The formality and informality of HRM practices in small firms
Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Management
ln this chapter we contribute to our understanding of small firm management practices by investigating a series of questions in relation to HRM in small firms. The purpose is to understand what HRM practices are used in small firms and how they are applied. In light of the debates about the applicability of more formalized large-firm models of HRM in small firms, we particularly focus on the notion of formality and consider how this might emerge in small-firm HRM practice. We do this through interviews with owner-managers of 11 small firms in Victoria, Australia. Our concern is not simply whether or not practices are formalized, but with the logic of formalization or its purpose and look to older ideas about bureaucracy to pursue this.