HRM in 21st century small organizations: A midrange typology to describe, contrast and contextualize the phenomenon

Brigitte Kroon*, Jaap Paauwe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The diversity of practices observed in small enterprises demands a new evaluation of HRM with respect to its phenotypes and functions. By bringing HRM back to its functional requirements as represented by the need to control the human side of work as well as the differentiation and integration of tasks, we develop a configurational model of eight ideal types of HRM, that resonate in previous research as well as in emerging organization types in the networked economy. Based on varying positions along the hierarchy, formalities and input- or output-oriented dimensions of control, we discern craft employers, traditional owner-managers, and strategic-, knowledge-, and bleak house entrepreneurs from subcontracted work, alliances and partnerships. Because control serves as a bridge between agency and structure, the proposed classification offers an analytical starting point for detecting, describing, contrasting, comparing and contextualizing empirically observed HRM configurations in a broad diversity of small enterprises. The approach offers a mid-range theory, which allows for generalization across small enterprises without the risk of losing peculiar responses to enacting HRM.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • CONFIGURATIONS
  • EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
  • HUMAN-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
  • IMPACT
  • INDUSTRIAL-RELATIONS
  • PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • PERFORMANCE
  • SMALL FIRMS
  • SYSTEMS
  • Small organizations
  • WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
  • configurations
  • control
  • functional requirements
  • human resource management
  • mid-range theory
  • typology
  • work relationships

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