Five innovation energy mechanisms need strategic and operational HRM involvement—An abductive case study at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands

  • Henk Jan van Essen Business Administration and Research, Saxion University of Applied Sciences
  • Jan de Leede Faculty Behavioural Management and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management
Keywords: innovation energy, case study, engagement, innovation properties, abductive research, HRM


This paper provides insight into innovation energy, its five working mechanisms and innovative work behaviour (IWB). Although human energy is often mentioned as an important factor in theories about motivation, it still is an unexplored theme in literature. The management in organisations often focus on the innovation content and neglect the process aspects. Strategic and operational HRM involvement is needed for realising the essential conditions for the innovation energy of innovative employees. An abductive case study on innovation energy took place in five educational departments of one academy at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. We interviewed 21 innovating lecturers and their five team leaders individually and organised five focus groups with in total 17 team members. Innovation energy converts individual innovation properties (creativity, psychological empowerment and optimism) into IWB. Organisations must pay attention to these properties and four other working mechanisms (autonomy, teamwork, leadership and external contacts) which influence this conversion process. HRM professionals should be involved with innovation processes to realise the right conditions for innovation energy together with the line management. The construct of innovation energy with five working mechanisms gives more insight into the IWB process from the perspective of the engaged employee with IWB. This research contributes to the body of knowledge on IWB, (human) innovation energy and engagement in relation to HRM.


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How to Cite
Essen, H. J. van, & Leede, J. de. (2023). Five innovation energy mechanisms need strategic and operational HRM involvement—An abductive case study at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Human Resources Management and Services, 5(2).