A co-word analysis on Human Resource Management literature: The role of technological innovation from 2007-2017

Dennis Trotta, Patrizia Garengo


Purpose. In the last few years, the huge changes of the global competitive environment, have heavily affected managerial practices and scholarly literature. A relevant role is recognized to the change in the Human Resource Management studies, as the management of human resource dimension is strictly related to most of the management research streams. This research aims to identify the main themes related to the Human Resource Management (HRM) literature in manufacturing environment.

Methodology. A quantitative literature review is carried out using the co-word analysis technique (Cobo et al., 2015) as this methodology is recognized as a useful and objective approach in mapping research fields. The period covered by the analysis is from January 2007 to April 2017.

Findings. The literature review support the design of an overall map of the HRM literature related to manufacturing environment. The ten main themes are identified and the related topics are briefly described. The most significant are: Total Quality Management (Perdomo-Ortiz, Gonzalez-Benito and Galende, 2009), service and business strategies, customer satisfaction (Chuang and Liao, 2010), work organization, employee wellbeing.

Practical implications. The research identifies HR-practices such as employee selection, re-skilling of the workforce and re-definition of the employee career path, that in the last years are assuming great importance for the manufacturing companies.

Originality/value. In addition to the above findings, the research introduced co-word analysis in a HRM literature review and it supplies a whole map of the HRM research published in the last few years. This literature could be useful for leading future research on the investigated subject.


Human Resource Management; Co-word analysis; Technological innovation; Bibliometric analysis

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