Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Legislation and Small Businesses: Real Hazard or Red Herring?

This paper examines the impact of state Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation on the mortality rates of small businesses in 19 U.S. industries, using a database maintained by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Extant strategic human resource management literature tends explictly or implicitly to discount the relative importance of EEO compliance as a function of Human Resource Management responsibilities. However, our cross-sectional regression analysis finds a positive impact of state EEO legislation on the likelihood of organizational survival. State EEO legislation may require small businesses to engage in fair employment practices that increase their vitality. Alternatively, state EEO legislation may be one part of a package of state policies that have the net effect of reducing small business mortality rates.