One of the critical issues in research into the field of HRM is that, until recently, it was considered as inappropriate for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and consequently research in this direction has been relatively at a minimum level. Another issue that has to be addressed is the belief on the part of some that medium-sized companies are merely smaller examples of large firms. One of the more obvious differences is the reality that many medium-size companies lack economies of scale and thus have fewer resources available for the HRM department. It would appear, therefore, that the typical medium-sized firm faces a number of challenges in regards to HRM.
For this research, a case-study was undertaken to provide primary data, featuring a well-known medium-sized UK firm, Baringa Partners LLP, which has successfully implemented HRM in its business model. The literature review and case study were able to identify characteristics, attitudes and beliefs related to HRM in a medium-sized company especially as described by Baringa Partners LLP's HR specialist. Additionally, the study evaluated the factors influencing the successful adoption of human resource management in a wide variety of medium-sized companies.
Whilst the results of this study clearly indicated that a medium-sized firm is more than capable of adopting formal HRM procedures - as opposed to the more informal measures that are favoured in the literature and practiced by many SMEs - it also must be stated that, if a firm is not ready for such processes, it would actually be counter-productive to the firm. Indeed, many SMEs would be better served by progressing at their own natural rates of growth which allows for flexibility.