Firms generate new knowledge that leads to innovations by recombining existing knowledge sources. A successful recombination depends on both the availability of a knowledge stock (human capital pool) that contains innovation-relevant knowledge and the regulation of the knowledge flow through the application of human resource management practices. However, while human resource theory expects complementarities between both the human capital pool and the human resource management system it does not explicitly address their implications for knowledge exchange. Moreover, empirical approaches neglect the complexity of complementarities between the two factors. This study analyzes complementarities within and between the human capital pool and the human resource management system and shows their implications for knowledge exchange. We empirically analyze these complementarities by applying fsQCA to identify taxonomies that explain superior innovation performance. We show that firms can achieve superior innovation performance through multiple and complex pathways. Our results show four taxonomies that substantially differ in terms of human capital diversity, application of human resource management practices and the environmental dynamism of the firm.