Wiesner, Retha and McDonald, Jim and Banham, Heather C. (2007) Australian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs): a study of high performance management practices. Journal of Management and Organization, 13 (3). pp. 227-248. ISSN 1833-3672
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Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.5172/jmo.2007.13.3.227
While there is extensive management and academic literature on the topic area of high performance management internationally, research on high performance management practices in the Australian context is limited. Furthermore, research on high performance management practices has focused predominantly on large organisations and is largely a new direction for research in SMEs. This study attempts to fill some of the gaps in existing studies by considering a wide range of high performance management practices in Australian SMEs. Owing to the dearth of national data on high performance management in Australian SMEs, the results of this study are used to determine whether there is any evidence of a ‘high performing' scenario in relation to management practices in Australian SMEs. The results, reporting a national study (N = 1435) on employee management in Australian SMEs, reveal a moderate take-up of high performance management practices. The findings by themselves do not support a ‘high' performing scenario in relation to management practices in SMEs; however the low application of participative practices in the context of low unionization, and a low incidence of collective relations, indicates that many SMEs need a make-over if they are to meet the demands of competition. It is evident from the findings in this study that high performance practices in SMEs stand to benefit from modernisation and improvement.
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