Improving Profitability of Very Small and Small Firms: The Impact of Qualiity Practices in the Human Resources Area


  • Ronald G. Cook Rider University
  • Radha Chaganti Rider University


This study compared the quality practices of very small and small firms in the human resources area. Hypotheses relating to empowern1ent, work teams, and training were developed and tested. An analysis revealed that there was a significant difference in empowerment practices between the two groups of firms, but no significant differences in team utilization or employee training. Profitability correlations divulged that team usage and certain aspects of employee training could improve profitability, depending on the size of the firm.


Aeppel, T., (1997, September 8). Missing the boss. Wall Street Journal, p. A l.

Ah ire, S. L., & Golhar, D. Y. (1996). Quality management in large vs. small firms: An empirical investigation. Journal of Small Business Management, 34 (2), 1-13.

Albrecht, K., & Zemke, R. (1985). Service America: Doing business in the new economy. Homewood, I L: Dow Jones-Irwin.

Berry, L. L. (1995). On great service: A framework for action. New York, NY: The Free Press. Cole, R. E. ( 1993). Introduction to the special issue on total quality management. California Management Review, 32 (3), 7-1 1.

Cook, R. G., & Barry, D. (1995). Shaping the external environment: A study of small firms' attempts to influence public policy. Business & Society. 34 (3), 317-344.

Curley, J. P. (1994). Awarding qual ity with quality. Quality Digest. 14 (I ), 61-63.

Cusimano, J. M. ( 1993). Creating leaders through employee empowerment. Qual ity Digest, 11(3), 65-68.

Davenport, T. H. (1993). Need radical innovation and continuous improvement? Planning Review, 21 (3), 6-12.

Employer-provided worker training. Facts from EBRI. ( I June 1998).

Greising, D. (1994, August 8). Quality: How to make it pay. Business Week. 54-59. Haksever, C. ( 1996). Total quality management in the small business environment. Business Horizons, 39 (2), 33-40.

Haksever, C., Cook, R. G., & Chaganti, R. (1997). Applicability of the gaps model to service quality in small firms. Journal of Small Business Strategy. 8 ( I ), 49-66.

Hoevemeyer, V. A. (September 1993). How effective is your team? Training & Development Journal, 47 (9), 67-71.

Judge, G. G., Griffiths, W. E., Hill, R. C., Lutkepol, H., & Lee, T. (1985). The theory and practice of econometrics (2nd. Ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Lewis, B. R. (1989). Quality in the service sector: A review. International Journal of Business Management, 7 (5), 4-1 3.

Longenecker, J. G., Moore, C. W., & Petty, J. W. (1997). Small business management: An entrepreneurial emphasis (10th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western.

Manoochehri, G. ( 1988). J!T for small manufacturers. Journal of Small Business Management, 26 (4), 22-30.

Megginson, W. L., Byrd, M. J., Scott, C. R., & Megginson, L. C. (I994). Small business management: An entrepreneur's guide to success. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin.

Merron, K. ( 1994). Creating TQM Organizations. Quality Progress. 27 (I), 51-54.

Newman, R. (I988). The buyer-supplier relationship under just-in-time. Production and Inventory Management, 29 (3), 45-49.

Oliver, N. (1988). Em ployee commitment and total quality control. International Journal of Quality and Reliabil ity Management, 7 (1), 21-29.

Schlesinger, L. A., & Heskett, J. L. (1991). Breaking the cycle of failure in service. Sloan Management Review, 32 (3), 17-28.

Scholtes, P. R. (1989). The team handbook. Madison, WI: Joiner associates.

Schonberger, R. J. (1992). ls strategy strategic? Impact of total quality management on strategy. Academy of Management Executive, 6 (3), 80-87.

Sironopolis, N. (1997). Small business management: A guide to entrepreneurship (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Miffiin.

Smith, K. G., Mitchell, T. R., & Summer, C. E. ( 1985). Top management priorities in different stages of organizational life-cycle. Academy of Management Journal. 28, 799-820.

Sonfield, M. (1984). Can Japanese management techniques be applied to American small businesses? Journal of Small business Management,22 (3), 18-23.

Stamati D. H. (1992). Team building and development Southgate, Ml: Contemporary Consultants.

The why and how of training in your busines Hewlett-Packard Small Business Tools. (2 June 1998).

Zeitham l, V. A., Parasuraman, A., & Berry, L. L. ( 1 990). Delivering quality service: Balancing customer perceptions and expectations. New York: The Free Press.







How to Cite

Improving Profitability of Very Small and Small Firms: The Impact of Qualiity Practices in the Human Resources Area. (1998). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 9(2), 44-56.