A key component in the success of most companies today is their ability to innovate and sustain innovativeness. By innovativeness, we refer to the capacity of a firm to create and implement new or improved products (goods and/or services). It is one of the most important factors that impacts business performance. Human resources are crucial in the creation of innovation proficiency, and human resource management (HRM) is therefore an important factor in sustaining innovativeness.
European countries are among the most innovative in the world, but there are big differences between them in terms of their innovativeness. Although European firms perform relatively well in this respect, it is crucial to sustain innovativeness in today’s global economy with increasing competition from emerging markets. This requires European countries and firms to use human resources proficiently, and calls for a better understanding of the relationship between HRM and innovation.
Research into the interface between HRM and firm innovativeness has not received extensive attention, and much of it focuses on the United States as a context. Some studies claim that the HRM function, if implemented correctly, has the potential to support organisational innovativeness and to facilitate product innovation. This indicates that HRM, if used proficiently, has the potential to influence the innovativeness of firms (both directly and indirectly). Extant research has largely failed to scrutinise the relationship between HRM and innovation, and to elaborate on how, more specifically, HRM should be organised within the firm and managed to support innovativeness.
As the institutional context in European countries differs between each country, from the United States and from many of the emerging markets, it may be expected that this contextual factor plays a role in the relationship between HRM and innovation in the European context.
There is therefore a need to better understand how practices in the HR function relate to innovativeness in the European context. This special issue aims to address this need. The ambition is to support research and practice in two ways. Firstly, it will support senior management and researchers with an understanding of how to use HRM to achieve and sustain innovativeness. Secondly, it will support HRM professionals and researchers with an understanding of how HR competences and processes should be developed to support innovation.
The issue will publish papers on the interface between HRM and innovation. Papers should use a clear theoretical basis which creates a framework that will help to explain if and how HRM can support innovation.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- The institutional context and the relationship between HRM and innovation
- HRM strategy and innovation in European firms
- Staffing organisations to increase the ability to achieve both incremental and radical innovation simultaneously
- Aligning recruitment systems with the innovation strengths and weaknesses of organisations
- Training and developing employees to increase the ability to achieve both incremental and radical innovation simultaneously
- Early training of new employees (induction activities), conforming or challenging, and its effect on innovativeness
- Different performance measurements, incentives and feedback systems in European firms for radical and incremental innovation
- Recognition and monetary rewards in European firms and their impact on the abilities of firms to explore future possibilities and to exploit previous investments
- The relationship between talent management and innovativeness and the challenges for Europe
- HRM issues relevant to the formulation and implementation of an innovation strategy
Extended abstract (2-3 pages) submission deadline: 1 October, 2012
Paper submission deadline: 1 February, 2013