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This report provides a summary of our findings from the first phase of our study on human resource practices in small businesses based on qualitative interviews with top managers and owners of small businesses. Below we include a brief description of the sample and an explanation of the hurdle that we experienced when using the terms human resource management practices. On the following pages, we report the main findings of the qualitative phase of our study. The findings are organized into three main sections around the areas of management philosophies, employee management practices, and key employee outcomes that link management practices to firm performance. The overall findings from this first report are summarized in a research model depicted in Figure 1. Funding for this research was provided by the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies at Cornell University and Gevity, is a provider of comprehensive human capital management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.


Suggested Citation
Collins, C., Ericksen, J. & Allen, M. (2004). A qualitative investigation of the human resource management practices in small businesses (CAHRS Working Paper #04-04). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.