9 , 2018-03 , Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) Osaka University
During the last decade, the need and importance of soft skills are significantly increasing because of three main reasons. Firstly, the firm’s performance is highly associated to the firm’ interaction with its external environment that involves customers and local stakeholders. Secondly, the workplace productivity is highly depending on the quality of relationship and communication among the employees. Thirdly, today’s environment is considered as a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) situation and represents serious challenge. Thus, firms should create people oriented skills such as problem solving and communication. In addition, decisions makers should develop an accurate response when they meet the unexpected. They could be the employees from upper to midlevel position employees. Drawing on these critical conclusions, this study aims at providing empirical evidence on the positive impact of employees’ soft skills on firm’s capabilities in terms of innovation performance, firm’s knowledge, explorative and exploitative behavior and strategic flexibility. The survey was conducted with 67 firms based in Tunisia, which is one of the leading emerging countries in the MENA region that has recently faced social and economic changes. Our results concur with the employer survey and explain the reason why employers are increasingly looking for these skills in their employees.