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The state and industrial policy in Ireland: a case study of the Irish pharmaceutical sector

Hannon, E.   Monks, K.   Conway, E.   Kelly, G.   Flood, P.   Truss, K.   Mastroeni, M

International Journal of Human Resource Management   22 (18) 3692-3710

November 2011   (Version of record first published November 2011)

There is renewed interest in the state's role in the economic sphere but a lack of research on the viability and employment effects of alternative economic models, in particular from a ‘liberal market economy’ perspective. This article addresses this gap in the human resource management literature by undertaking a detailed case study of industrial policy in the Irish pharmaceutical sector. The proactive and resource-intensive industrial policy adopted by the Irish government and development agencies is found to have underpinned a significant strategic upgrading in this sector of the Irish economy. In turn this has facilitated the growth of high-wage, high-skill jobs. The findings highlight the potential for an active industrial policy to promote employment upgrading in liberal market economies.