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Article

Beatriz Minguela-Rata, Jose Fernández-Menéndez and Marta Fossas-Olalla

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of technological cooperation with suppliers (TCS) and the firm size on propensity to develop product innovations and on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of technological cooperation with suppliers (TCS) and the firm size on propensity to develop product innovations and on propensity to radical innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses data from Business Strategies Survey (ESSE in Spanish). The final sample was composed by 1,952 companies representing the Spanish manufacturing industries. Some control variables were introduced: age, propensity to export and sector technological intensity level. Logistic regression analyses were adopted to analyze the data.

Findings

The results indicate that those firms that cooperate technologically with suppliers have a greater propensity for product innovation and, specifying, for radical innovations; and the larger firm size, greater the propensity to product innovations. However, radical product innovations depend of some characteristics of firms and environment.

Research limitations/implications

The sample just focusses on Spanish manufacturing companies. Small firms will benefit more from the TCS.

Practical implications

Some characteristics of firms and environment can originate some rigidity and take a more conservative attitude. In this sense, large and small firms, as well as, the oldest firms have a more conservative attitude when they carry out radical product innovations.

Originality/value

The study contributes to product innovation literature and also to the debate regarding firm size and innovation. It distinguishes between radical and incremental innovations. Indeed, some characteristics of firms (such as size or age) and environment should be considered when the firms carry out the innovation process.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 114 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Stefano Amato, Rodrigo Basco, Silvia Gómez Ansón and Nicola Lattanzi

This study investigates the relationship between family-managed firms and firm employment growth by considering the effects of location and economic crisis as moderating variables.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the relationship between family-managed firms and firm employment growth by considering the effects of location and economic crisis as moderating variables.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses random-effect models on a large panel dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms covering 2003 to 2015 to estimate the joint effects of municipality size and economic crisis on firm employment growth.

Findings

The analysis reveals a positive association between family-managed firms and employment growth. However, this association is not uniform across space and time. When it considers location, the study finds that municipality size positively affects employment growth in family-managed firms but not in non-family firms. Additionally, while the study reveals that both firm types experience negative employment growth during the early stage of the global economic crisis (2007–08), it also finds that family-managed firms located in small municipalities downsize less than their non-family counterparts.

Originality/value

This study provides new evidence on the resilience of family-managed firms during economic crises, particularly those located in geographically bounded settings, such as small municipalities. When an adverse event, such as an economic crisis, jeopardizes employment levels, the embedded and trust-based relationships, between a family firm and its community leads them to prioritize employees' claims. However, family-managed firms' commitment to preserve jobs in small municipalities cannot be maintained over the long term; this effect disappears if the economic crisis is protracted. This study sheds new light on family-managed firms' distinctive behavior toward with local communities.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article

Vicente Roca‐Puig, Inmaculada Beltrán‐Martín and Mercedes Segarra Cipres

This study aims to examine how temporary employment and organizational size moderate the effect of human capital on firm performance. The authors also analyze the overall…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how temporary employment and organizational size moderate the effect of human capital on firm performance. The authors also analyze the overall effect of human capital, temporary contracts and organizational size on firm performance. This enables them to identify which combination of these three variables leads to the highest levels of profitability.

Design/methodology/approach

From a sample of 1,403 Spanish firms, the authors carry out a comparative analysis of the impact of human capital on labor productivity and return on sales among small and large companies with high and low use of temporary employment.

Findings

The positive effect of human capital on return of sales is greater in large firms with low temporary employment than in small firms with high temporary employment. In addition, this positive effect is not universal because in some scenarios it is not significant. The most beneficial context is that of large companies with a high level of human capital and a low use of temporary employment.

Research limitations/implications

The results should be interpreted within the Spanish manufacturing sector.

Practical implications

Decisions about investment in human capital and the use of temporary workers should be taken jointly by personnel managers, in accordance with the size of the firm. If this holistic view is ignored, a full understanding of the impact of human capital on firm performance will be obscured. On the other hand, a common feature that large and small firms share is an incompatibility between human capital and temporary employment.

