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A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm

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  • John Godard

Abstract

This paper assesses research on the effects of high-performance systems on employer, worker and union outcomes. It concludes that, compared with what has long been thought of as good management practice, claims that these systems yield superior performance outcomes may be unwarranted, and their implications for both workers and unions are at best uncertain. Conventional explanations for these findings are found to be insufficient. Alternative explanations involving the nature of the employment relation are proposed, and the need for an alternative paradigm, which promotes legal and institutional reforms, is established. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • John Godard, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 349-378, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:42:y:2004:i:2:p:349-378
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morissette, Rene & Rosa, Julio, 2003. "Alternative Work Practices and Quit Rates: Methodological Issues and Empirical Evidence for Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003199e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Joel Rogers & Wolfgang Streeck, 1995. "Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number roge95-1, June.
    3. Betcherman, G. & leckie, N. & McMullen, K. & Caron, C., 1994. "The Canadian Workplace Transition," Papers 9, Queen's at Kingston - Sch. of Indus. Relat. HRM Project Series.
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