Organisational learning and HRD: How appropriate are they for small firms?

  • Saru E
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study human resource development (HRD) and organisational learning issues in a small expert organisation. Design/methodology/approach - This is a qualitative single case study conducted in one Finnish SME. It is part of an ongoing study. It is descriptive in nature and the aim is to find out whether the existing HRD and OL practices are relevant and appropriate in the small context. Findings - The results reveal that small organisations do consider HRD to be an issue, even though it may not be as visible or official as in larger companies. The HRD, OL or strategy issues merge into the territory of just one man. The case organisation represents the small firm sector very well. Research limitations/implications - Current literature has established that the models designed for larger organisations are not directly applicable to the small context. Future research should concentrate on finding out what model SMEs use for the development of human resources. This study cannot be generalised because, at this point, it is a single case study. Practical implications - From the SME perspective, the paper suggests that there is a lot a small organisation can do in terms of human resource practices, even without vast resources. Originality/value - The paper examines the HRD and OL issue from a practical point of view. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Finland
  • Human resource development
  • Learning organizations
  • Small and medium-sized organizations
  • Small enterprises

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  • Essi Saru

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