Managing Human Resources in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Entrepreneurship and the Employment Relationship, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Managing Human Resources in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Entrepreneurship and the Employment Relationship, 1st Edition

By Robert Wapshott, Oliver Mallett


162 pages

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Well-managed employment relationships can be a secret to business success, yet this factor is relatively poorly understood when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s).

Written by active researchers with teaching experience, this book brings together the fields of entrepreneurship and human resource management for the first time, providing entrepreneurship students with a solid grounding in HRM as well as a platform for further critical engagement with the research. The concise and authoritative style also enables the book to be used as a primer for researchers exploring this under-developed terrain.

As the only student-focused specialist book on human resource management in entrepreneurial firms, this is vital reading for students and researchers in this area, as well as those interested in small business and management more generally.


'Wapshott and Mallett provide a thoughtful, engagingly-written and compelling analysis of the importance of people to small firms and entrepreneurship. Contemporary debate tends to gloss over the topic in its quest to promote 'growth', 'enterprise' and 'innovation'. But in the hands of these accomplished scholars, we are reminded of the centrality of people-management to all kinds of small businesses. Students of enterprise will benefit from the authors' clear analysis; and researchers too will appreciate their synthesis of a complex range of issues.' - Monder Ram, OBE, Professor, The University of Birmingham, UK

'Key to the text’s success - and succeed it does - is the recognition that smaller firms are not a homogenous category and that informality dominates the organization of the employment relationship. Wapshott and Mallett are careful to avoid the best practice trap where what ‘should’ happen according to the HR professionals and corporate managers of large firms is automatically assumed to be best for all. Their detailed, accessible and engaging analysis of the empirical evidence shows what actually happens in small firms, without ignoring actual best practice.' - Simon Down, Professor, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Table of Contents

Part I: The Distinctive Case of SMEs 1. Introduction 2. From Entrepreneur to Owner-Manager 3. Shaping Employment Relationships in Small Firms Part II: Managing Human Resources 4. Recruitment and Selection 5. Training and Development 6. Reward and Recognition 7. Staff Turnover Part III: Re-thinking HRM in SMEs 8. SME Growth, HRM and the Role of Formalisation 9. Employment Relationships and Practices in SMEs 10. The Management of Human Resources in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

About the Authors

Robert Wapshott is Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Sheffield, UK

Oliver Mallett is Lecturer in Management at Durham University, UK

About the Series

Routledge Masters in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship occupies a central position in the business disciplines, whilst entrepreneurs' contributions to the global economy is widely acknowledged. In light of this importance, entrepreneurship education plays a key role in delivering employable graduates across the academy. This textbook series provides relatively short, accessible textbooks on a range of entrepreneurship topics.

Collectively, the series is a valuable resource for students of entrepreneurship, helping them gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary entrepreneurial concepts. Individually, each text provides essential reading for a core entrepreneurship topic. A range of consistent pedagogical features are used throughout the texts, highlighting the practical importance of theoretical concepts.

Specialist, postgraduate students of entrepreneurship will find the series to be the ideal starting point for their studies, whilst non-specialist students looking to understand new ventures and entrepreneurial thinking will gain much value across these books.

Visit the series website for additional resources:

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management


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Why not download our Routledge FreeBook Entrepreneurship for Managers: Strategic Decision-Making for Business Growth? This resource contains a chapter from Managing Human Resources in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, along with a selection of excerpts from other titles in the Routledge-ISBE Masters in Entrepreneurship series.

Click here for more information, and to access this FreeBook.