Wapshott R, Mallett O & Spicer D (2014) Exploring Change in Small Firms' HRM Practices. In: Machado C & Davim J (eds.) Work Organization and Human Resource Management. Management and Industrial Engineering. Management and Industrial Engineering. London: Springer International Publishing, pp. 73-92. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-06376-8_5
The academic literature widely acknowledges changes and variation in the practices of small firms but only a small amount of empirical work has explored the processes through which HRM practices undergo change. Research has tended, instead, to examine the presence and effectiveness of HRM in small firms and often viewed this in terms of a deficit model relating such practices to an understanding of HRM derived from larger firms. This chapter focuses on the recruitment and selection and staff payment practices in use in three small services firms to explore the everyday, ongoing detail of their HRM processes and practices. Identifying the different processes through which recruitment and selection and staff payment practices changed in the participant firms provides a base for discussing persistent forms of informality and the lack of stability that reflects the everyday realities of the firms, not only in contrast to their formalized policies but in engagement with them. This chapter advances understanding of selected HRM practices in small services firms after periods of formalisation and adoption of HRM policies and practices. The chapter also discusses how developing knowledge of small firms’ HRM practices in this way has implications for researchers and practitioners.
Small Firm; Human Resource Management; Employment Relationship; Change