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Renée Rotmans

The strategic challenge of human-centered innovation in ports


Employees are the firm’s most valuable asset. Employees are major contributors to innovation performance and worth of the firm. Next to investments in technology, firms, therefore, also need to invest in their employees. This demands alteration in firm processes and practices and requires investments in strategic human resource (SHR) practices, which should be integrated into the corporate strategy of firms to make sure that HR and technology become embedded in the business operations. In the end, investments in technology only lead to high innovation outcomes and productivity gains when people learn how to apply the new technology.

In this dissertation, the introduction of SHR practices is further outlined in the context of the Rotterdam port region, Europe’s largest industrial and port complex. By studying the role of SHR practices to enhance innovation outcomes in organizations and regions, this dissertation attempts to understand in what way firms can obtain  more value from employees and their skills, attitudes and behavior. This offers important new insights for scholars and practitioners into how firms, as well as, regions can increase their chances of survival and prosperity.