An Examination of the Relationship Between Strategy and Human Resource Management Practices among Small Businesses

  • Elyssa Blanton Schultz Louisiana State University
  • Nathan Bennett Louisiana State University
  • David J. Ketchen, Jr. Louisiana State University


Although   it has been asserted  that an organization's  strategy  is, or should  be, a major determinant  of its human resource  management practices,  little empirical research has addressed this linkage in small businesses.  Therefore, we do not know whether managers of small firms have devoted resources to design, implement, and support  human resource management practices that are aligned with firm strategy. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and extent of the relationship, if any, between strategy and human resource management practices among small  businesses.   The results offer little evidence of a consistent relationship. This suggests that an opportunity to build future competitive advantage may be realized through strategically managing human resources.


Download data is not yet available.


Balkin, D.B., & Gomez-Mejia, L.R. ( 1 987). Toward a contingency theory of compensation strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 8, 1 69-1 82.
Blau, P.M. & Schoenherr, R.A. (1971). The structure of organizations. New York: Basic Books.
Davig, W. (1986). Business strategies in smaller manufacturing fi rms. Journal of Small Business Management, (January), 38-46.
Delery. J.E. & Doty. D.H. (1996). Modes of theorizing i n strategic human resource management: Tests of universalistic, contingency, and configurational perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 39: 802-835.
Dyer, L. ( 1 983). Bri ngi ng human resources i nto the strategy formulation process. Human Resource Management, 22, 257-271 .
Dyer, L. ( 1 985). Strategic human resources management and planning. In K. Rowland and G. Ferris (Eds.). Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (pp. 1 -30). Greenwich. CT: JAi Press.
Fairfield-Sonn, J. W. ( 1 987). A strategic process model for small businesses trai n ing and development. Journal of Small Business Management, (January) 1 -1 8.
Finkelstei n, S. & Hambrick, D.C. (1990). Top-management-team tenure and organizational outco1nes: 'the moderating role of managerial discretion. Administrative Science Quarterly. 35, 484-503.
Fisher, C. ( 1 989). Current and recurrent challenges i n H RM. Journal of Management, 15, 1 57- 1 80.
Fombrun, C., Tichy, N., & Devanna, M. ( 1 984).Strategic human resource management. New York: Wiley.
Gatewood, R.D.. & Field, H.S. ( 1987). A personnel selection program for small businesses. Journal of Small Business Management, (October) 1 6-24.
Hall, R.H., Haas. J.E., & Johnson, N.J. (1967). Organizational size, complexity, and formalization. American Sociological Revielv, 32, 903-91 2.
Hambrick, D.C., Geletkanycz, M.A., & Fredrickson,! .W. ( 1993). Top executive commitment to the status quo: Some tests of its determinants. Strategic Managenzent Journal, I 4. 401 -41 8.
Hornsby, J.S.. & Kuratko, D.F. (1990). Human resource management in small busi ness: Crit ical issues for the I 990's. Journal of Small Business Management (J uly), 9-1 8.
Jackson , S.A. Schuler, R.R., & Rivero, J.C. (1 989). Organizational characteristics as pred ictors of personnel practices. Personnel Psychology, 42, 727-786.
Jennin gs, P.O. ( 1 994). Viewing macro H RM from without: Political and instit utional perspectives. Research in Personnel and Hu1nan Resource Manage1nent, 12, 1-40.
Keats, B.W., & Hitt, M.A. (1988). A causal model of linkages among environmental dimensions, macro organ izational characteristics. and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 31, 570-598.
Kerr, S. ( 1 975). On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B. Academy of Management Journal. 18, 769-783.
Kerr, S. ( 1 995). On the folly of rewarding A, whi le hoping for B. TheAcademy of Management Executive, 9. 7-1 4.
Lengnick-Hall,C.A., & Lengnick-Hal l, M.L. (1988). Strategic human resources management: A review of the Literature and a proposed typology. Academy of Management Review, I3, 454-470.
Little, B.L. (1987). The performance of personnel duties in small Louisiana firms: A research note. Journal of Small Business Management, (October), 66-69.
Miles, R.E., & Snow, C.C. ( 1 978).· Organizational strategy, structure, and process. New York: McGraw-H i l l.
Miles, R.E., & Snow, C.C. (1984). Designing strategic human resource systems. Organizational Dynanrics, 13, 36-52.
Milkovich, G.T. ( 1 988). A strategic perspective on compensat i on management. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 6, 263-288.
Normand,J., Salyards, S.D., & Mahoney, J.J. ( 1990). An evaluation of pre-employment drug testing. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 629-639.
01ian, J .D., & Rynes, S.L. ( 1 984). Organizational staffing: Integrating practice with strategy. Industrial Relations, 23, 1 70-1 83.
Scarborough, N.M., Zimmerer, T.W., & Naumes, W. ( 1 991). Effective small business management. Columbus: Merrill Publishing Company.
Schuler, R.R., & Jackson, S.A. ( I 987a). Linking competitive strategies with human resource management practices. Academy of Management Executive, I , 207-21 9.
Schuler. R.R., & Jackson, S.A. (1987b). Organizational strategy and organizational level as determinants of hu1nan resource management practices. Human Resource Planning. JO, 125-1 41.
Schuler, R.R., & MacMillan, I .(1984). Gaining com petitive advantage through human resource management practices. Human Resource Management, 23, 241 -256.
Segev, E. (1989). A systematic comparative analysis and synthesis of business-level strategic typologies. Strategic Management Journal, I O, 487-505.
Tolbert, P., & Zucker, L.G. (I983). Institutional sources of change in formal structure of organizations: A diffusion of civil service reform I800- I935. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 22-39.
Villemez, W.J., & Bridges, W.P. ( 1988). When bigger is better: Differences in the individual­ level effect of firm and establishment size. American Sociological Review, 53, 237- 255.
Walker, J., & Bechel, T. (I99 I). Defining effectiveness and efficiency measures in the context of human resource strategy. J n R. Neihaus and K. Price (Eds.), Bottom-line Results from Strategic Human Resource Planning (pp. 235-246). NY: Plenum.
Watts, L.R., & Ornsby, J.G. (I990). The effect of operational and strategic planning on small firm performance. Journal of Small Business Strategy, I , 27-35.
Wright, P.M., & McMahan, G.C. ( 1992). Theoretical perspecti ves for strategic human resource management. Journal of Management, I 8, 295-320.
Wright, P.M., & Snell, S.A. (I99 I). Toward an integrative view of strategic human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, I , 203-225.
How to Cite
SCHULTZ, Elyssa Blanton; BENNETT, Nathan; KETCHEN, JR., David J.. An Examination of the Relationship Between Strategy and Human Resource Management Practices among Small Businesses. Journal of Small Business Strategy, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 1, p. 35-48, jan. 1997. ISSN 2380-1751. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 apr. 2019.