Stra.Tech.Man innovation, HRM and Perception of Educational Needs in Underdeveloped Business Ecosystems: The Case of Retail Sector Firms in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

Charis Vlados, Dimos Chatzinikolaou


Innovation becomes widely perceived as the most significant ingredient of socioeconomic development, for all types of organizations, at all spatial levels. This study aims to examine how a specific category of business people understand the phenomenon of innovation in relation to the dimensions of Human Resource Management (HRM) and intra- and external business education and training. It explores in particular how the firms of a less developed regional business ecosystem perceive this triangle of innovation-education-human resources, what is their current image and how this comprehension evolves over the last years. Through field research in firms located in the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, we highlight these qualitative correlations between innovation, workforce management, training, and education. Our findings suggest that the “image” of these entrepreneurs to these issues lacks interpretive depth and practical cohesion, which is related to pathogenies caused and causing the overall relative socioeconomic underdevelopment in the region. The originality of this research derives from the presentation and analysis of specific firms’ and professionals’ perceptions of innovation, which are relatively far from the standards set by the corresponding modern scientific literature and practice.

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