Originality/value

Growing interest has been shown in the degree to which investment in human capital contributes to firm performance; yet limited research attention has been paid to the contextual conditions that moderate this relationship. Investment in human capital can be more beneficial in some scenarios than in others.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Mirta Diaz-Fernandez, Mar Bornay-Barrachina and Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and innovation performance in Spanish manufacturing firms. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and innovation performance in Spanish manufacturing firms. The paper focuses on the number of existing patents, analyzing the extent to which this variable is favored by HRM practices. It will also assess the extent to which patents explain the firm performance and mediate in the relationship between the latter and HRM practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective is to assess these relationships using the Spanish Survey of Industrial Strategic Behavior. The longitudinal analysis focuses on the years between 2001 and 2008, a period of great economic growth in Spain.

Findings

The findings show that the most innovative firms were also the most competitive ones. Furthermore, employment security positively affects innovations over time and training on new technologies is associated with the number of patents, when overall compensation practices are high.

Practical implications

This study demonstrated the existence of two objectives that HR managers should be aiming at. On the one hand, the development of patents should be a priority for obtaining better results over time. On the other hand, management should invest in HRM practices because they favor innovation and are neither a waste of time nor resources.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature, surpassing the limitations of previous research, by assessing the role of HRM practices in innovation and company outcomes and by using a longitudinal study design.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article

Fernando Muñoz‐Bullón and Maria J. Sanchez‐Bueno

The purpose of this paper is to examine the joint effect of product and international diversification strategies on the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Spain.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the joint effect of product and international diversification strategies on the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Spain.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors rely on a panel data of small and medium Spanish manufacturing enterprises over the period 1993‐2006, collected from the Spanish Survey of Business Strategies.

Findings

The evidence reveals the existence of a negative relationship between geographic expansion and profitability. Likewise, the adoption of both product and international diversification is not associated with higher performance.

Research limitations/implications

A promising avenue for future research is the analysis of firms located in different countries (for example, emerging economies), or the study of this issue considering factors such as the ownership structure (family firms, the role of the state and banks, etc.).

Practical implications

The authors' analysis underlines the fact that the distinctive particularities of SMEs – for example, limited resources, lack of previous experience in the adoption of new products and accessing new markets – might constrain diversification as an alternative for firm growth. As a practical implication, Spanish SMEs should overcome their shortcomings before adopting diversification in order to improve the profitability associated with these strategies.

Originality/value

Although Spain's economic structure is highly segmented and made up of mainly SMEs, research on these companies in this country is rather scarce. In particular, the distinctive characteristics of SMEs mean that diversification might have different performance implications than for larger companies. Moreover, the authors' analysis offers new insights compared to previous research, which has traditionally relied on cross‐section data.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

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Article

Vicente Roca‐Puig, Inmaculada Beltrán‐Martín and Mercedes Segarra‐Ciprés

The purpose of this study is to analyze the potential existence of a concave downward curve between organizational commitment to employees (OCE) and labor productivity in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the potential existence of a concave downward curve between organizational commitment to employees (OCE) and labor productivity in small firms. It also aims to examine the moderating effects of labor intensity on this curvilinear relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a sample of 819 manufacturing small firms from the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Energy's Survey on Business Strategies, and applies hierarchical regression analysis to test its hypotheses.

Findings

The results support a non‐linear association between OCE investments and labor productivity: the higher the level of OCE, the lower its positive impact on organizational outcomes will be. The results also support the contingent view of strategic human resource management, so that an investment in OCE is more effective in some contexts than in others.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that managers and investors should be aware of the fact that investments in OCE are not always correspondingly beneficial. In the small firm setting, not all firms with large profits apply OCE. A high level of OCE investment may be counterproductive.

Originality/value

The strategic human resource management literature usually assumes a linear relationship between OCE and organizational outcomes; very few empirical studies have considered a nonlinear approach.

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Article

José Fernández-Menéndez, Óscar Rodríguez-Ruiz, José-Ignacio López-Sánchez and María Isabel Delgado-Piña

The purpose of this paper is to study how job reductions affect product innovation and marketing innovation in a sample of 2,034 Spanish manufacturing firms in the period…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how job reductions affect product innovation and marketing innovation in a sample of 2,034 Spanish manufacturing firms in the period 2007–2014.

Design/methodology/approach

Poisson and logistic regression models with random effects were used to analyse the impact of downsizing on some innovation outcomes of firms.

