Title: Towards a framework of contextual human resource management practices for internationalising SMEs

Authors: Veena Vohra

Addresses: School of Business Management, NMIMS University, VL Mehta Road, Vile Parle West, Mumbai – 56, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face several strategic, financial and manpower related challenges as they embark on the internationalisation journey. While internationalisation is a growth imperative for SMEs, they are often not equipped to handle these challenges well enough. Lack of trained manpower, knowledge, skills and expertise may lead to erroneous decisions thereby jeopardising the internationalisation process. SMEs find it difficult to absorb such delays and cost owing to limited resources. The limited availability of resources also induces the decision makers to overlook development of human resource practices in favour of more immediate business concerns. With this background, this study attempts to develop a framework of context-specific human resource management practices to meet SME internationalisation challenges. This study explores the organisational needs of SMEs in different stages of internationalisation from the lens of human resource management. This exploration serves as a basis for developing the characteristics of key HRM practices for different phases in SME internationalisation. Propositions are presented and areas for future research are specified, mainly calling for more empirical studies with a different human resource perspective of SMEs.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; SME internationalisation; human resource management; HRM; contextual practices; Uppsala model.

DOI: 10.1504/JIBED.2016.077754

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, 2016 Vol.9 No.3, pp.324 - 341

Received: 19 Sep 2015
Accepted: 10 Dec 2015

Published online: 14 Jul 2016 *

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