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The gift in shared HRM ethics in SMEs

The gift in shared HRM ethics in SMEs The purpose of this paper is to understand how the relationship of gifts/counter-gifts between actors enables us to build an HRM policy that we call “shared and ethical”. It is shared because it is co-constructed by both owner-manager and employees, and ethical because it is deemed desirable by the players and meets their expectations. This approach aims to make HRM more responsible in view of the commitments made by stakeholders.Design/methodology/approachDrawing upon the Maussian theory of gift/counter-gift, a longitudinal and retrospective study was conducted over a period of three years with a French SME.FindingsThe authors highlight two key stages in the gift process: the initial gift of the owner-manager, which is reflected in the establishment of a social pact, and the gap in perception between employees’ contribution and the counter-gift expected of the owner-manager. The authors show the complexity of the gift-chain by building a shared and ethical HRM and highlight the tensions identified between the existence of tools and mutual adjustments in HRM through gifts and counter-gifts.Originality/valueUsual HRM in SMEs is centred on the owner-manager. On the contrary this research highlights how an SME can develop an alternative HRM. A longitudinal and retrospective study, carried out with a French SME, led to the construction of a process modelling of a shared HRM ethics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Employee Relations: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0142-5455
DOI
10.1108/er-06-2018-0171
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the relationship of gifts/counter-gifts between actors enables us to build an HRM policy that we call “shared and ethical”. It is shared because it is co-constructed by both owner-manager and employees, and ethical because it is deemed desirable by the players and meets their expectations. This approach aims to make HRM more responsible in view of the commitments made by stakeholders.Design/methodology/approachDrawing upon the Maussian theory of gift/counter-gift, a longitudinal and retrospective study was conducted over a period of three years with a French SME.FindingsThe authors highlight two key stages in the gift process: the initial gift of the owner-manager, which is reflected in the establishment of a social pact, and the gap in perception between employees’ contribution and the counter-gift expected of the owner-manager. The authors show the complexity of the gift-chain by building a shared and ethical HRM and highlight the tensions identified between the existence of tools and mutual adjustments in HRM through gifts and counter-gifts.Originality/valueUsual HRM in SMEs is centred on the owner-manager. On the contrary this research highlights how an SME can develop an alternative HRM. A longitudinal and retrospective study, carried out with a French SME, led to the construction of a process modelling of a shared HRM ethics.

Journal

Employee Relations: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 24, 2019

Keywords: Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); Relations; Gift; Shared HRM ethics

References