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

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 8: Human Resource Strategies of High-Growth Entrepreneurial Firms

Robert L. Heneman, Judith W. Tansky and S. Michael Camp


8 Human resource strategies of high-growth entrepreneurial firms Robert L. Heneman, Judith W. Tansky and S. Michael Camp Introduction High growth is often a strategic objective of entrepreneurial firms. It has been related to a variety of measures of business success including survival, market share, profit and net worth. For example in Cox and Camp’s (1999) survey of 672 firms considered as leaders in entrepreneurial achievement, the following were reported: ● ● ● ● averaging 10 per cent growth per year doubles the chance of firm survival; high-growth firms have relative gains in market share five times greater than low-growth firms; the level of profitability for high-growth firms is 25 per cent more than for low-growth firms; and net worth for high-growth companies grows three times faster than that for low-growth firms. Given these impressive figures, it is not surprising that many studies have been conducted on factors related to the growth of entrepreneurial firms (Whyte, 1998). In addition, many models of various growth stages have been developed (Hanks et al., 1993). What is surprising, however, is the lack of study regarding the management of human resources (HR) in highgrowth entrepreneurial firms (Heneman and Tansky, 2003). Many years ago Penrose (1959) stated that, ‘All the evidence indicates that the growth of a firm is connected with attempts of a particular group of human beings to do something; nothing is gained and much is lost if this fact is not explicitly recognized’ (p. 2). With high growth comes the need for additional employees...

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