Original Research

Formalising human resource practices in family-owned accommodation Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Integrating owner-manager’s personal characteristics with aspects of the UTAUT model

Willard Nyamubarwa, Crispen Chipunza
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1595 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1595 | © 2021 Willard Nyamubarwa, Crispen Chipunza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2021 | Published: 26 July 2021

About the author(s)

Willard Nyamubarwa, Department of Human Resource Management, School of Social Sciences, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Crispen Chipunza, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Orientation: The decision to formalise human resource (HR) practices by family-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is regarded as one of the key managerial practices that the owner-manager may institute to unlock firm value. Given this owner manager’s overarching role in the decision-making processes, the extent to which his or her personal attributes manifest themselves in deciding to formalise human resource management practices within a specific decision-making model is still a grey area in studies of family businesses.

Research purpose: This study aims to use aspects of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model to explain how owner-manager’s personal characteristics that influences the decision to formalise HR practices in family-owned SMEs.

Motivations for the study: Previous studies have failed to use recent decision-making models to explain HR formalisation in family businesses and therefore there is dearth of empirical evidence on how owner-managers’ personal characteristic influence their decision to formalise HR practices.

Research approach/design and method: Data was collected using convenience sampling method and the data was analysed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to test the veracity of the proposed structural model.

Main findings: The owner-manager’s personal attributes have a strong bearing on the decision-making processes in family-owned SMEs.

Practical/managerial implications: The study identifies some personal considerations that are important in the decision to formalise HR practices in family-owned SMEs.

Contribution/value-add: The study contributes to literature on formalising HR practices in family businesses by integrating aspects of an existing decision-making model and demographic characteristics.


formalisation; family-owned SMEs; owner-manager; decision-making


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