Effect of crises on human resources management in small and medium enterprises: Evidence from manufacturing industry in the Czech Republic


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The current turbulent times have never been so demanding to adapt to ever-changing conditions. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) form the cornerstone of the economy. Moreover, they are the driving force of economic processes in all countries. Therefore, this paper aims to empirically map and identify the causes of the crisis and statistically verify how these crises affect the personnel measures taken and human resource management (HRM) in SMEs. The chi-square test and Cramer’s coefficient were used to verify the statistical dependences of research questions and hypotheses. A statistically significant impact of external economic influences on enterprises’ activities was empirically confirmed (59%). It was proved that nowadays, the most important external factor influencing the activities of enterprises in the market is the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also focused on the personnel measures taken during the crisis. It was confirmed that small businesses apply alternative personnel measures, namely reducing variable wage components before radical redundancies.

This study was supported by the project DKRVO Tomas Bata University in Zlín – Risk management in logistics – RVO/FLKŘ/2021/03, Faculty of Logistics and Crisis Management, and project GAAA – Project risk management in the conditions of SMEs in the Czech Republic – GA/16/2019.

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    • Figure 1. Boxplots of the responses to research questions (Q1-4)
    • Figure 2. Structure of respondents’ answers to the research question 9
    • Table 1. Measures of location and variability of research questions (Q1-4)
    • Table 2. Computations of chi-square testing of research questions (Q5-10)
    • Conceptualization
      Eva Hoke, Kamil Peterek, Katerina Vichova, Pavel Taraba
    • Data curation
      Eva Hoke, Kamil Peterek
    • Investigation
      Eva Hoke, Kamil Peterek
    • Project administration
      Eva Hoke
    • Resources
      Eva Hoke, Katerina Vichova
    • Supervision
      Eva Hoke, Pavel Taraba
    • Writing – original draft
      Eva Hoke, Kamil Peterek, Katerina Vichova
    • Methodology
      Kamil Peterek
    • Validation
      Kamil Peterek
    • Writing – review & editing
      Kamil Peterek, Katerina Vichova, Pavel Taraba
    • Formal Analysis
      Katerina Vichova
    • Funding acquisition
      Pavel Taraba