Human resource productivity, product innovation, and export performance: An empirical investigation

Rafael Reina Valle


Purpose: The objective of this research is to examine the relationships between human resource (HR) productivity, product innovation, and export performance of the Spanish manufacturing SMEs. Our central proposition is that HR productivity enables the development of product innovation to increase firms’ export performance.

Design/methodology: The proposed conceptual model, is tested using the technique of variance-based structural equation modeling and the estimation method of partial least squares, on a sample of 858 Spanish manufacturing SMEs.

Findings: The empirical analysis supports our theory.

Research limitations/implications: This research only focuses on the role of product, innovation in the relationship between HR productivity and export performance. Further research may study the mediating role of organizational capabilities based on other types of innovation (e.g., process, organizational, or marketing innovation).

Practical implications: Suggest to entrepreneurs of SMEs, that increased HR productivity can lead to such impacts are captured by innovation, resulting in the generation of new products, which will lead demand shocks, and consequently a higher increase in firms’ exports.

Originality/value: This research explains conceptually and empirically shows, that product innovation is a key intermediate mechanism, through which the Spanish manufacturing SME can increase its export results by exploiting the productivity of its talent base.


Human resource productivity, product innovation, export performance, PLS, manufacturing SMEs

Full Text:

PDF[es] HTML[es]


Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience