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Human resource management and innovation: what are knowledge-intensive firms doing?

By Frances Jorgensen, Karen L. Becker and Judy H. Matthews


An undeniable shift in focus from traditional production companies to Knowledge-Intensive Firms (KIFs) poses challenges for academics and practioners alike. In particular, effective management of an organization's human resources has become a critical issue for ensuring sustained innovation capacity. The relationship between Human Resource Management (HRM) in KIFs is however still a largely unexplored arena. The objective of this paper is to explore this relationship in an effort to identify HRM practices that support innovation. To this end, the paper includes reviews of the literature relevant to HRM and innovation in KIFs and four case studies from companies in Denmark and Australia that have been recognized for excellence in innovation. On the basis of content analyses conducted on the case data, some preliminary conclusions are posited regarding the role of HRM in KIFs. More specifically, the findings from this study suggest that while there are commonalities between HRM practices in traditional manufacturing companies and KIFs, there are also important differences, especially in terms of staffing practices. The paper contributes by offering recommendations for management of HRM in innovative KIFs and potential avenues for research to further develop our understanding of how HRM can support innovation in KIFs

Topics: 150307 Innovation and Technology Management, 150305 Human Resources Management, HRM, Innovation, Knowledge Intensive Firms, Case Study
Publisher: Continuous Innovation Network (CINet)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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