Opening the black box: How staff training and development may affect the innovation of enterprises

We describe a research on the interplay that appears to exist in companies between Human Resource Management and innovation. This complex, multicomponent, non-linear and dynamic interplay is often viewed as a "black box". To help open the black box, we outline both a theoretical framework and preliminary empirical data. We view innovation as an organization-level property, favored by the organization's self-perception as a knowledge engine. Therefore, we devised a protocol to study the companies' strategies for training and development and their innovation profile. The protocol consisted in a questionnaire with 100 closed questions, suitable for companies which rely mostly on an inner training and development service. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of Italian firms from the Food & beverages and Fashion markets. The results show that certain facets of training and development are indeed correlated to innovation. Finally, we discuss the results
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