Research Report

Sustaining growth – the HR dimension HR practices and management and leadership skills of High Growth SMEs

ERC Research Report


Koryak, Oksana, Nicolaou, Nicos

Associated Themes
  • Management and Leadership
  • Productivity and performance

Prior business demographics research conducted by the ERC identified that only a small minority of UK SMEs experience sustainable growth over an extended period of time. For instance, of the firms that were newly established in 1998 just 6% showed an appreciable employee growth by 2013. What lies behind such a remarkable performance on the part of so few companies? In this paper, we investigate the leadership behaviours and high performance work practices (i.e. those HR practices that are intended to align employees’ performance with organizational goals through self-regulation rather than sanctions) that are associated with growth.