Linking corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management in SMEs

Gary J. Castrogiovanni, David Urbano, Joaquín Loras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This article seeks to analyse the human resource management (HRM) practices adopted in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for promoting corporate entrepreneurship (CE) in the Spanish context. The specific objectives of the inquiry revolve around two main research questions: What HRM practices are most beneficial for promoting CE in SMEs? How do HRM practices promote an appropriate working environment for CE in SMEs? Design/methodology/approach: The idea of human resource practices as a key resource is analyzed in the framework of a broader perspective of strategic management known as the resource-based view of the firm. Additionally, literatures concerning CE and HRM in small firms are integrated and reviewed. The empirical study is carried out by adopting a multiple-case study approach. Findings: Evidence shows that the creation of personal relationships and the development of an open communication between owner-managers and employees, and among employees themselves, can help to explain the dynamics of entrepreneurial behaviors within small firms. The openness in the communication is important, not only for promoting CE activities, but also for creating the most appropriate work environment to carry out other resource management practices that stimulate entrepreneurial behaviors. Originality/value: This study integrates the research on CE and HRM practices in a field of study rarely analyzed, such as Spanish SMEs. The approach shows that there is sound evidence supporting the importance of analyzing the factors leading to the emergence of CE, including intangible resources such as the human resource practices that increase the employees' entrepreneurial attitudes. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-47
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Critical success factors
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Human resource management
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises
  • Spain


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