tracing the Path of Research in Organizations and Work, Work and Occupations, 20 (10), 1 - 3.
  • Peter Cappelli, Monica Hamori (2005), The New Path to the Top, Harvard Business Review, 83(1).    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli (2004), Why Do Employers Pay for College?, Journal of Econometrics, 121 (1-2).    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli (2004), Why Do Employers Retrain At-Risk Workers? The Role of Social Capital, Industrial Relations, 43 (2), 421 - 447.
  • Peter Cappelli, David Neumark (2004), External Churning and Internal Flexibility: Evidence on the Functional Flexibility and Core-Periphery Hypotheses, Industrial Relations, 43 (1), 148 - 182.
  • Peter Cappelli (2003), Will There Really Be a Labor Shortage?, Organizational Dynamics
  • Steffanie L. Wilk, Peter Cappelli (2003), Determinants and Outcomes of Employee Selection Procedures, Personnel Psychology, 56 (1), 103 - 125.
  • Peter Cappelli (2001), The National Employer Survey: Employer Data on Employment Practices, Industrial Relations, 40 (2), 635 - 647.
  • J.C. O'Shaughnessy, David K. Levine, Peter Cappelli (2001), Changes in Managerial Pay Structures 1986-1992 and Rising Returns to Skill, Oxford Economic Papers
  • Peter Cappelli (2001), Why is it So Hard to Find IT Workers?, Organizational Dynamics
  • Peter Cappelli (2001), Making the Most of Online Recruiting, Harvard Business Review
  • Peter Cappelli, "Examining the Incidence of Downsizing and Its Effects on Establishment Performance". In On the Job: Is Long-term Employment a Thing of the Past?, edited by David Neumark, (2000).
  • Peter Cappelli, "Market-Mediated Employment: The Historical Context". In The New Relationship: Human Capital in the American Corporation, edited by Margaret Blair, T.A. Kochan, (2000).
  • Peter Cappelli, The New Deal at Work: Managing the Market-Based Employment Relationship (1999).
  • Peter Cappelli, Laurie Bassi, David Knoke, Harry C. Katz, Paul Osterman, Michael Useem, Change at Work, Oxford University Press (1996).

Awards And Honors

  • Member, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Employment , 2012-2014
  • Core teaching Award WEMBA East, 2011
  • Received 2009 PRO award from International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters for contributions to human resources, 2009
  • Member of Business Roundtable “Springboard” Commission of Workforce Training & Development, 2009
  • Distinguished Visitor Board, Ministry of Manpower , 2008-2012
  • Elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, 2003
  • Named by Vault.com in 2001 as one of the 25 most important people working in the area of human capital, 2001

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Courses

Current

  • MGMT104 - Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

    The focus of Management 104 is the economic and institutional constraints on organizations in the formulation and implementation of human resources management policies and strategies in the United States and, as appropriate, internationally. The specific constraints discussed are labor markets (external and internal), labor laws (governing employment policies and employee relations), and labor unions (and the threat thereof). Particular attention is paid to the relationship of these constraints to the competitiveness of American enterprise in the global economy.

    MGMT104001  ( Syllabus

    MGMT104002  ( Syllabus

  • MGMT691 - Negotiations

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation. This course develops managerial skills by combining lectures with practice, using exercises where students negotiate with each other. Over the course of the semester, students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with LGST 806/OPIM 691.

    MGMT691701 

Previous

  • LGST806 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 691/OPIM 691.

    Format: Lecture, class discussion, simulation/role play, and video demonstrations. Materials: Textbook and course pack.

  • MGMT612 - Management of Emerging Enterprises

    The management of emerging enterprises - new, small, entrepreneurial organizations - creates a range of multi-faceted challenges for the entrepreneur, whether the founder (and founding team) or the first generation of management. Establishing an emerging organization's unique business model or value proposition (not to mention its survival) is often the overriding preoccupation, but even in a new, small organization, managers need to under- stand how to develop the internal workings of a new firm, how to assess and create a strategy, and how to take into account ever-increasing globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that successful management in the 21st century requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy. The course has three main parts. The first major part of the course will deal with fundamental issues of strategy, examining issues central to the long- and short-term competitive position of an enterprise.

  • MGMT691 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 691/OPIM 691.

  • MGMT799 - Management in Practice: A Simulation-Based Approach

    One of the challenging aspects of MBA curricula is that students are taught various techniques in each function as well as what determines success in that function but not how to manage trade-offs among those different goals and the different techniques for achieving them. This is especially true in the contextof the workforce. It is possible, for example, to organize tasks and work schedules in ways that should maximize efficiency if systems all operated correctly and individuals are rational. Yet we know that pursuing those objectives too far can lead in practice to high levels of stress and alienationamong workers that causes performance suffers. We can motivate employees power-fully with financial incentives, but we rarely know in advance how far to push those incentives before they are no longer cost-effective.

    The purpose of this class is to understand those trade-offs and to give stu- dents a practical sense as to when they matter in terms of overall firm or organizational performance. The way we propose to do this is throug computer- based simulations. The simulations give participants options then show them theconsequences of their decisions for overall firm performance. In contrast to other pedagogy, the goal of these simulations is not to show us the best systems. It is to show how the choices among practices matter. A noval feature of this course is that we use simulations from real organizations that include those that most students would otherwise never see, such as managing the operating staff in a nuclear control room or running a MacDonald's store. Each simulation focuses on a different aspect of managing, focused on the human capital issues. Assesments for the course will be based on class participation,performance in each simulation, and write-ups describing lessons learned.