Original Research

Implementation of human resource management functions in selected small manufacturing companies in Ga-Rankuwa industrial area, Gauteng, South Africa

Ingrid L. Potgieter, Segopotse E. Mokomane
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1282 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1282 | © 2020 Ingrid L. Potgieter, Segopotse E. Mokomane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 September 2019 | Published: 31 August 2020

About the author(s)

Ingrid L. Potgieter, Department of Human Resource Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Segopotse E. Mokomane, Human Resources Staffing and Client Services, Human Resources (Support Department), University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: Human resource management (HRM) is a fundamental element in the success of any organisation. Research on HRM functions in medium and large organisations has been given much attention. However, few research studies have been conducted in assessing the importance and implementation of HRM functions in small companies.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the implementation of HRM functions and its perceived importance in small manufacturing companies (SMC), as well as the limitations or barriers to effective HRM implementation in SMCs.

The motivation for the study: Human resource management functions play a strategic role in any organisation. Literature studies indicate that relatively little is known about HRM functions in small businesses. This research aimed to contribute to the knowledge of HRM and enhance the understanding and importance of the HRM functions in SMCs.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research design was followed. A convenience sampling technique was used with eight participants. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews.

Main findings: The HRM functions of recruitment and orientation, general labour relations, human resource information systems (HRIS), performance management, training and development, and remuneration and benefit were informally implemented and acknowledged as crucial in SMCs. The study further found that a limited budget, lack of resources and capacity, inadequate systems, ineffective employment relationships, lack of knowledge and understanding of HRM functions and business instability negatively affect SMCs to implement all HRM functions within the business and therefore negatively influence the performance of the company.

Practical/managerial implications: All managers/owners and employees are aware of all the HRM functions that could enhance the performance and success of their organisation.

Contribution/value-add: The study findings will assist SMCs to implement and understand the importance of HRM functions as well as the barriers to effective implementation of HRM functions.


human resource management; HRM functions; small manufacturing companies; small businesses; general labour relations; training and development; performance management


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