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Research Seminar Series - Managing volunteer workers in a regional SME: HRM unsung and unheard


Most mainstream texts on HRM (human resource management) ignore SMEs and volunteer workers. Although in the UK, 99% of all businesses are SMEs (Rhodes, 2017: 3) and there is a growing trend for volunteering, professional bodies and university curricula tend to overlook working lives and people management policies and practices in smaller organisations.

In this seminar we discuss the applicability of HRM frameworks developed mainly in large / private sector organisations and their relevance to small and medium-sized NPOs (non-profit organisation). We draw on the AMO (ability, motivation, opportunity) framework to underpin our qualitative study based on interviews within a UK regional hospice to explore the management of volunteers in SMEs. We reflect on implications for HR practitioners in these settings and more generally how we integrate such concerns into our research and teaching.


Dr Julie Davies is HR Subject Group Leader at Huddersfield Business School. She is the UK project lead for an Erasmus Plus project on HRM in regional SMEs. Her research interests also include international management education, the business of business schools and business school leadership, research impact and practitioner-scholars. Julie is a visiting scholar at the LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne, practitioner Fellow of the CIPD, and has published in the Academy of Management Learning & Education and Management Learning.

Dr Dinuka B. Herath is a Lecturer in Organisation Studies at Huddersfield Business School. He is a member of the European Academy of Management and CMI. His research interests primarily include organisational plasticity, disorganisation, complexity in organisations. Recently he has also developed a keen interest in social enterprise and SME entrepreneurship. Dinuka is a guest editor for the Evidence-based Human Resources management journal (EB-HRM) and the International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation (IJEI). His work has been featured in popular media outlets such as Newsweek and Yahoo News.