Human resource management for learning through knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration: Pharmaceuticals in Mexico
This paper investigates the influence of human resource management practices on the likelihood that a firm performs in-house R&D. R&D is broadly interpreted as learning—a mechanism promoting absorptive capacity and supporting technology capability-building. Firms can choose between two learning strategies: they can exploit existing knowledge, or perform more complex explorations and acquire new knowledge. Different knowledge requirements associate with distinct R&D outcomes with varying degrees of novelty for the firm. Findings are supported with evidence from the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico. The analysis reveals positive linkages between human resource management practices and learning at firm level. The relationship is contingent on factors such as expected R&D outcomes, or the novelty of the knowledge required by the firm. The provision of training revealed the more consistent, positive influence on the likelihood that pharmaceuticals firms perform R&D in Mexico.
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