Central European Business Review
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MBA Program Chair Publishes in the Central European Business Review

3 min read

The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to share that Chair of the AUA Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, Dr. Mane Beglaryan, has recently published a research article on “HRM Policies and SMEs Performance: The Moderating Role of CSR Orientation” in the Central European Business Review.

The article discusses a growing interest in human resource management (HRM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which has not been accompanied by increased knowledge on how different HRM policy orientations can affect SMEs’ effectiveness. The goal of the research is twofold: to test whether the orientation of HRM towards high-performance work practices (HPWP) — represented by the Abilities-Motivation-Opportunities (AMO) framework — allows SMEs to improve performance; and examine the moderating role that a corporate social responsibility (CSR) orientation would have. 

The analysis of data from a survey conducted by telephone together with data collected from a sample of 1,136 Spanish SMEs operating in the industrial or services sector has shown that SMEs perform better when HRM policies are oriented towards the AMO model. In addition, the findings also indicate that the performance impact of orienting HRM towards HPWP is positively moderated by a CSR orientation. The paper thus complements HRM-related literature by adding new evidence supporting the impact of the AMO model on firm performance, as well as the role that a CSR orientation would play within the SME context. The study suggests that managers should seriously consider implementing appropriate ability, motivation, and opportunity policies for their employees in order to enhance SME performance. 

“Our joint work is very important since this is practice-near research and has direct implications,” notes Dr. Beglaryan. The AMO model framework — with its ability, motivation, and opportunity policies — should be considered as one of the patterns to follow in HRM orientation, since it allows a balance of informality with HRM effectiveness in SMEs. Thus, managers should carefully design, implement and evaluate HRM policies to take on these objectives, thereby encouraging greater entrepreneurial growth. 

Finally, the paper underlines the importance of adopting a CSR orientation, which should be espoused by companies to reflect their commitment to stakeholders and the environment. Dr. Beglaryan emphasizes that a CSR orientation should also be considered when SMEs seek to pursue their strategic fronts, such as the development of formal systems for creating learning organizations, strategic deployment of HRM to maximize returns for the firms, and overall development of workforce competencies. 

“The findings which emerge from this paper may also assist entrepreneurs and SME owners to focus their efforts on their particular contexts,” adds Dr. Beglaryan. “Both my colleagues and I have worked on this paper for quite some time and I am glad to see this international collaboration result in such a fine publication.”  

Based on the successful publication of this article, Dr. Beglaryan and her collaborators will likewise release a follow-up article exploring similar themes.

“Our next paper aims to investigate the impact of orienting human resource (HR) practices towards the AMO framework on firm financial performance in family firms,” explains co-author Gregorio Sanchez-Marin. “We adopt a socioemotional wealth (SEW) perspective to examine the moderating effect that the pursuing of family-centered goals has on these relationships. Using a sample of 134 Spanish companies, our findings indicate that AMO-oriented HR practices positively impacts on family firm financial performance and that the influence and prevalence of family-centered goals is quite significant: while its direct impact on financial performance is positive, the moderating effect on the relationship between HR practices and performance turns negative.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.