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Do human resource practices enhance organizational commitment in SMEs with low employee satisfaction?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stewart Johnstone



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper considers a large matched employee–employer data set to estimate a model of organizational commitment. In particular, it focuses on the role of firm size and management formality to explain organizational commitment in British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high and low levels of employee satisfaction. It is shown that size ‘in itself’ can explain differences in organizational commitment, and that organizational commitment tends to be higher in organizations with high employee satisfaction compared with organizations of similar size with low employee satisfaction. Crucially, the results suggest that formal human resource (HR) practices can be used as important tools to increase commitment and thus, potentially, effort and performance within underperforming SMEs with low employee satisfaction. However, formal HR practices commonly used by large firms may be unnecessary in SMEs which benefit from high employee satisfaction and positive employment relations within a context of informality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Saridakis G, Munoz-Torres R, Johnstone S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Management

Year: 2013

Volume: 24

Issue: 3

Pages: 445-458

Print publication date: 01/09/2013

Online publication date: 09/02/2012

Date deposited: 07/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1045-3172

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8551

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2012.00814.x


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