High-performance work systems and influence processes on employees’ attitudes

Na Mao (The Key Lab of the Ministry of Education for Process Control & Efficiency Engineering, School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)
Heyi Song (School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China)
Ying Han (School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 11 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between employee perspectives of high-performance work systems and employee outcomes, i.e. job satisfaction and affective commitment, and to propose ways of increasing the positive effects of high-performance work systems on firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from 370 employees in the Chinese manufacturing industry during 2010. The Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) method was used to test each of the eight hypotheses deriving from the conceptual framework.

Findings

The paper finds that: employee perspectives of high-performance work systems have a positive effect on both job satisfaction and affective commitment; and breadth of behavioural script and level of autonomy mediate the relationship between employee perspectives of high-performance work systems and their attitudes towards that organisation (job satisfaction and affective commitment); however, skill variety did not mediate the relationship between employee perspectives of high-performance work systems and employees’ attitudes in the data set used.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper suggest that managers can improve employees’ attitudes by integrating effective high-performance work systems in their working environment. Even more interestingly, it appears that by encouraging broad behavioural scripts or allowing employees more freedom to apply their skills, managers can improve employees’ attitudes more significantly than by encouraging employees to acquire a variety of skills.

Originality/value

Using signalling and psychological-contract theory, the paper shows the dominant influence of employees’ perceived high-performance work systems on employees’ attitudes via behavioural scripts and autonomy.

Keywords

Citation

Mao, N., Song, H. and Han, Y. (2013), "High-performance work systems and influence processes on employees’ attitudes ", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 736-752. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-07-2013-0157

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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