CALL FOR PAPERS "HRM and (Social) Innovation"

2012 Meeting of the HRM Study Group of the ILERA 16th World Congress of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA), Philadelphia, USA, 2 July – 5 July 2012

The 2012 meeting of the HRM Study Group of the ILERA (formerly: IIRA, will be held during the 16th World Congress of the ILERA in Philadelphia, USA, 2–5 July 2012 ( 

Background Information on the Topical Theme

At this study group meeting we would like to explore the link between innovation (management) and human resource management. While much has been written about both concepts separately, there has been only little investigation between human resource management and innovation, i.e. product innovation, technological innovation, organizational innovation and social innovation, one of the few exceptions being de Leede and Looise (2005). 

We would like to attract contributions exploring and/or analyzing the role of HRM in the ‘traditional’ and better-researched forms of product, technological and organizational innovation, but we would also like to shed more light on the rather underdeveloped link to social innovation, which currently may appear rather fuzzy and less obvious, and thus requires more explanation. 

The basic premise of most of the current strategic HRM models is that the effectiveness of people management is determined by its alignment with the organization’s strategy (e.g. cost competitiveness, differentiation, innovation), in order to contribute to the achievement of the organization’s overall strategic goals. Thus, in this line of thought, the objectives of the individual firm provide the only useful guideline for assessing the quality and the value of HRM. 

But, is this exclusive focus on the business imperative really appropriate? A closer look at the human resource management literature reveals that over the past three decades the social dimension and social objectives (human and social well-being) have almost disappeared from the analytical strategic HRM frameworks and given way to the imperative of organizational performance. Earlier strategic HRM models, e.g. Beer et al. (1984), and, more recently, Paauwe (2004) argue that one of the distinguishing characteristics of strategic HRM is that it also considers workforce implications as well as the impact on employee as well as societal objectives. 

We appreciate that ‘social aspects’ of HRM have become increasingly important in the recent literature, e.g. with reference to business ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability and green management. Yet, there have only been very few attempts to link these issues to the strategic HRM literature and/or social innovation. At the normative level, we argue that organizations need to take social norms and values, desires and needs into account when aiming for the indicated strategic and, consequently, real sustainable vitality. This points to the importance of ‘social innovation’: any novel and useful solution to a social need or problem, that is better than existing approaches and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole (Phills, 2009). 

Call for Papers

Abstracts and papers are invited on the above topic. We are keen to receive papers utilising a range of methodologies to explore and to analyse the link between HRM and innovation. We encourage the submission of theoretical and empirical work, but also the submission of short reports by practitioners and/or policy makers. Original work that has not been published or accepted elsewhere is preferred. The 2012 meeting will be continued at a meeting in the Netherlands in 2013. Accepted papers may be considered for publication in special issues of the journals “International Studies of Management & Organization” and “Creativity and Innovation Management”.

The abstract should be around 1,000 words. The title page should consist of the paper title, name(s) of author(s), institutional affiliation and address, and contact details. Please send the abstract or paper as a Word or 'rtf' file by e-mail to [log in to unmask] no later than 1 March 2012. A committee will evaluate all submitted abstracts and papers. We would like to request all contributors to pay particular attention to the following aspects when preparing abstracts and papers: (i) make clear references to the theoretical framework of your research and the key literature in relevant debates; (ii) ensure that your research methods are clearly described; and (iii) focus the abstract on the main subject matter of your research.

Acceptance decisions will be communicated by 14 March 2012. Accepted papers should be submitted by 15 June 2012 and will be made available on the study group's online-based working paper series ( Further information concerning the format of the paper will be given in the letter of acceptance. 

For further information please visit the HRM Study Group’s webpage ( and/or contact:

Professor of HRM
Manchester Business School
The University of Manchester
Booth Street West 
Manchester M15 6PB
United Kingdom
Email: [log in to unmask] 

Professor of HRM, IUBH, Germany 
Assistant Professor of HRM
School of Management and Governance
University of Twente, PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
Email: [log in to unmask]


Beer, M., Spector, B., Lawrence, P.R., Quinn Mills, D. & Walton R.E. 1984. Managing Human Assets. New York: Free Press. 

de Leede, J., & Looise, J. K. 2005. Innovation and HRM: Towards an Integrated Framework. Creativity & Innovation Management, 14(2), 108-117. 

Paauwe, J. 2004. HRM and Performance: Achieving Long-Term Viability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Phills, J. 2009. Rediscovering Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Center for Social Innovation. (accessed on 10 June 2011).

Prof. Dr. Stefan Zagelmeyer

Professor of Economics and Human Resource Management, IUBH, Germany
Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, University of Twente, The Netherlands

School of Management and Governance
University of Twente
PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede

T: +31 (0) 53 489 4398
F: +31 (0) 53 489 2159
E: [log in to unmask]
Skype: zagelmeyer

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