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Helen Shipton, Veronica Lin, Karin Sanders and Huadong Yang

The chapter examines the relationship between innovation and HRM, through the literature on recognising, leveraging and releasing the creative and innovative behaviours of employees across specialisms, and across levels of the hierarchy. It develops a four-stage conceptualisation of innovation: problem identification; idea generation; idea evaluation; and implementation. It identifies two areas that would benefit from more focused research. First, distinguishing between environments where creativity and innovation is overtly required, as opposed to job roles where creative outcomes, while valuable, are not expressly called for as part of the job. Second, examining the effect that HRM has on individual creativity (idea generation) and the more collective process of innovation implementation. It examines the process of bottom-up emergence, and the ways in which HRM can support and underpin employees’ efforts not just to generate ideas, but also to work with others to foster their implementation.

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Helen Shipton, Karin Sanders, Tim Bednall, Veronica (Cai-Hui) Lin and Naiara Escribá-Carda

Although scholars are starting to reflect on the way in which human resource management (HRM) might enable or impede innovation it is still not clear exactly what practices or combinations of practices stand out, why this might be so, and what this means for managers in practice. Employees contribute to organizational innovation via their innovative behaviors, both devising creative ideas and working collaboratively to implement those that make sense in a given context. Creativity stands at the start of an innovation, and plays its part in transforming the idea into reality. Given the challenges involved, the innovative behaviors that lie behind innovation may remain dormant and excellent opportunities be missed. In this chapter, we suggest that high-commitment HRM prompts innovation by supporting, guiding and facilitating the exchange and effective combination of knowledge. We refer to HRM implementation, arguing that what matters is not the existence of practices per se, but how they are interpreted and enacted by line managers, and perceived by employees.