Much of the literature relating to human resource management (HRM) has attempted to demonstrate that the “Human resource” is the most valued asset in a company. Large companies have revolutionised their approach to the training and development of their personnel in order to maximise their “competitive edge”. Hotly debated is whether investment in “good HRM” is linked to commercial success. However, very little is known about HRM practices within the small‐ to medium‐size business (SME) and even less is known about the practice within a family business. This survey describes the HRM practices of SMEs (both family and non‐family businesses) in Northern Ireland. Comparisons between the groups are made and findings suggest that family businesses practice HRM differently than their non‐family counterparts. Implications for the training and development of these two groups question whether family businesses need to be treated as a “special case”.
Journal of European Industrial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2001
Keywords: Family firms; Human resource management; Small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises
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