This study investigates the determinants of high-performance work systems (HPWS) in small and medium-sized private enterprises (SMPEs) in China. Fifteen SMPE owners in a medium-sized city of China were interviewed, the data were analysed and a grid model was developed. The results show that stakeholder relationships and the commitment of owners to human resource management (HRM) are the two main aspects determining the adoption of HPWS in China's SMPEs. Most of the HRM practices used by these SMPEs were developed by the owners according to the specific needs of the firm and the need for flexibility. This research contributes to the HPWS literature by providing evidence on its development in SMPEs in a transitional economy. Key points: Filling in the gap of extant HPWS research which mainly focuses on large firms, we explore on the development of HPWPs in small and medium-sized firms. Adopting a qualitative research method, our study provides evidence on the determinants of HPWS adoption in SMPEs. Our study contributes not only to HPWS literature but also to the institution-related contextual perspective with our findings on HPWS development in emerging economy firms.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- High-performance work systems
- Small and medium-sized private enterprises