Article

'You try to be a fair employer': Regulation and employment relationships in medium-sized firms

Citation

Atkinson C, Mallett O & Wapshott R (2016) 'You try to be a fair employer': Regulation and employment relationships in medium-sized firms. International Small Business Journal, 34 (1), pp. 16-33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242614541992

Abstract
In this article, we explore the dynamic, indirect effects of employment regulation through a qualitative study of three medium-sized enterprises and their ongoing, everyday employment relationships. Whereas owner–manager prerogative is generally associated with informality in small and medium-sized enterprises, we identify instances of formal policies and procedures implemented in response to regulation being instrumental in exerting this prerogative. Furthermore, employees reinforced this process by making judgements regarding the employment relationship in terms of their perceived informal psychological contract rather than external regulatory obligations. This article extends understanding of dynamic, indirect regulatory effects in relation to the interplay of informality and formality within psychological contracts in medium-sized enterprises.

Keywords
employment relationships; medium-sized enterprises; psychological contract; regulation

Journal
International Small Business Journal: Volume 34, Issue 1

StatusPublished
FundersUniversity of Durham
Publication date01/02/2016
Publication date online17/07/2014
Date accepted by journal10/06/2014
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/27417
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN0266-2426
eISSN1741-2870