مدیریت منابع انسانی برای یادگیری از طریق دانش اکتشاف و دانش بهره برداری: داروسازی در مکزیک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20413||2012||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11890 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2012, Pages 530–546
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.
Literature on the linkages between human resource management and innovation performance at firm level is growing. Empirical work stems mostly from surveys of firms in developed countries. Scholars have addressed the extent to which sets of new and dynamic work practices influence innovation (Barton and Delbridge, 2001); the effects of distinct forms of labor flexibility on innovation performance (Michie and Sheehan, 1999 and Michie and Sheehan, 2003), and the complementary relationships between human resource management practices underpinning innovation (Laursen and Foss, 2003). Research on the organization and learning of agents involved in new product development is likewise significant (Lund, 2004a and Lund, 2004b). Available literature documents positive relationships between human resource management and innovation performance at firm level. The influence of such practices varies according to the technological dynamics of different industries (Laursen, 2002 and Laursen and Foss, 2003), establishment sizes and occupations (Lorenz and Valeyre, 2006), or the way national environments determine learning at individual and organizational levels (Arundel et al., 2007). Still missing, however, is a better understanding of mechanisms to explain such relationships (Laursen and Foss, 2003 and Chung-Jen and Jing-Wen, 2009), and a consistent theory on what Delery (1998) termed the “transmission mechanism” from human resource management to innovation performance. Explaining how and why human resource management underpins innovation introduces innovation scholars into the more ample debate about how and why such practices influence firms’ performance more generally. According to Boseli et al. (2005) and Combs et al. (2006) huge challenges stem from the diversity in the number and possible definitions of indicators on human resource management practices, together with the distinct multidisciplinary approaches to research. Arguably research in the field needs to be fine-tuned, specifically in the way the issues at stake are addressed. Lorenz and Wilkinson (2003) assert that researchers frequently assume linear relationships—from adoption of specific sets of management practices to innovation; leaving little room for more heterogeneous organizational strategies within single industries. It is also customary to look at innovation outcomes—products/processes; and their degrees of novelty—radical/incremental. Somewhat understimated is the study of the latent processes associated with the organization of people involved in innovation. Methodologicaly consideration of the intermediate latent processes linking human resource management to a firm's performance is familiar for management scholars. Sternberg et al. (1997), Amabile (1997) and Mumford (2000), for instance, document how human resource management practices affect creativity and creative thinking. Relatedly Cohen and Levinthal, 1989 and Cohen and Levinthal, 1990, Wright et al. (2001) and Chung-Jen and Jing-Wen (2009) assert that human resource management helps to capture and mobilize knowledge residing within and outside organizations. From the above, this paper enquiries about the intermediary factors that link human resource management to innovation. In particular it looks at learning processes supporting absorptive capacity, and the development of innovation capabilities by individuals and, ultimately, organizations. Learning arises from systematic performance of R&D by the firm. In such a way the paper grants research on human resource management practices and innovation greater relevance from a development perspective. White (2002) stressed the pertinence to understand how such practices contribute to research and other technological capabilities, particularly in developing countries. In his view, accumulated capacities can erode because of inadequate or poor management of people. To the best of our knowledge, this paper stems from one of the first systematic studies on the influence of human resource management over learning through R&D in developing countries. Based on literature on knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration, the hypothesis is that the contribution of human resouces management to learning depends on factors such as the novelty of the knowledge required, and the expected outcomes from in-house R&D. Empirical evidence refers to pharmaceutical firms in Mexico. In addition to being one of the most advanced developing economies, the country is the world's ninth pharmaceutical market and the second in Latin America. As such, it has strong, although poorly realized potential to contribute to pharmaceutical innovation. Lack of sufficiently experienced and well trained workforce remains major bottleneck (Guzmán, 2005). Focus on the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico also helps to illustrate the importance of carefully considering the contexts in which human resource management practices work. Macroeconomic conditions, the social environment around R&D, or even how countries contribute to innovation in specific industries dictate not only what is possible and feasible, but what can be expected from human resource management. Better understanding of the organizational practices around pharmaceutical R&D can inform strategies to support the development of human resources for the industry in Mexico and similar countries. The paper proceeds as follows: Section 2 brings together literature on human resource management and learning; the case of pharmaceuticals R&D in developing countries illustrates the discussion. Section 3 characterizes the specific management practices included for the analysis: training, remuneration, and worker's participation in decision making; these practices are expected to enhance individuals’ and thereby, organizational learning. Section 4 presents the data, defines variables and the corresponding research strategy. Empirical results are provided in Section 5. Finally, Section 6 contains the discussion and conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper investigated the influence of human resource management practices on the likelihood that a firm performs in-house R&D. Based on the relevant literature, the focus was on the provision of training, remunerations and worker's participation in decision-making. The analysis was carried out in the context of a developing country such as Mexico, and was based on the notions of knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration, respectively. Results show that human resource management influences innovation by stimulating, first, learning and capacity-building through in-house R&D. The number of relevant human resource management practices and their corresponding influence is contingent on the novelty of the knowledge required by the firm. The latter in turn, is linked to expected R&D outcomes. The more novel the expected R&D outcome, the more notorious influence of human resource managament practices tends to be. Differences in the nature of R&D induces distinctive demands on the human resources shaping an organization. In line with the literature on human resource management and new product development, R&D for new drug designs was found to be positively associated with practices such as training and remunerations (Lund, 2004a). Nevertheless evidence was also obtained on the positive impact of management practices on R&D for new process innovation, technical change more broadly defined. Training, remuneration for performance and incorporation of workers into decision-making supported R&D for the design or improvement of machinery and equipment. