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Commitment to Employees: Does It Help or Hinder Small Business Performance?


  • Lori Muse


  • Matthew Rutherford


  • Sharon Oswald


  • Jennie Raymond



This study used a sample of 4,637 small businesses to test the relationship between organizational commitment to employees (OCE) and company performance. OCE was significant in all five of the performance models. The results of the employee productivity model revealed a significant positive relationship between OCE and company performance, suggesting that small businesses might be able to realize some benefit in employee productivity from OCE programs. In addition, results from the return on assets, return on sales, return on cashflow, and employee growth models indicated that some OCE programs might be more beneficial to small businesses than others. Potential antecedents of OCE were also examined. Company size, owner education, and gender of the owner had positive relationships with OCE. Partial support was also found for a positive relationship between owner experience and OCE. Differences in the results of this study compared to studies for larger corporations and suggestions for future research are also discussed. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Lori Muse & Matthew Rutherford & Sharon Oswald & Jennie Raymond, 2005. "Commitment to Employees: Does It Help or Hinder Small Business Performance?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 97-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:97-111
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-003-3098-7

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    Cited by:

    1. Unger, Jens M. & Rauch, Andreas & Frese, Michael & Rosenbusch, Nina, 2011. "Human capital and entrepreneurial success: A meta-analytical review," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 341-358, May.
    2. Carmon, Anna F. & Miller, Amy N. & Raile, Amber N.W. & Roers, Michelle M., 2010. "Fusing family and firm: Employee perceptions of perceived homophily, organizational justice, organizational identification, and organizational commitment in family businesses," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 210-223, December.
    3. Francesco Barbera & Ken Moores, 2013. "Firm ownership and productivity: a study of family and non-family SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 953-976, May.
    4. Paul Olusiji Ogunyomi & Rasheed Kola Ojikutu, 2014. "Employee Resourcing and Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos State, Nigeria," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, Macrothink Institute, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, vol. 1(1), pages 16-35, June.
    5. Mayer-Haug, Katrin & Read, Stuart & Brinckmann, Jan & Dew, Nicholas & Grichnik, Dietmar, 2013. "Entrepreneurial talent and venture performance: A meta-analytic investigation of SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1251-1273.
    6. Rauch, Andreas & Hatak, Isabella, 2016. "A meta-analysis of different HR-enhancing practices and performance of small and medium sized firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 485-504.


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