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High Performance Work Practice

For modern management or business organization high performance work process is main invention and are claimed to have strong advantageous effects on organizational and individual performance. Basically the high performance work systems are linked with employers offering intensive training and development, opportunities of worker participation and involvement along with incentives. An integrated approach is often promoted by experts of human resources wherein the harmony of skill development, incentives and high involvement are utilized in performance. Accordingly, in several researches performance test influences the high performance work practices or systems connected with every constituent of this triad are treated mutually as if they developed a unity. However, by no means it is clear that such three elements will be employed together on a huge scale.

Furthermore, in practice, policies that place more emphasis on particular elements may vary (Bauer, 2004). For instance, an approach of human capital might stress on talent recruitment at the broad involvement expense, whereas approaches centered on extrinsic inspiration or more particularly pay related to performance have been presented as adversative to management of high involvement. Actually, various authors have noted a rising neglect of the participation element in analysis of the connection between performance and HRM systems in favor of importance on human capital, such as knowledge and skills. This emphasis opposes with tradition of industrial relations where involvement is considered as the main aspect of high performance management. With this regards, the element of motivation has been often treated as involvement support (Hughes, 2008).

 It is found out many researches that high performance working suggests that positive results of workplace could be influenced through synergetic and cumulative effects amongst strengthening bundles of practices. In the context of company’s performance, the probable effects of HPWPs on the employee are often treated as “mediating factor” between the casual linkages of practices-performance. There are two huge theoretical arguments. The first is the perspective of high involvement, which signifies that the HPWPs use is to effect workers by ownership of decisions, empowerment, participation and job autonomy (Teamwork and high performance work organisation, 2007). Even though the practices of high involvement vary significantly in their implementation and emphasis, ranging from councils of workforce to contingency pay, they all be liable to leverage employees productivity by engaging them in a more responsive and responsible manner. The whole impact is “smarter” working.

The high commitment approach is second theoretical argument that defines the linkage of practice performance through a motivational/cultural perspective. This perspective means that performance of workers is derived from sharing of corporate goals and loyalty. Therefore, the outcomes are one of the reduced absenteeism or labor turnover, higher level of skills retention, skills development among the employees, greater flexibility of workforce and skills utilization. It is identified by researchers that commitment based human resource practices when adopted at the workplace can lead to more financial performance.

The main different in the HPWPs literature is the combined use of such practices that are aimed to create some reinforcing and internally consistent work environment. It means that, irrespective of whether the key concentration is one of high commitment or high involvement, some mixtures of practices will have been implemented (Murph and Southey, 2003). Moreover, the HRM practices effects are often incorporated into HPWPs such that the bundles are nurtured, adequately rewarded and supported. For instance, the use of performance appraisals, performance related pay, internal labor markets, family friendly facilities/policies, personal development plan and mentoring are seen to strengthen the effects of both high commitment and high involvement approaches (Ashton and Sung, 2002).

Every research of HPWPs provides that it ultimately cause in benefits to the workers. In another term, HPWPs would result in win-win conditions for the company. In this regards, it was found by US studies that at the same time as employers attained enhanced product quality, profitability and productivity, employees also benefited from high levels of job and wages.

In acknowledgment to this opposition, the approach of labor process developed a slightly dissimilar type of critique for the workplace of modern organization in between 1980s and 90s. The developed description of labor process theory now recognizes a distinct form of work relationship among management and employees. It became known as the “neo-Fordist” interpretation of the labor procedure critique. Interesting point in this is that actually the neo-Fordist edition of labor process agrees with HPWPs in terms of high performance work systems effects as well as its impact on performance of the company. Instead, it is also argued that the final outcomes of high levels of workplace expectation and participation are likely to be job insecurity, work stress and slow work intensification (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2005).

The above two figures may already offer one possible description. In fact, two sides of same coin is high involvement or commitment and job stress. The difference among two side’s lies in the manner employees internalizes such practices and how they access their own positions in the HPWPs and company. If it is seen by employees that the practices are advantageous to their well-being, than they will embrace the environment of working in a specific way and will interpret positively their experience of HPWPs.

If no personal benefit is seeing by employees than any additional or new practices will be seen as “extras”, which they do not want, irrespective of the probable advantages to the corporation. Hence, in the lean production case where the driving reason for employing HPWPs is maintaining consistent quality and lessening costs, the workers wellbeing is secondary. Then it is not surprising that employees negatively see HPWPs (Mather, Worrall and Seifert, 2007).

Moreover, employees also likely to make their judgments of intrinsic value with regard to the aim to introduce HPWPs. Hence, the articulated culture of workplace is one, which values the workers as valuable assets or one that desires to decrease costs may influence how employees interpret their position with reference to HPWPs. The intrinsic value concept is also companionable with traditional approach in occupational psychology when studying the “occupational job stress” incidence (Paton, 2009).

A general definition of job stress is that a personal adaptive response to action, situations and events, which place demands on that person. This adaptive and personal response is also likely to fluctuate on the basis of individual preference, other contextual factors and job. Therefore, the psychological approach points a very equal argument to intrinsic job satisfaction. Simply to adopt any practice cannot guarantee a positive employee performance and their experience. Thus, the organization if employing HPWPs at workplace has to be aware of the huge factors that are concerned (Ramsay, Scholarios and Harley, 2000).

British international telecommunication corporation Vodafone is headquartered in London, with its registered office in Newbury, Berkshire. It is second largest telecommunication company in the world measured by both 2011 revenues and 439 million subscribers in the same year. The company operates and owns network in over 30 nations as well as has networks partner in about 40 additional regions. At present, the organization is providing employment to 86, 373 individuals. Every employees of the Vodafone feel an explicit and real loyalty towards the firm.

The company also provides fair recognition, open work environment and development opportunities to their staff members. Due to this, a person who work for Vodafone experience a more level of intrinsic job satisfaction and as a result have dedicated allegiance towards their organization. One of the key aspects that increase their success and persist to drive the corporation is the HPWPs that they employ and more significantly how they associate such practices to innovation, people culture and managing change (Vodafone, 2013).


Further, HPWP relating to high involvement of staff is the manner in which company ensures that all workers are feeding back into development procedure of the firm. For instance, the organization has many ways of integrating staff opinions and attitudes back into the process of decision making. Its objective is to encourage sharing of views and ideas on leadership, business direction, strengths, performance issues and weaknesses with regards to individual’s process and jobs. This information is sued to develop actions plans and find out improvement areas. The company also makes survey every month which is called as “Morale indicator”. This survey is done to measure staff wellbeing with regards to motivational levels and morale. It helps management to determine what employees feel for their work and contribution, which they are provided. One more positive attitude within employees at Vodafone is found in the fields of innovation and development (Brown, Hyatt and Benson, 2010).


  • Bauer, K. T., 2004. High Performance Workplace Practices and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe.
  • Stone, I., 2011. International approaches to high performance working.
  • Ashton, N. D. and Sung, J., 2002. Supporting Workplace Learning for High Performance Working. International Labour Organization.
  • Burchell, J. B., Ladipo, D. and Wilkinson, F., 2002. Job insecurity and work intensification. Routledge.
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