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the first studies in this field documenting this issue in the context of developing countries. Data limitations prevented further investigation into this finding; nevertheless this is a relevant issue considering that process innovations enjoy a significant share of innovations in developing countries. As for the effects associated to specific personnel management interventions, and in light of the hypotheses presented in Section 3, relevant findings are as follows: The provision of training systematically and positively affects the likelihood that firms pursue R&D; hence hypothesis H1 is confirmed. This lends support to Samstad and Pipkin (2005)’s claim that training and general qualifications of the labor force dictate the type of human resource management practices needed and feasible in countries such as Mexico. Raising skill levels facilitates adoption of advanced management systems in Mexican firms; moreover, it assists in building required capabilities to more sistematically conduct R&D. This paper supported the pertinence to promote interactions between firms and other external agents, at least for the provision of R&D-relevant training. Hence firms can access new knoweldge and expand existing knowledge bases. Further research should shed light on the nature of the actual knowledge flows being involved. However, exploratory interviews among Mexican drug manufactures suggest that interactions are broad. They include learning about new excipients and formulations, to methodologies for the synthesis of chemical ingredients. In yet some other cases, external training provides understanding of advanced research methodologies and applications, particularly in areas such as biotechnology. Overall, hypothesis H2 was also confirmed. The literature review in Section 3 suggested that, in principle, remunerations should influence learning positively. Estimates revealed that raising remunerations increases the probability that a firm performs in-house R&D, particularly for knowledge exploration. However, the effect was not robust. Consequently hypothesis H3 is partially supported; hypothesis H4 seems more plausible. Remunerations underpin learning but only under certain conditions and for specific types of R&D. Albeit difficult to corroborate based on data used here, a possible explanation results from the frequent mark-up on pecuniary remunerations, more specifically wages. In countries such as Mexico opportunities to training and/or perspectives for promotion become equally or even more relevant as reward mechanisms. Alternatively, remunerations serve more as determinants of labor mobility within the pharmaceutical industry; thus promoting a continuous transfer of research capabilities, however limited, within the industry (Santiago, 2010). Somewhat inconclusive results were drawn in the case of worker's empowerment. The practice was positive and significant only in the case of exploration-related R&D for new drug manufacturing processes. This is at odds with previous literature indicating that delegation of decision-making capacity is key for new product development, as it fosters creativity and discovery (Mumford, 2000). A possible explanation points at the traditional perception that paternalistic work environments, rigid and hierarchical oganizational structures, such as those generaly found in Mexico and other similar countries, are unsuitable for enhanced performance. Nevertheless, as Section 3 in this paper acknowledged, the nature of drug manufacturing can limit the influence of worker's empowerment on the scope of R&D. Concerns over drug quality and safety lead to close scrutiny and approval by sanitary authorities thereby limiting the capacity to change both existing drugs and the corresponding manufacturing processes. Any alteration in either of them may require additional reviews and approval by the regulatory authorities. FDA (2004) asserts that this can be cumbersome for the firm; a major barrier for process innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. In the context of countries specialized in the manufacturing of generic drugs, development of such products is restricted by the need to comply with specific parameters and qualities set by the drug innovator. If firms only reproduce the knowledge behind such products, it makes little sense to allow workers to play around with the technology. Hypothesis H5 is supported but H6 requires further scrutiny. Some comments in relation to estimates associated with the control variables are pertinent. In relation to foreign ownership, the findings here contradict the usual perception that foreign firms are more technologically dynamic than domestic firms. The choice of performance indicators is important. In terms of R&D, a careful reflection points to the position that countries such as Mexico occupy within business and innovation strategies of multinationals. Local affiliates maintain low profiles when assisting in the exploitation of knowledge generated at the parent location or elsewhere in the developed world (von Zedtwitz and Ove, 2002). Acquisition of new knowledge, demanding more advanced R&D activities, is seldom carried out in developing countries. By contrast, exposure to external competition and larger market opportunities, via exports, was found to increase the likelihood that a firm pursues R&D. The strongest effect is associated with new drug designs. In line with Kale and Little's (2007), the managing director of a foreign affiliate argued that “Success requires strong commitment of financial and human resources, particularly in research. The goal is to develop a portfolio of products to be launched in export markets over a significant time horizon”. In the case of the Mexican industry, strong reliance on the local pharmaceutical market inhibit incentives to innovate (Santiago, 2010); management strategies aim to increase productivity and efficiency. In other words, adoption of modern organizational practices may simply contribute to the making of what Cimoli (2000) identifies as “global modern manufacturing centre”.