A Conceptual Framework for Addressing the Current Skills Shortage: Human Resource Skills for Small Business Owners

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Management




Walker, E. A., Webster, B. J., Millsteed, J. L., Hocking, J. S., & Redmond, J. L. (2005). A conceptual framework for addressing the current skills shortage: human resource skills for small business owners. Proceedings of SEAANZ Conference. Armidale, Australia. SEAANZ. Conference website available here.


Many small business owners are competent technicians but are often poor bosses as they have limited managerial skills and competencies. This lack of managerial skills spans all aspects of business operation, including staffing. Poor human resource management practices are a demonstrated barrier to the growth and development of small business. Coupled with the current skills shortage, many small business owners grapple with attracting, recruiting and retaining staff. Owners' attitudes, values and beliefs influence the way small businesses are operated and some researchers have suggested that a change of cognizance is required by owners to assure that there is sufficient investment in the human capital of their business. This paper presents a research proposition, based upon a conceptual framework of the human resource needs of small business, that is designed to assist small business owners to develop and retain human resource management skills, via action learning.