Human resources – strength and weakness in protection of intellectual capital
Olander, Heidi; Heilmann, Pia; Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia (2015-10-12)
Post-print / Final draft
Journal of Intellectual Capital
School of Business and Management
Human resources in knowledge intensive industries create the basis for continuing innovation and subsequent firm performance. At the same time, they pose risks for the competitiveness of the firm: unwanted leaking of knowledge and intellectual capital to outsiders exposes firm-critical knowledge, and knowledge leaving with a departing key employee may jeopardise the firm’s projects. The purpose of this paper is to examine how human resource management can serve as a protection mechanism to diminish knowledge leaking and leaving via employees.
The authors approach these issues through a case study utilising interview data from 22 interviews within two large research and development intensive firms.
Human resources could be seen both as a strength and weakness of a firm with respect to knowledge protection. The findings indicate that there are numerous practices related to commitment, trust, motivation, and sense of responsibility available to deploy to strengthen loyalty and to improve preservation of intellectual capital.
While human resources management aspects have been widely discussed with regard job profitability and efficiency in generating intellectual capital, their connection to knowledge protection has often been overlooked. This study aims to contribute to this area.
Olander, H., Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, P., Heilmann, P. (2015). Human resources – strength and weakness in protection of intellectual capital. Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 16, issue 4. pp. 742-762. DOI: 10.1108/JIC-03-2015-0027
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