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National context as a predictor of high-performance work system effectiveness in small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): a UK–French comparative analysis

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High-performance work systems (HPWSs), a large firm model, have recently attracted interest within small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition, institutional settings have been shown as an important determinant in the types of human resource management (HRM) practices adopted by employers. This paper progresses these topics through a comparative analysis of SMEs within Cote d'Opale/Nord Pas de Calais (French) and Kent (UK) regions. Clear divergence is evident in the nature of HPWS. Whilst UK SMEs are found to adopt a wider range of practices, French firms exhibit a higher degree of integration portrayed through a collective range of practices that engender employee participation and commitment.
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Keywords: comparative HRM; high-performance work systems; institutional context; small-to-medium-sized enterprises

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kent Business School, University of Kent, Kent, UK

Publication date: 01 January 2013

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