SMEs and Employee Relations Term Paper

The paper explores the nature of employee relations in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
# 147092 | 2,252 words | 35 sources | APA | 2011 | KE
Published on Feb 21, 2011 in Business (Small) , Business (Human Resources)

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This paper explains that due to the diversity of small and medium sized firms in terms of product and labor market circumstances, the terrain of employee relations in such firms remains a contested field. The paper seeks to explore the 'informality' of employee relations in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, with the purpose of unfolding the existing theories on the HR practices, the diversity of SMEs and the employer- employee relations. The paper also addresses the effects of the national minimum wage regulation to SMEs, and its implications on employee relations in the SME sector. Some explanatory tables are also included with the paper.


From the Paper:

''Owing to the diversity of small and medium sized firms in terms of product and labor market circumstances, the terrain of employee relations in such firms has remained a contested field. While appreciating this heterogeneity in the SME sector, numerous researches have expressed their concerns on the existing informality on employee relations. To illustrate this, Terry and Collinson, (1999) identify taxonomy of categories of employer control practices evident in SMEs. These include benevolent autocracy, paternalism, sweating and fraternalism (Terry and Collinson, 1999, p. 218). This shows the distinctive difference between employee relations in SMEs and in large firms. In simple terms, SMEs lack the necessary resources to facilitate the use of complicated management strategies, the development of unionism for collective bargaining and the appointment of HR specialists (Dex & Schiebl, 2007). Terry and Collinson, (1999) also postulate that employment relations are strained by non bureaucratic culture in favor of family, affective and personal relations. Other varied researchers have attempted to elucidate the concepts of heterogeneity and employee relations in SMEs, with numerous theoretical models being advanced to unfold the phenomena.''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ackers, P, & Wilson, A, 2003 (eds.), Understanding work & employment: Industrial relations in transition Oxford: OUP.
  • Ackers, P, Smith, C & Smith, P 1996, The new workplace and trade unionism, Routledge: London.
  • Arrowsmith, J, Gilman, M, Edwards, P. & Ram, M 2003, "The Impact of the National Minimum Wage in small firms", British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.41 no.3 pp.435-456.
  • Barrett, R., Rainnie, A., 2002, "Whats so special about small firms? Developing an integrated approach to analysing small firm industrial relations", Work, Employment and Society, Vol. 16 No.3, pp.415-31.
  • Cardon, M.S., Stevens, C.E. , 2004, "Managing human resources in small organizations: what do we know", Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 14 pp.295-323.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

SMEs and Employee Relations (2011, February 21) Retrieved December 02, 2022, from

MLA Format

"SMEs and Employee Relations" 21 February 2011. Web. 02 December. 2022. <>