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High Performance Work Systems and Employee Experience of Work in the Service Sector: The Case of Aged Care


  • Bill Harley
  • Belinda C. Allen
  • Leisa D. Sargent


In spite of the growing body of research on high performance work systems (HPWS), there is little evidence on their application in the service sector. It is commonly argued, however, that occupational segmentation in services is a barrier to HPWS. Analysis of data from aged-care workers indicates that: HPWS have positive outcomes for workers; highly skilled nurses are no more likely than lowly skilled personal care workers to be subject to HPWS; and in some cases, HPWS are associated with more positive outcomes for low-skilled than high-skilled workers. These findings suggest that HPWS may well be widely applicable in service settings. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Bill Harley & Belinda C. Allen & Leisa D. Sargent, 2007. "High Performance Work Systems and Employee Experience of Work in the Service Sector: The Case of Aged Care," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 607-633, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:3:p:607-633

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    Cited by:

    1. Ferreira, Pedro & Porto, Nelida & Portela, Marta, 2010. "Women's participation in high performance work practices: a comparative analysis of Portugal and Spain," MPRA Paper 36404, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    2. Franck Bailly & François-Xavier Devetter & François Horn, 2012. "Est-il possible d'améliorer les conditions de travail et d'emploi dans le secteur des services à la personne ? Une analyse en termes de mondes de production," Post-Print halshs-00805678, HAL.
    3. Hicks, J & Basu, P K & Latham, H & Tyson, G & Daniel, M & Sappey, R B, 2010. "Crossing the Great Divide: a Case Study of a Regional Nursing Labour Market in the Central West of New South Wales," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 36(1), pages 84-102.
    4. Ray Markey & Katherine Ravenswood & Don Webber, 2012. "The impact of the quality of the work environment on employees’ intention to quit," Working Papers 20121221, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    5. Paul Boselie, 2010. "High performance work practices in the health care sector: a Dutch case study," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 42-58, March.

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