PURPOSE: The theoretical aim of this study is to explore the nature of the “technological innovation–labor market” relationships presented recently in the literature, based on publications indexed in the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The empirical purpose is to examine these relationships in companies operating in the confectionery industry in Poland. METHODOLOGY: Literature studies, as well as a mixed-method empirical research approach, were used, including an online survey of engineers working in the confectionery industry and the case study method (with interviews and observation). FINDINGS: Publications from the past eleven years have covered the problems of the analyzed relationship but have not taken into consideration the market in Poland or the confectionery industry. More often than the classic literature, these publications present different relationships, not focusing mainly on the issue of unemployment resulting from technological innovation. Meanwhile, empirical studies show that the analyzed relationships are non-reciprocal. Fifty percent of the employees surveyed indicated that implementing technological innovations results in job losses. The remaining respondents were convinced that technological innovation has a neutral quantitative impact on the internal labor market. We identified that technological innovations have an impact on the labor market (both internal and external) more often than changes in the labor market affecting innovations, and that this impact is rather negative. Moreover, empirical research shows that technological innovations are positively connected with qualitative changes in the internal labor market. IMPLICATIONS: This study emphasizes the need for lifelong learning among employees and for a field for development at educational institutions. It should also draw the attention of top managers to the skills that their employees have now and should have in the future. ORIGINALITY AND VALUE: The paper presents an original typology of the relationships between technological innovation and the labor market, which can serve as the basis for further development and qualitative or quantitative research. The paper also presents pioneering research because previous studies were not based on a complex framework, including different kinds of impacts (from negative through neutral to positive), treating the labor market and technological innovations relative to each other as dependent or independent variables, or highlighting two types of labor market.
Keywords: labor market, employment, technological innovation, process innovation, mutual relationships, confectionery industry