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15 November 2020
Human Capital in Small Enterprises
Human capital (HC) is highly related to the existence, competitiveness and sustainability of small enterprises (SE). On the one hand, due to limited access to tangible and financial resources in small firms, it is the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that make it possible to create new products and services or implement innovations. On the other hand, SE, due to their share in the labour market play a crucial role in managing HC. Thus, HC issues in these types of organisations can be a field of interesting and value adding research.
Despite the fact that issues related to HC, in organisations other than large ones, has received growing researchers’ attention, in most cases they focus on a group of small and medium enterprises jointly. However, the distinction between small and medium enterprise with regard to HC and HC management (HCM) practices seems to be lacking. This special issue would like to address the gap in referring to HC and HCM in SE (i.e. up to 50 employees).
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When analysing paradigms that might be applied in the research on human capital in small enterprises, three theories seem to be most relevant. The first one refers to the entrepreneurship theory, according to which an entrepreneur’s HC is crucial at the start-up stage and is a driving force for company development on subsequent growth stages. However, HC that may be central to explaining one phase of the entrepreneurial process may have little influence on later phases. Thus, differentiation between formal, informal and idiosyncratic HC and its role in Human Resource Development (HRD) could be of value. The second theory refers to the resource based view, according to which, HC can be characterised by VRIN attributes, and hence it can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage. This perspective can be applied to small enterprises as they have limited access to tangible and financial resources. The third perspective refers to dynamic capabilities theory according to which firms may organise their internal processes in a unique way adjusted to their limitations, potential and expected outcomes. The way how small firms organise activities referring to acquiring, developing and making use of HC (especially in creating organisational and relational capital) can be perceived as a dynamic capability. Additionally, small firms’ research may require taking into account their variety - which refers to the size, market, industry, and business models applied.
Under the Select Article Type, please choose Special Issue Paper. Once you have uploaded your paper and have reached the section/category page, please select: Special Issue: Human capital in small enterprises
Submitted papers will be double blind peer reviewed and published in a special journal issue of Small Enterprise Research in 2021 or 2022.
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