Employment Issues Business Resource Materials

Entrepreneurship Law Editorial Team


Rhonda Abrams, Hire Your First Employee (2010).

Abstract (from Amazon Product Description): If you want to grow your business, you need help. This book guides you step-by-step through everything you need to make the decision to hire, find the right people and lead & manage your team.

David L. Birch, JOB CREATION IN AMERICA (1987).

Abstract:  Think of American business, and the picture that likely flashes into your mind is a General Motors plant, an Exxon North Sea oil platform or an IBM computer. Such pictures flash in economists' minds as well. As a result, MIT professor David Birch shocked the business establishment a half dozen years ago with one of those landmark findings that's so obvious after the fact: Small businesses are creating the jobs and innovating; the very big firms are shedding jobs and failing to innovate. The Fortune 500, for instance, has cast off 3 million workers since 1981, while the U.S. as a whole is the envy of the world, with over 6 million jobs created since 1981. Moreover, in his new book, Job Creation in America, Birch points out that only 20 percent of us work in firms with more than 5,000 people on the payroll, while 35 percent are in firms with 100 to 5,000 employees and 45 percent work in firms with less than 100.

Suzanne Caplan, Start Your Own Business and Hire Yourself: Insider Tips for Successful Self-Employment in any Economy (2010).

Abstract: Unable to achieve employment, people are increasingly turning to entrepreneurship to create work, according to a recent article in the New York Times. As a result, people's interest in consulting, freelancing, and building self-enterprises is booming. There's no time like the present to start your business.  This book includes chapters on: getting into the game; researching your options; developing your business plan; setting your budget and getting funding in tough times; a brief introduction to accounting basics; knowing the market and hiring the best customers; smart marketing; keeping business and personal finances separate; secrets for continuing business success; and planning your business exit strategy.

Henry R. Nothhaft & David Kline, Great Again: Revitalizing America's Entrepreneurial Leadership (2011).

Abstract (adapted from publisher): In "Great Again", serial entrepreneur Hank Nothhaft takes the reader inside the heart of the communities most responsible for innovation and shows how a few practical reforms can get America's economy moving again. This book is an call to action for: (1) Removing regulatory shackles from start-ups, (2) Fixing the patent office to incentivize innovation, (3) Creating smarter government support of basic science and research, (4) Offering meaningful incentives to rebuild our manufacturing sector, and (5) Easing immigration rules to turn America's brain drain into a brain gain. Filled with evocative stories and examples, "Great Again" presents an action plan for entrepreneurs and policymakers.


David L. Birch, The Contribution of Small Enterprise to Growth and Employment, in New Opportunities for Entrepreneurship: Tübingen: Sym¬≠posium, 1–17 (Herbert Giersch, ed., 1983).

Abstract (from publisher): To estimations of Birch, annually the number of jobs increased approximately 1.8 million, but total number of the new jobs claimed for indemnification, lost, and for creation of a pure gain, should be 8 - 9 million. New jobs can appear as a result of expansion of old firms.

Richard J. Boden, Jr., Employment Establishment Changes and Survival, 1992-1996, U. S. Bureau Census, Ctr. for Econ. Stud. (2000) (Discussion Paper).

Robert H. Brockhaus, The Effect of Job Dissatisfaction on the Decision to Start a Business 18 J. Small Bus. Mgmt. 37-43 (1980).

Abstract (from publisher):  This article deals with a study which examined the role of entrepreneurial and managerial dissatisfaction in the decision of some individuals to become entrepreneurs. The methodology used in previous research has resulted in descriptions of the typical entrepreneur. However, since the typical entrepreneur had been in business for several years, these studies failed to include founders of new businesses. This approach eliminated ventures whose success or failure outcome was not yet known, as entrepreneurs whose businesses failed were generally not chosen as subjects for research; therefore, the results of these studies most often applied only to successful entrepreneurs.

To visit Publisher’s website, click here.

Steven W. Bradley et al., Swinging a Double-Edged Sword: The Effect of Slack on Entrepreneurial Management and Growth, 26 J. Bus. Venturing 537 (2011).

