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HRM inside UK e-commerce firms : innovations in the 'new' economy and continuities with the 'old'.

Dietz, G. and van der Wiele, T. and van Iwaarden, J. and Brosseau, J. (2006) 'HRM inside UK e-commerce firms : innovations in the 'new' economy and continuities with the 'old'.', International small business journal., 24 (5). pp. 443-470.


The e-commerce approach to people management (i.e. HRM) is popularly believed to be radically new and an innovative rewriting of the ‘old’ rules of employment. Yet little is known about which HR practices are used by such companies, and what might explain these companies’ policy selections in the realm of HR. Exploratory survey data based on a sample of 30 small-medium UK e-commerce firms reports use of employee involvement in decision-making, internal communication, financial participation and reward schemes, performance evaluation, training and provision for employment security. Insights from interviews with five senior managers from the sample augment the survey data with qualitative evidence on e-commerce firms’ approach to HR. The findings suggest that this approach falls somewhere between radical ‘new’ innovations and enduring continuities with ‘old’ people management techniques, and that this has parallels with the experience of small-medium enterprises generally.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:E-commerce, HRM, Management, New economy, SMEs, UK.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, International small business journal, 24/5, 2006, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2006 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the International small business journal page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Record Created:26 Aug 2008
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 16:54

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