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The Importance of Sectoral Differences in the Application of Complementary HRM Practices for Innovation Performance

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  • Keld Laursen

Abstract

Recent theoretical and empirical analysis in the field of economic organization has focused almost exclusively on identifying organizational practices and complementarities between such practices, without regard for the type of activity in question. However, organizational theory suggests that more knowledge-intensive production activities often involve higher degrees of strategic uncertainty for firms and performance ambiguity in relation to individual employees. Therefore, the 'organic' or 'clan' form of organization - involving the application of 'new' HRM practices - is expected to perform better within knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, as compared to other sectors. A sample of 726 Danish firms with more than 50 employees in manufacturing and private services is studied. The results show that HRM practices are more effective in influencing innovation performance when applied together, as compared with situations in which individual practices are applied alone. In other words, organizational complementarities obtain. Moreover, the application of complementary HRM practices is more effective for firms in knowledge-intensive industries ('high' and 'medium' knowledge-intensive industries).

Suggested Citation

  • Keld Laursen, 2002. "The Importance of Sectoral Differences in the Application of Complementary HRM Practices for Innovation Performance," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 139-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:9:y:2002:i:1:p:139-156
    DOI: 10.1080/13571510110103029
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Resource Management Practices; Organisational Complementarities; Innovation Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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