Title: HR practices as predictors for knowledge sharing and innovative behaviour: a focus on age

Authors: Floor Slagter

Addresses: ConQuaestor Management Consulting, Postbus 8227, 3503 RE, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract: Innovation is critical in today|s highly competitive business environment for enabling sustained competitive advantage. Innovative behaviour and knowledge sharing on the employee level can contribute significantly to successful innovation. This study hypothesises that certain Human Resource (HR) practices predict innovative behaviour and knowledge sharing among employees. This study focuses on the moderating effect of age; the workforce is ageing and effective knowledge sharing is necessary to retain the organisational knowledge levels when the baby boomers retire. Based on data from a large sample of employees, the findings suggest that the several HR practices contribute significantly to knowledge sharing and/or innovative behaviour. In addition, we find that age moderates the relationship between HR practices and innovative behaviour; older employees experience a higher level of innovative behaviour when offered training, self-development and career opportunities and participation in intergenerational teams, as opposed to younger employees. The study discusses the various practical implications that result from these findings.

Keywords: ageing workforce; knowledge sharing; knowledge management; innovative behaviour; HR practices; human resources; innovation; older workers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2009.023454

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2009 Vol.9 No.2/3, pp.223 - 249

Published online: 24 Feb 2009 *

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