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Innovation and human resource development (HRD)

Sheehan, Maura; Garavan, Thomas N.; Carbery, Ronan


Thomas N. Garavan

Ronan Carbery


Prof. Maura Sheehan


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a prologue to the issue of human resource development (HRD) and innovation which has been under-researched despite the widespread recognition of the critical role of innovation for sustained national, regional and organisational competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides an overview of the evolution of innovation within the economic and management literatures. It then examines previous work on human resource management (HRM), HRD and innovation. The paper then provides a brief overview of the articles for this issue focussing on HRD and innovation. Findings – HRD interventions can positively contribute to organisation's innovation activities. HRD is also found to positively influence employee engagement, leadership, manager's motivation to learn, the promotion of a learning culture, and social capital development all of which are positively associated with innovation. Informal HRD and access to mentors and coaches is shown to be critical for innovation in SMEs. Originality/value – This paper provides an introduction to this special issue on HRD and innovation. It shows that this has been an under-researched area and it also emphasises that HRD and its relationship with innovation must be analysed within the context of the organisation's culture, its context, and its leadership capabilities. The four conceptual contributions provide a rich road map for future research on HRD and innovation.


Sheehan, M., Garavan, T. N., & Carbery, R. (2014). Innovation and human resource development (HRD). European Journal of Training and Development, 38(1/2), 2-14.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 28, 2013
Publication Date Jan 6, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2016
Journal European Journal of Training and Development
Print ISSN 2046-9012
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 1/2
Pages 2-14
Keywords Leadership, Innovation, Employee engagement, Knowledge, Social capital, HRD
Public URL