The evolution from the notion of Manpower Management to the concept of Strategic Human Resources Management has made it fashionable to say in organisations that people are the greatest asset. But it can be hypocrite to make such a hollow statement, given the lack of tool to measure accurately the value added to an organisation by its employees. Among the few existing tools, fordism was during the first half of the XX century the dominant form of Manpower Management to reach high productivity. In the decades after the World War II, critics arose against this dominant organisational paradigm, which led to High Performance Management being presented in the literature as a new ‘one best way' destined to replace Fordism. This has been supported by a growing body of evidence from the literature which apparently demonstrates a positive correlation between the use of high performance work practices and organisational performance.
[...] (ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol Oxford: Elsevier Science. Ericksen, J., Dyer, L., (2005), “Toward a Strategic Human Resource Management Model of High Reliability Organisation Performance”, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 907-28. Raghu, G., Karnoe, P. (2001) “Path Dependence and Creation.” In Path Dependence and Creation, edited by R. Garud and P. Karnoe. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Godard, J. (2004) Critical Assessment of the High Performance Paradigm”. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42:2, June pp. 349-378. [...]
[...] Employees would also be more likely to adopt behaviours not rewarded by the High Performance Management System, but nonetheless critical to the organisational success (Arthur p673). This would reduce employee turnover and increase performance. These three types of policies are however challenged by Becker and Gerhardt (1996, p784) who criticise the lack of measures to verify how valid a High Performance Management strategy is. Their analysis of the literature shows namely that a best practice defined by Pfeffer, for instance variable pay, can either be negatively or positively correlated with the performance of the organisation. [...]
[...] (1997) Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: a Study of Steel Finishing Lines'. American Economic Review, 87: pp. 291-313. Lawler, (1985), ‘High Involvement Management'. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Lawler E.E, Mohrman S.A, and Ledford G.E. (1992) ‘Employee Involvement and Total Quality Management: Practices and Results in Fortune 1000 companies'. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Lorenz, E., Valeyre, A. (2005) ‘Organisational Innovation, Human Resource Management and Labour Market Structure: A Comparison of the EU-15', Journal of Industrial relations, Blackwell Publishing, volume 47, issue 4. [...]
[...] Definition of a Concept From the analysis of the literature, it seems the concept of High Performance Measurement is often referred to but hardly explicitly explained. High Performance Measurement can be called either High Performance Work Organisation (HPWO) or High Performance Work System (HPWS). HPWO is interpreted by Castanias and Helfat (1991, p662) as asset or capability which managerial resources can shape and leverage to enable firm-specific rents to be created and appropriated”. In other words, HPWO is the strategic use of core competences, and generic, industry- specific and firm-specific skills by an organisation in order to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. [...]
[...] (1993) Evolution and Future of High Performance Management Systems', Quorum books. Batt, R. and Appelbaum, E. (1995) 'Worker Participation in Diverse Settings: Does the Form Affect the Outcome, and if so, who Benefits', British Journal of Industrial Relations, 33: 353-78. Becker, B. and Gerhart, B. (1996) 'The Impact of Human Resource Management on Organizational Performance: Progress and Prospects', Academy of Management Journal, 39(4) Berg, P., Appelbaum, E., Bailey, T. and Kalleberg, A. (1996). performance effects of modular production in the apparel industry'. [...]
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