Keywords: human resource management, HRM, continuous improvement, theoretical framework, continuous innovation
Examining the role of human resource management in continuous improvement
The objective of this paper is to take a first step in developing a theoretical framework describing the role of HRM in successful CI, based on the current literature from both fields. To this end, elements from the CI Maturity Model and a framework depicting the role of HRM in innovation serve as a foundation for examining how specific bundles of HRM practices utilised during different phases of the CI implementation process may contribute to sustained organisational and enhanced operational performance. The primary contribution of this paper is theoretical; however, the framework has practical value in that it suggests important relationships between HRM practices and behaviours necessary for successful CI. A preliminary test of the framework in an empirical setting is summarised at the conclusion of this paper, where a number of possible research avenues are also suggested.