Human Resource Management in Small Business
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Human Resource Management in Small Business

Achieving Peak Performance

  • New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Cary L. Cooper and Ronald J. Burke

Human Resource Management in Small Business fills a gap in our understanding of economic performance. Small businesses are more numerous, have more employees, and contribute more to the economies of nations throughout the world than do large organizations. This book examines a range of issues, including the significance of human resource management (HRM) practices to small business success, the management of work hours and work stressors, work and family issues, succession planning, employee recruitment and selection, and managing staff. It also explores how individuals develop HRM skills, and learn from their own and others’ experiences. The role of HRM practices in successful small businesses is illustrated through a range of case studies.
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Chapter 1: Overview of the Book

Ronald J. Burke


Ronald J. Burke In Chapter 2 of Part I, I provide an overview of important content relating to HRM and SMEs. This area has not received the research attention that it deserves given its importance to country economic fortunes. HRM is important to the success of both small and large firms. Unfortunately, despite considerable research and writing on HRM, SMEs have not changed their approach to HRM much over the years. I provide a summary of some of the uses of HRM in SMEs. I then consider the question of why managers in SMEs are satisfied, and look at work and family concerns, family-owned and managed businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurship activities for women and the additional challenges women face, why HRM has not been seen as important by entrepreneurs, owners and managers in SMEs, the recently emerging interest in HRM by managers of SMEs, technology adoption, and the management of change. Government policies can be supportive of the creation and management of SMEs. I conclude with suggestions for SMEs to more effectively utilize their human capital including obtaining coaching or mentoring assistance, advice seeking more generally, and the potential use of professional employer organizations for the outsourcing of some HRM functions. Part II examines what is known about HRM contributions to SME effectiveness. Gary Castrogiovanni in Chapter 3 considers the importance of investing in human capital by small businesses. Human capital involves the education, training, experience, and health of a workforce. He reviews major human capital studies, pulling the findings...

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