Managing people where people really matter: The management of human resources in biotech companies

  • Finegold D
  • Frenkel S
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Abstract

Strategic human resource (HR) management argues that in knowledge-driven industries people management needs to play a strategic role. An exploratory study of eight biotech start-ups in the US and Australia, however, finds that most do not employ HR professionals or have a lower-level administrator handle HR. How can this be explained? The case studies reported identify a number of reasons for the lack of strategic HR and identify the advantages and disadvantages of having line managers take the lead in people management in contrast to having a strategic HR leader being part of the top management team. Several propositions are also advanced that are worthy of further research, concluding that while there are many potential benefits to hiring a strategic HR professional in a biotech start-up, this is likely to occur under a rare set of conditions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biotechnology
  • Knowledge work
  • Knowledge-intensive firms
  • Leading scientists
  • Strategic human resource management

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Authors

  • David Finegold

  • Stephen Frenkel

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