The economic and social importance of ethnic minority microbusinesses (‘EMMBs’ with 1–9 employees) is neglected in human resource (HR) academic and policy discourse on productive ways of working. This article presents an action research approach to show how academics and intermediaries (local trusted industry representatives) can collaborate to promote HR development programmes targeted at more productive methods of operating in EMMBs. Our research collaboration involves academics, EMMBs (from the catering and creative sectors) and intermediaries. We develop perspectives on HR in small firms by showing how EMMBs can be engaged in initiatives of learning and development targeted at organisational change. The study contributes to recent calls for a more inclusive approach to HR theorising and practice.
Bibliographical note© 2021 The Authors. Human Resource Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding: Economic and Social Research Council (GrantNumber(s): ES/S012788/1)
- HR practices
- action research
- ethnic minority
- productive work