IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sse/wpaper/200803.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Through the eyes of industrial researchers: how new “Connect & Develop” practices change the role of human resources in the lab

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Di Minin

    () (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa)

  • Andrea Piccaluga

    (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa)

  • Marco Rizzone

    (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa)

Abstract

An intense debate is going on about more “open” strategies that are supposedly diffusing in industrial R&D. We here discuss the relationship between such practices and Human Resources Management (HRM) in industrial R&D Labs. The paper in fact aims at representing an original attempt of looking at the linkage between R&D strategy and HRM in some Italian high-tech firms. In particular, we identify, select and discuss a set of variables related to the management of HR in R&D that fit with the reconceptualization of innovation proposed by Chesbrough in the “Open Innovation” (OI) paradigm and inspired by the example of P&G’s model of Connect and Develop (C&D). More precisely, our objective is that of investigating the role of HRM in the shift towards “Open Innovation” through the bottom-up lenses of industrial researchers’ characteristics, feelings and behaviours. What we here suggest is that by observing behaviour and expectations of R&D workers, we can investigate the acceptance and implementation of new R&D management practices. Our empirical base is represented by 330 questionnaires completed by R&D personnel and collected through an online survey. The results have been discussed with the HR managers of each company, in order to also gain a “top-down” perspective on the observed dynamics. The research is carried out around three main groups of issues: HR characteristics (e.g., demographic parameters, productivity, time horizons, satisfaction, expectations, mobility, education), job organization aspects (e.g., teamwork vs. individual research, flexibility, decisional centres, work time allocation, type of relationships, communication flows), and HRM tools (e.g., talent attraction, training, evaluation methods, goal definition, roles, leadership, responsibility, incentives, career systems, problem sources). According to Chesbrough, firms fitting the OI model present characteristics related to the R&D structure itself. Nonetheless, even if this model has been widely enthusiastically discussed and sometimes criticized by both practitioners and researchers, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of how such changes effect dynamics and daily operations of an R&D lab. Our empirical analysis ultimately aims at understanding to what extent the shift towards an extended definition of R&D, which includes the new concept of C&D, can be considered as one of the main potential factors of change in HR organization. Beyond the relevance of our findings for the debate among scholars, we argue that managerial implications may derive from a better knowledge of individual perceptions and behaviours of R&D personnel. In fact, the changing pattern of innovation processes implies parallel changes in the organization of R&D labs, where the role of the most important component, i. e. researchers themselves, is not always adequately considered. This paper is a first attempt to explore these relationships. Through a convenience sample we first attempted to test various strategies to best collect data, provide timely valuable feedbacks to our industrial partners and better define our framework, matching early results with existing theories. Further research will aim at making the sample representative of the Italian industrial R&D system.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Di Minin & Andrea Piccaluga & Marco Rizzone, 2008. "Through the eyes of industrial researchers: how new “Connect & Develop” practices change the role of human resources in the lab," Working Papers 200803, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:sse:wpaper:200803
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://idm.sssup.it/wp/200803.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open Innovation Human Resources Management;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sse:wpaper:200803. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gaetano Esposito) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/insssit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.