Control and commitment HMR systems in SME family firms: A qualitative study of hybrid forms

Daniela Gauci Borda, Nina Katrin Hansen, Julie Gore

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Strategic HRM research in small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) family businesses still remains in its infancy. This chapter reports one of the first exploratory qualitative empirical studies in this field. Thirteen semi-structured interviews with managers and directors from SME family firms in Malta were completed. The empirical findings show that there is a variety in the implementation of different combinations of HRM practices on the spectrum between control and commitment HRM. Adapting a strategic HRM framework resulted in identify the potential of two new hybrid systems: the "selective" control and the "informal" commitment HRM systems. The findings shed light on the importance of context in implementing an effective HRM system. Furthermore, the authors derive relevant practical implications including the identification of key areas for potential improvement of HRM systems adopted by SME family businesses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning and Implementing HR Management Systems in Family Businesses
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781799848158
ISBN (Print)9781799848141
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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