International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM
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International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM

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Edited by Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson

This invaluable reference tool has been designed in response to the growing recognition that too little is known about the intersection between entrepreneurship and human resource management. Paying particular attention to the ‘people’ side of venture emergence and development, it offers unique insights into the role that human resource management (HRM) plays in small and entrepreneurial firms.
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Chapter 5: Human Resource Management as an Entrepreneurial Tool?

Cinzia Dal Zotto and Veronica Gustafsson

Extract

5 Human resource management as an entrepreneurial tool? Cinzia Dal Zotto and Veronica Gustafsson Introduction A firm’s primary goal is to be profitable. To reach this goal a firm can grow and improve its market competitiveness. Growth can enhance economic efficiency, increase market share or lead to the creation of new markets. For this purpose innovation is key, and the process of introducing innovative products or services to the market is known as entrepreneurship (Schumpeter, 1934; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000). This is underpinned by creativity which can see the initial inspiration leading to the creation of new products or services. Talent, education and cognitive skills can drive inspiration. However, for this to become a daily driving force and lead to continuous innovation, high levels of creativity are required and attained only through intrinsic motivation (Amabile, 1996; Oldham and Cummings, 1996). Within such an unpredictable context, when competence and motivation are necessary for innovation, human resource management (HRM) becomes a crucial factor. It is therefore important and theoretically interesting to explore the contribution of HRM to the entrepreneurial growth of new and established firms. As our chapter is exploratory by nature, it aims, first, to review the relationship between entrepreneurship and HRM. Second, we wish to point out the differences and similarities which characterize HRM in entrepreneurial and established firms, and therefore highlight the potential function of HRM in both sustaining growth and fostering intrapreneurship. We explore these insights through the analysis of two case studies of firm-level...

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