The Formality and Informality of HRM Practices in Small Firms

Barrett, Rowena & Mayson, Susan (2008) The Formality and Informality of HRM Practices in Small Firms. In Barrett, Rowena & Mayson, Susan (Eds.) International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA, pp. 111-136.

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Abstract

The formality and informality of HRM practices in small firms Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson Introduction The nature of human resource management in small firms is understood to be characterized by ad hoc and idiosyncratic practices. The liability of smallness (Heneman and Berkley, 1999) and resource poverty (Welsh and White, 1981) presents unique challenges to managing human resources in small firms. The inability to achieve economies of scale can mean that implementing formalized HRM practices is costly in terms of time and money for small firms (Sels et al., 2006a; 2006b). These, combined with small firm owner–managers’ lack of strategic capabilities and awareness (Hannon and Atherton, 1998) and a lack of managerial resources and expertise in HRM (Cardon and Stevens, 2004) can lead to informal and ad hoc HRM practices. For some this state of affairs is interpreted as problematic as the normative and formalized HRM practices in the areas of recruitment, selection, appraisal, training and rewards are not present (see Marlow, 2006 and Taylor, 2006 for a critique). However, a more nuanced analysis of the small firm and its practices in their context can tell a different story (Barrett and Rainnie, 2002; Harney and Dundon, 2006). In this chapter we contribute to our understanding of small firm management practices by investigating a series of questions in relation to HRM in small firms.

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ID Code: 75502
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: HRM Practices, Small Firms
DOI: 10.4337/9781848441224.00013
ISBN: 9781848441224
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2014 03:53
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2015 16:32

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