In order to be innovative, organizations can benefit from having inter-orga- nizational relations. Through these external relations, organizations get access to valuable resources and they have the possibility to learn from other organizations. At the same time, these ties need to be managed to overcome cooperation problems. Prior studies revealed that inter-organizational relations can contribute to an organi- zation’s innovativeness in terms of developing new products and services. This chap- ter addresses three questions that received little attention to date, namely (1) Does collaborating with other organizations on human resource management (HRM) issues contribute to organizational innovation?; (2) Which of these external ties in the HRM domain matter most for organizational innovation?; and (3) Does the quality of these ties explain organizational innovation? This chapter aims to shed light on these three questions by analyzing data gathered among 732 private firms from the Netherlands. The analyses show that inter-organiza- tional collaborations in the human resource domain contribute to the innovativeness of organizations (both in terms of innovation performance and innovative human resource management). Furthermore, not all HR collaborations contribute to organizational inno- vation; organizations having ties with business partners and universities and knowl- edge centers report the highest levels of innovativeness. And, finally, organizational innovation is higher among organizations that indicate that their HR collaborations con- tribute to the goals of the organization.
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Koster, F. (2020). Organizational innovativeness through inter-organizational ties. In Advances in the sociology of trust and cooperation. Theory, experiments, and field studies (pp. 465–481). Retrieved from