Photo of Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli

George W. Taylor Professor

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


  • Michael Useem, Harbir Singh, Peter Cappelli, Jitendra Singh (2015), "Indian Business Leadership: Broad Mission and Creative Value", The Leadership Quarterly
  • Peter Cappelli, JR 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, JR Keller (2013), Classifying work in the new economy, Academy of Management Review, 38 (4), 1 - 22.    Abstract
  • Peter Cappelli, JR 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).
  • JR 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

  • MGMT612 - Management of Emerging Enterprises

    Emerging enterprises, the focus in this course, are small, new, fast-growing organizations. Their founders and managers face multifaceted challenges: how to assess the competitive position of their business model and develop a strategy; how to develop the internal organizational structure, culture, and policies for selecting and managing employees; and how to pursue global opportunities. We cover these challenges in separate modules on strategy, human and social capital, and global issues. The human and social capital module covers classic management challenges of aligning interests of the individual and the organization; managing individual psychological needs and social influences; and developing employee capabilities that provide competitive advantage. Also covered are unique challenges that yound organizations face, i.e. building an effective culture; recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent; building systematic approaches to motivating employees; coping with the stresses of rapid growth; and leveraging the benefits (and avoiding the liabilities) of the founder's powerful imprint.

    The strategy module covers fundamental issues central to the competitiveness of the enterprise. Because the strategy field is broad, MGMT 612 emphasizes topics and frameworks that are most relevant for younger firms, such as innovation, disruption, managing resource constraints, and building capabilities. However, a key insight of the module is the importance of seeing the playing field from the perspective of the competition. Thus, by the end of this section, students will have a robust grounding in strategy that will allow them to succeed, whether their career path leads to a Fortune 100 firm or a garage start up.

    The global module covers the emerging firm's decision about when (and whether) to internationalize. This decision must address which foreign markets to enter; the mode of entry; the sequence of moves to develop capabilities; what organizational form to choose; where to establish HQ; and how to adapt to the unique economic and institutional features of different markets. In all these issues, the emphasis is on how young, resource-constrained firms can position themselves profitably in globally competitive markets. For the final project, student teams provide integrated analysis across the modules for an emerging enterprise of their choice.

    MGMT612001  ( Syllabus

    MGMT612002  ( Syllabus

    MGMT612003  ( Syllabus

  • MGMT691 - Negotiations

    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.

    LGST806414 

    MGMT691414 

    MGMT691751 

Previous

  • MGMT612 - Management of Emerging Enterprises

    Emerging enterprises, the focus in this course, are small, new, fast-growing organizations. Their founders and managers face multifaceted challenges: how to assess the competitive position of their business model and develop a strategy; how to develop the internal organizational structure, culture, and policies for selecting and managing employees; and how to pursue global opportunities. We cover these challenges in separate modules on strategy, human and social capital, and global issues. The human and social capital module covers classic management challenges of aligning interests of the individual and the organization; managing individual psychological needs and social influences; and developing employee capabilities that provide competitive advantage. Also covered are unique challenges that yound organizations face, i.e. building an effective culture; recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent; building systematic approaches to motivating employees; coping with the stresses of rapid growth; and leveraging the benefits (and avoiding the liabilities) of the founder's powerful imprint.

  • 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.

  • MGMT816 - Building Human Assets in Entrepreneurial Ventures

    The success of entrepreneurial endeavors depends, even more so than in larger more bureaucratic organizations, on the ability to locate and manage talent effectively. Specifically, on the need to find the right people and keep them engaged in working on the organization's goals. We focus in this course on leading, building, and maintaining human assets in start-up and small, growing operations. The course is designed with several key components, these are: conceptual and practical readings relevant to the topic; case studies illustratng key concepts and issues; lecture on practical application and examples; and lastly every class will also feature a presentation by and conversation with an outside expert whose work is relevant to guiding or advising start-ups and fast-growing small firms. We will focus on the following objectives: identifying the talent needed to initiate and sustain an entrepreneurial endeavor; structuring human resource policies and corporate culture to prepare for and facilitate firm growth; assessing the human aspects of valuing entrepreneurial companies; and responding to conflict and organizational threats within nascent firms.

    This course will apply recent research from strategic human resource management, personnel economics and organizational behavior to the practical issues of building and managing human assets in new ventures.

    Format: Case discussion, guest speakers and lectures, active class participation, final project

  • MGMT920 - Sem in Hum Res Research

    This class is designed to give students an overview of the fundamental topics and arguments in the area of employment, how different social science paradigms consider employment topics, and some the new and emerging approaches to this topic.