Abstract (adapted from journal): Resource slack represents a double-edged sword, simultaneously fueling and hindering growth. Drawing on Penrose's growth theory and Stevenson's entrepreneurial management theory, the authors have developed and tested a conceptual model that provides a more nuanced account of the resource slack–growth relationship. Using a large dataset spanning six years, the authors have found that slack has a positive direct effect on growth but a negative effect on entrepreneurial management, and that entrepreneurial management has a positive effect on growth. These empirical and conceptual findings are important to the development of firm growth theory and explicate causal mechanisms transforming slack into firm-level outcomes.

Heledd Jenkins, A ‘Business Opportunity’ Model of Corporate Social Responsibility for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, 18(1) Bus. Ethics: Eur. Rev. 21 (2009).

Abstract (from author): In their book Corporate Social Opportunity, Grayson and Hodges maintain that ‘the driver for business success is entrepreneurialism, a competitive instinct and a willingness to look for innovation from non-traditional areas such as those increasingly found within the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda’. Such opportunities are described as ‘commercially viable activities which also advance environmental and social sustainability’. There are three dimensions to corporate social opportunity (CSO) – innovation in products and services, serving unserved markets and building new business models. While small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally been presented as non-entrepreneurial in this area, this paper demonstrates how SMEs can take advantage of the opportunities presented by CSR. Using data from 24 detailed case studies of UK SMEs from a range of sectors, the paper explores the numerous CSR opportunities that present themselves to SMEs, such as developing innovative products and services and exploiting niche markets. There are inevitable challenges for SMEs undertaking CSR, but by their very nature they have many characteristics that can aid the adoption of CSR; the paper explores these characteristics and how the utilisation of positive qualities will help SMEs make the most of CSOs. Integrating CSR into the core of a company is crucial to its success. Using the case studies to illustrate key points, the paper suggests how CSR can be built into a company's systems and become ‘just the way we do things’. There are a number of factors that characterise the CSO ‘mentality’ in an organisation, and Grayson and Hodges's book describes seven steps that will move a company in the direction of a ‘want to do’ CSO mentality. This paper adapts these steps for SMEs, and by transferring and building on knowledge from the 24 detailed case studies, it develops a ‘business opportunity’ model of CSR for SMEs.

Pauric McGowan et al., Female Entrepreneurship and the Management of Business and Domestic Roles: Motivations, Expectations and Realities, 23 Entrepren. & Reg. Dev. 53 (2012).

Abstract (from authors): Whilst some women are motivated to establish entrepreneurial ventures by factors which are similar to those of their male counterparts (including a desire for independence and financial gain), unlike the majority of men, a sizeable number choose entrepreneurship to balance work responsibilities and earning potential with domestic/familial commitments. Despite growing numbers of women citing flexibility and childcare obligations as strong motivations for starting a business relatively little attention has been paid to exploring their motivations, expectations and actual experiences of entrepreneurship, and the extent to which entrepreneurship really offers an improved work/family ‘balance’. This paper presents findings of exploratory, qualitative research conducted in Northern Ireland, which focused upon the entrepreneurial journeys of 14 women as they established and managed their ventures, whilst balancing domestic/familial demands. Drawing upon information-rich evidence from in-depth interviews, insights are presented into their motivations and expectations of what entrepreneurship would offer, and the realities of their experience.

Judy N. Muthuri, Dirk Matten & Jeremy Moon, Employee Volunteering and Social Capital: Contributions to Corporate Social Responsibility, 20(1) Brit. J. Mgm’t 75 (2009).

Abstract (from author): As employee volunteering (EV) is increasingly regarded as a means of improving companies' community and employee relations, we investigate the contribution of EV to corporate social responsibility, specifically whether and how it contributes to social capital. We investigate the dynamics of EV in three UK companies. We explore the social relations and resources which underpin social capital creation; the roles of opportunity, motivation and ability in bringing the actors together and enhancing their capacity for cooperation; and the ways in which alternative EV modes inform the different dimensions of social capital – networks, trust and norms of cooperation. Our paper contributes to our understanding of EV and the factors that enable it to create social capital. Finally we assess the contribution of EV to the overall corporate social responsibility agenda of companies.

Paul D. Reynolds, Who Starts New Firms? Preliminary Explorations of Firms-in-Gestation, 9 Small Bus. Econ. 449-462 (1997).

