CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION MANAGEMENT
Innovation and HRM: Towards an Integrated Framework
Jan de Leede and Jan Kees Looise
This paper explores the connection between innovation (management) and human resource management. Much has been written about the both concepts separately, but there is no integrated conceptual framework available for the combination of the two. Our goal here is to develop such a framework. We do this in a number of steps, starting with a presentation of the existing approaches and models with respect to innovation (management) and HRM. This is followed by a search for the linkage between the two traditions, as a starting point for an integrated model and an in-depth case study regarding the link between innovation and HRM, in order to further develop our model. We conclude with the presentation of our model and with suggestions for further research.
t ﬁrst sight, innovation and human resource management (HRM) seem to be closely connected. In most literature on innovation and its management, there is considerable attention given to HRM issues, such as the development of a skilful and creative workforce, building high performance engineering teams, the management of creative professionals, the role of diversity in innovation, leadership roles in innovation processes, dual ladders in R&D and rewards for technical employees (see Angle, 2000; Bolwijn & Kumpe, 1996; den Hertog et al., 1991; Katz, 1997; Tidd, Bessant & Pavitt, 1997). Until recently, less attention was given to innovation in HRM literature, but the interest now seems to be growing fast. Except for the early recognition within ‘strategic’ HRM of the need for an HR policy related to innovation as a company strategy (see Miles & Snow, 1984; Schuler & Jackson, 1987), there was not that much interest in translating this policy into speciﬁc HR practices or in the ‘innovation-related’ outcomes of these policies. Only very recently has the interest in the HRM literature on innovationrelated practices and outcomes been seen to be growing (Boxall & Purcell, 2003; Looise & van Riemsdijk, 2004). Although much has been written about innovation and HRM separately, and about the role of HRM in innovation and the impor-
tance of innovation for HRM respectively, so far there is integrated framework bringing the two subjects together. Thus, the most important thing we are trying to do here is to develop such an integrated framework. We will do this by starting with a presentation of the existing approaches and models with respect to innovation (management) and HRM in the second and third sections. The fourth section searches for the linkage between the two traditions, as a starting point for an integrated model. In the ﬁfth, we present an indepth case study regarding the link between innovation and HRM, in order to further develop our model. We conclude with the presentation of our model, and with suggestions for further research. In several parts of this article, we draw on an earlier overview of the literature on the role of HRM policies and practices in innovation (de Leede, Looise & de Weerd-Nederhof, 1999).
Approaches to innovation
Innovations can be deﬁned in various ways. Schumpeter (1934) had already deﬁned innovations as being at the heart of the entrepreneurial role: the creation of a linkage between new ideas and markets. In our contribution, we deﬁne an innovation as ‘a deliberate and radical change in existing products, processes or the organization in order to achieve a competitive advantage over competitors’ (see also © Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2005. 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ and 350 Main St, Malden, MA 02148, USA.
INNOV ATION AND HRM
de Leede, 1997). Crucial aspects of innovation are seen as: • the introduction of something new, at least for the existing organization, in terms of new products or services, new technology or new forms of...