The Open UniversitySkip to content

It's a small world: managing human resources in small business

Bacon, Nicolas; Ackers, Peter; Storey, John and Coates, David (1996). It's a small world: managing human resources in small business. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 7(1) pp. 82–100.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


It has become widely acknowledged that, during the past decade or so, large mainstream companies in the UK have adopted a new agenda for managing people. Relatively little is known about the impact of this new agenda on small businesses. The small business sector has been long regarded as the natural home for ‘bleak house’ employment relations practices typified by direct management control, poor terms and conditions, high staff turnover and little training. In March 1993, however, a large survey of 560 companies in Leicestershire revealed a surprisingly high take-up and awareness of new management ideas among small business managers. These findings are at odds with a crude ‘bleak house’ scenario. This large-scale telephone survey was then followed up with detailed case study research. This article presents and reflects upon the evidence and reformulates ideas about people management in small businesses.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 1996 Routledge
ISSN: 1466-4399
Keywords: small businesses; human resource management
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 50084
Depositing User: John Storey
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 11:16
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:53
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU