Title: Human resources management in responsible small businesses: why, how and for what?

Authors: Silvia Cantele

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Via Cantarane, 24, 37129, Verona, Italy

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility pushes firms to be accountable for their effects on society and the environment, and to be responsive to all groups of stakeholders. The literature has pointed out the unique approach of small firms to social responsibility and human resources, which are considered the most important stakeholder group in this kind of business. This study is aimed at deepening our understanding of relationships between the motivation behind a socially responsible approach, the practices towards employees and the perceived benefits, in the context of Italian small businesses. The analysis of conducted interviews highlights that small businesses consider employee satisfaction and commitment a priority. Despite what is shown in the literature, they do not avoid implementing formal tools to manage and communicate their ethical approach to human resources management and are completely aware of the strategic relevance of engaging with employees in order to gain firm excellence.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; employee satisfaction; organisational commitment; small and medium enterprises; Italy; sustainability; human resources management; small businesses; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2018.092291

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2018 Vol.18 No.1/2, pp.112 - 126

Received: 05 Jan 2017
Accepted: 11 May 2017

Published online: 07 Jun 2018 *

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