Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2015 | 1 | 79-94

Article title

Professional Development of Older Employees in Small and Medium Enterprises


Title variants

Languages of publication



Purpose: The aim of the paper is to present and assess professional development opportunities for older employees in SME. Methodology: In the process of desk research, the author has discerned a number of characteristics of training activities conducted by SMEs. The management of older employees’ professional development is discussed on the basis of selected research findings, i.a. CATI and CAPI surveys conducted in the framework of the “Comprehensive program of activation of people aged 50+” project carried out by the Department of Human Resource Management at Kozminski University in 2010–2012. Findings: The first part of the paper discusses the specificity of training measures undertaken in SMEs. According to a large body research results available, these include: informality, reactivity, short-term perspective, focus on solving current problems, “learning by doing”, focus on the development of specific skills and organizational knowledge, lack of professional organization of trainings. The core part of the paper focuses on the management of professional development of older employees in SMEs. The majority of surveyed firms have declared providing their older and younger employees with the same access to training. However, it does not always mean training is organised, or that employees aged 50+ participate in it. Moreover, the survey has proven the existence of significant differences in assessments and opinions among entrepreneurs and employees. Originality/value: This paper discusses professional development of older SME employees, which is a relatively new problem; it is based on an extensive body of research. Managing professional development of older workers is one of the most important challenges faced by SMEs in the twenty first century and it shall require extensive and thorough research in the future.






Physical description




  • Kozminski University


  • Armstrong-Stassen, M. and Templer, A. (2005). Adapting training for older employees. Journal of Management Development, 24(1): 57–67.
  • Bacon, N. and Hoque, K. (2005). HRM in the SME Sector: Valuable Employees and Coercive Networks.
  • The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(11): 1976–1999.
  • Bryan, J. (2006). Training and Performance in Small Firms. International Small Business Journal, 24(6): 635–660.
  • Cassell, C., Nadin, S., Gray, M. and Clegg, C. (2002). Exploring Human Resource Management Practices in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Personnel Review, 31(5/6): 671–692.
  • Coetzer, A. and Perry, M. (2008). Factors Influencing Employee Learning in Small Businesses. Education + Training, 50(8/9): 648–660.
  • Fouarge, D. and Schils, T. (2008). Training older workers. Does it help make them work longer?, OSA--publication A230, February.
  • Griffin, R.W. (1996). Podstawy zarządzania organizacjami. Warszawa: PWN.
  • Hill, R. (2002). Researching HRD in Small Organizations. In: J. McGoldrick, J. Stewart and S. Watson
  • (eds.), Understanding Human Resource Development: A Research Based Approach. London: Routledge.
  • Hill, R. (2004). Why HRD in Small Organisations May Have Become a Neglected Field of Study.
  • In: J. Stewart and G. Beaver (eds.), HRD in Small Organisations. Research and Practice. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Hill, R. and Stewart, J. (2000). Human Resource Development in Small Organizations. Journal of European Industrial Training, 24(2/3/4): 105–117.
  • Jayawarna, D., Macpherson, A. and Wilson, A. (2007). Training Commitment and Performance in Manufacturing SMEs. Incidence, Intensity and Approaches. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14(2): 321–338.
  • Karpowicz, E. (2012). Zadowolenie pracodawców z pracy osób w wieku 50+. In: C. Szmidt (ed.), Kompleksowy program aktywizacji osób starszych 50+. Warszawa.
  • Kirkpatrick, D.L. (2001). Ocena efektywności szkoleń. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Studio Emka.
  • Kołodziejczyk-Olczak, I. (2013). Zarządzanie wiekiem w małych i średnich przedsiębiorstwach. Zarządzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi, 3/4: 113–125.
  • Kotey, B. and Folkler, C. (2007). Employee Training In SMEs: Effect of Size and Firm Type-Family i Nonfamily. Journal of Small Business Management, 45(2): 214–238.
  • Listwan, T. (1995). Kształtowanie kadry menedżerskiej firmy. Wrocław: Kadry.
  • Matlay, H. (2002). Training and HRD Strategies in Family and Non-Family Owned Small Businesses: A Comparative Approach. Education & Training, 8/9: 357–369.
  • Mayo, A. (2002). Kształtowanie strategii szkoleń i rozwoju pracowników. Kraków: Oficyna Ekonomiczna.
  • Mayson, S. and Barrett, R. (2006). The ‘Science’ and ‘Practice’ of HRM in Small Firms. Human Resource Management Review, 16(4): 447–455.
  • Perek-Białas, J. et al. (2011). Zbiorczy raport z badań: Pracuję – rozwijam kompetencje. Innowacyjny model wsparcia dla pracowników 50+, www.50pluspomorze.pl (01.03.2013).
  • Pocztowski, A. (2003). Zarządzanie zasobami ludzkimi. Warszawa: PWE.
  • Pocztowski, A. and Pauli, U. (2013). Profesjonalizacja zarządzania zasobami ludzkimi w małych i średnich przedsiębiorstwach. Zarządzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi, 3/4: 9–22.
  • Rossiter, J.A. (2000). Zarządzanie zasobami ludzkimi w małym przedsiębiorstwie. Warszawa: ACDI.
  • Sadowska-Snarska, C. (ed.) (2011). Uwarunkowania utrzymania aktywności zawodowej osób pracujących po 50. roku życia. Białystok: Wydawnictwo Wyższej Szkoły Ekonomicznej w Białymstoku.
  • Saru, E. (2007). Organisational Learning and HRD: How Appropriate Are They for Small Firms?Journal of European Industrial Training, 31(1): 36–51.
  • Sitko-Lutek, A. (2004). Kulturowe uwarunkowania doskonalenia menedżerów. Lublin: Wydawnictwo UMCS.
  • Skrzek-Lubasińska, M. (2012). Społeczne uwarunkowania aktywizacji zawodowej osób starszych 50+. In: C. Szmidt (red.), Kompleksowy program aktywizacji osób starszych 50+. Warszawa.
  • Storey, D.J. (2002). Education, Training and Development Policies and Practices in Medium-Sized Companies in The UK: Do They Really Influence Firm Performance? Omega, 30: 249–264.
  • Storey, D.J. (2004). Exploring the Link, among Small Firms, between Management Training and Firm Performance: A Comparison between the UK and Other OECD Countries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(1): 112–130.
  • Szmidt, C. (ed.) (2012). Kompleksowy program aktywizacji osób starszych 50+. Warszawa.
  • Taylor, S., Shaw, S. and Thorpe, R. (2004). Neither Market Failure nor Customer Ignorance: The Organisational Limitations of Employee Training and Development. In: J. Stewart and G. Beaver (red.), HRD in Small Organisations. Research and Practice. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Tikkanen, T., Lahn, L.C., Withnall, A., Ward, P. and Lyng, K. (2002). Working life changes and training of older workers. Trondheim.
  • Trochimiuk, R. (2013). Rozwój zawodowy pracowników w małych i średnich przedsiębiorstwach.Zarządzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi, 3/4: 127–138.
  • Trochimiuk, R. (2012). Instytucje edukacyjne a aktywizacja osób starszych 50+. In: C. Szmidt (ed.),Kompleksowy program aktywizacji osób starszych 50+. Warszawa.
  • Van der Heijden, B. (2002). The relationship between employee initiatives and occupational expertisethroughout the career in small – and medium-sized enterprises in The Netherlands. Career Development International, 7/6: 322–338.
  • Wiśniewski, Z. (ed.) (2009). Zarządzanie wiekiem w organizacjach wobec procesów starzenia się ludności. Toruń: Wydawnictwo „Dom Organizatora”.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.