Abstract:  Explores factors which lead to entrepreneurship or business start-ups. Self-employment as an indicator of entrepreneurial behavior; Emphasis on the combination of events leading to business start-ups; Factors affecting self-employment.

Robert K. Robinson, William T. Jackson, Geralyn McClure Franklin & Diana Hensley, U.S. Sexual Harassment Law: Implications for Small Business, 36 J. Small Bus. Mgmt. 1-12 (1998).

Abstract (from authors):  Sexual harassment is an important issue in the American workplace, even in the work environments of small businesses. This article describes the legal status of sexual harassment in the U. S. and outlines the implications for small businesses. Finally, a proactive strategy for avoiding the impact of a sexual harassment claim is provided.

To visit Publisher’s website, click here.

Thomas A. Smith, The Zynga Clawback: Shoring Up the Central Pillar of Innovation, 53 Santa Clara L. Rev. 577 (2013).

Abstract (adapted from author): This article will show that hiring startup workers as at-will employees and compensating them partly with stock options is economically complex. It is a business practice that has evolved over time and serves several important functions. Under existing law, Zynga and its CEO Pincus could legally claw back options from their employees. Yet their ability to do so is worrisome and highlights a way in which existing startup employment practice could be improved, at least in some cases. After discussing the purposes served by the current practice, this Article will consider an alternative contractual arrangement that prospective startup employees could negotiate for that would restrict claw backs and make the work-compensation exchange more efficient.

Andranik Tumasjan, Maria Strobel & Isabell M. Welpe, Employer Brand Building for Start-Ups: Which Job Attributes Do Employees Value Most? (2011), available at ­ http://ssrn.com/abstract=1738955.

Abstract: Although attracting talented personnel is one of the biggest challenges for start-ups, little is known about how nascent ventures can successfully build an employer brand. This study investigates which distinctive job attributes start-ups can use for their employer branding. We identify the unique job attributes distinguishing entrepreneurial firms from large firms and calibrate the relative value of these job attributes from the potential employees’ perspective. Using conjoint analysis we demonstrate that a communal team climate and the early assignment of responsibilities are a start-up’s most attractive job attributes for prospective applicants. We contribute to the entrepreneurial marketing literature by bringing forward the concept of entrepreneurial employer branding, by examining entrepreneurial firms’ unique and attractive job attributes, and by discussing how start-ups can make use of these attributes in their recruiting and employer branding activities.

David Lindsey Williams & Keith Edmund Ferguson, Ex-Offenders, Family Owned Firms, and Entrepreneurs: A Study of Signals (2011), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1797122.

Abstract: This research proposal will outline an investigation of the potential benefits and risks of hiring ex-offenders by family-owned firms and entrepreneurs and what signals might positively differentiate one ex-offender from the next. Every year, over 600,000 offenders are released into society and the work force, which is four times as many as were released in 1975. There is considerable resistance by firms to hire ex-offenders because of their stereotypic views regarding ex-offenders. Family owned firms and entrepreneurs can take advantage of this motivated workforce to replace baby boomer retirees, gain tax advantages, pay lower wages and positively impact their image. A key to hiring an ex-offender that fits best in the firm is to look for signals the ex-offender gives as to their potential as an employee. These signals can include church involvement, satisfying their probation requirements, moving away from their old neighborhood, entering a job training program, and recommendations from their parole officer. Family-owned firms and entrepreneurs have more discretion than non-family owned firms in the operation of their business. The purpose of this research is to explore how family-owned firms and entrepreneurs view this potential opportunity and how it might provide strategic benefits to their organizations as they strive to be more competitive in the marketplace. By hiring ex-offenders family owned firms and entrepreneurs may be able to increase their wealth, boost their image, and replace a shrinking workforce while reducing the risks of ex-offenders by properly detecting and interpreting the signals they convey.

Online Resources

William D. Bygrave & Marc Cowling, Entrepreneurship and Unemployment: Relationships Between Unemployment and Entrepreneurship in 37 Nations Participating in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2002, Frontiers Entrepreneurship Res. (2003).

MASSEIO (Massachusetts Office for Employee Involvement and Ownership), Case Studies

Other Materials

 Barbara Haislip, When Entrepreneurs Realize “Anything Goes” Has to Go, Wall St. J., June 12, 2014, at R4.

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