Findings

The results of this research show that the stressful measure of job reductions may have unexpected consequences, stimulating innovation. However downsizing combined with radical organisational changes such as new equipment, techniques or processes seems to have a negative impact on product and marketing innovation.

Originality/value

This research has two original features. First, it explores the unconventional direction of causality from the planned elimination of jobs to innovation outputs. Secondly, the paper looks at the combined effect of downsizing and other restructuring measures on different types of innovation. Following the threat-rigidity theory, we assume that this combination represents a major threat for survivors that leads to lower levels of product and marketing innovation.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 49 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Mirta Diaz-Fernandez, Mar Bornay-Barrachina and Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource (HR) practices and innovative performance in the Spanish industry. Specifically, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource (HR) practices and innovative performance in the Spanish industry. Specifically, the authors will focus on innovativeness, analysing the extent to which this capability is favoured by some human resource management (HRM) practices as investments on training and whether it is also affected by the use of full time and/or temporary workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose the assessment of these relationships by means of the Spanish Survey of Industrial Strategic Behaviour. The authors focus the longitudinal analysis on the period 2001-2008, years of the highest economic growth in Spain during the last decades.

Findings

The findings show that the most innovative firms are also the most competitive ones in terms of added value. Moreover, while a significant and positive relationship between the use of full-time workers and innovativeness is demonstrated, the role of temporary workers employees remains unclear. Finally, and surprisingly, training investments on new technologies, languages and data processes do not have any impact on innovativeness. The paper is closed with a discussion about some lessons the authors may learn from these wealthy years and the role played by HRM investments on firms.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates the existence of two objectives that managers should seek to achieve. On one side, they should focus on innovation as a way of increasing firm performance. And, on the other side, managers should invest on specific training, in order to develop more innovative and profitable organizations.

Originality/value

This paper proposes and tests a model where innovation mediates the relationships between HRM practices and performance. Such mediation would be a contribution to the strategic HRM field as very recent research call for the study of new mediators. Also, this paper employs panel data (2001-2008) for assessing these relationships. This is worthy because it is coherent with the idea of internal development of capabilities, instead of cross-sectional analyses and because the authors may infer causality with the study design, as it is demanded by researchers.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

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Article

Ester Martínez‐Ros and Vicente Salas‐Fumás

This paper explores whether workers share innovation returns and how the size of innovation returns is affected by market conditions. Using a panel data of Spanish…

Abstract

This paper explores whether workers share innovation returns and how the size of innovation returns is affected by market conditions. Using a panel data of Spanish manufacturing firms during the period from 1990 to 1993, we answer affirmatively to both questions. Product and process innovations both generate returns, but such returns are higher for process innovations. The size of innovation returns seems to be affected positively by demand growth, by product standardization, and by low product market concentration. The three empirical results are in agreement with the theoretical predictions, such as Schmoockler’s (1966) theory of demand‐pool innovation, the price‐elasticity of demand effects postulated by Kamien & Schwartz (1970), and the replacement effect suggested by Arrow (1962). At the time of generating returns, process innovations are more affected by market conditions than are other innovations.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

Keywords

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Article

Rubén Martínez-Alonso, María J. Martínez-Romero and Alfonso A. Rojo-Ramírez

The purpose of this paper is to offer new insights regarding an issue that has attracted the interest of multitude academics and practitioners in business management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer new insights regarding an issue that has attracted the interest of multitude academics and practitioners in business management and family firm literature: technological innovation (TI). Specifically, this study brings new knowledge regarding both the impact of TI efficiency on firm growth and the moderating role of family involvement in management on such relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a matched-pairs design and an ordinary least squares regression analysis to examine a sample of 152 Spanish manufacturing firms.

Findings

First, the authors show that firms obtaining higher TI efficiency are also those that achieve superior growth. Second, the authors reveal that as family involvement in management increases, the positive effect that TI efficiency exerts on firm growth is strengthened.

Practical implications

This study suggests that family managers should essentially consider various aspects such as tacit knowledge, social capital and long-standing collaborations with stakeholders to reinforce the relationship between TI efficiency and firm growth.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that analyses the effect of TI efficiency on firm growth, as well as, when and to what extent family involvement in management influences the TI efficiency–growth relationship. Thus, this paper provides a deeper understanding of the importance that family managers could have on firm growth deriving from TI efficiency.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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