New HRM Practices and Exploitative Innovation: A Shopfloor Level Analysis

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Extant research documents a positive relationship between the adoption of new human resource management (HRM) practices at the managerial and shopfloor level, and innovation performance, respectively. However, studies focusing on the managerial level distinguish between different types of innovation, while studies at the shopfloor level regard innovation as a homogenous activity. No previous studies have explicitly accounted for innovation heterogeneity in relation to the adoption of new HRM practices at the shopfloor level. Thus, it is still an open question whether and to what extent the findings at the managerial level apply to the shopfloor level. We address this question by focusing on the introduction of exploitative technological innovation and the adoption of new HRM practices at the firm's lowest hierarchical level. We suggest a positive relation between the two via the firm's productive capabilities as employees' ability and learning incrementally improve the firm's existing products and processes. Our argument is successfully tested on a sample of 166 Italian firms.
TidsskriftIndustry and Innovation
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)611-630
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • New HRM practices
  • Exploitative innovation
  • Productive capabilities
  • Shopfloor work