HRM work and open innovation: evidence from a case study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThe International Journal of Human Resource Management. Online First 22 Mar 2022 10.1080/09585192.2022.2054285
This paper proposes a framework for firm use of HRM when engaging in open innovation. Whereas open innovation has gained wide recognition in the innovation management field, as firms open their boundaries to knowledge inflow and outflow to advance innovation, very few empirical papers link the HRM literature to this phenomenon. We base our analysis on an exploratory qualitative study of the pharmaceutical corporation AstraZeneca and its implementation of an open innovation initiative called BioVentureHub. We identify three main areas of HRM work: inbound, outbound, and coupled HRM work. Furthermore, we illustrate how these HRM activities relate to the development of the open innovation initiative and to current HRM and open innovation literature. The framework identifies HRM activities that target not only internal employees, but also external human resources engaged in the open innovation initiative. This HRM work is mainly conducted through informal means, separate from the host corporation’s business as usual. Our empirical study contributes to the limited and mainly conceptual research connecting open innovation with HRM, increasing our knowledge of how corporations use HRM work to manage open innovation initiatives in practice.