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High performance work practices in the health care sector: a Dutch case study


  • Paul Boselie


Purpose - This paper aims to present an empirical study of the effect of high performance work practices on commitment and citizenship behaviour in the health care sector. The theory suggests that individual employees are willing “to go the extra mile” when they are given the opportunity to develop their abilities and to participate, and when they are motivated. Design/methodology/approach - The data were gathered in a Dutch general hospital using employee questionnaires. Medical specialists were not included in the study. Findings - The results of the study suggest that employee development (e.g. skills training, general training, and task enrichment) and employee involvement (e.g. job autonomy, participation in decision making) are important HR practices in creating a high performance work climate in a health care organisation. Research limitations/implications - The data come from one hospital and the analysis is cross-sectional. However, the importance of the study lies in its focus on the individual employee perspective rather than the organisational level analyses which currently predominate in the HRM and performance debate. Practical implications - The training and development of health care employees can increase their affective commitment. Increasing employee involvement can also help stimulate citizenship behaviour. Originality/value - The paper looks at the non-profit sector, whereas the majority of previous HR research has focused on multinational companies.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:42-58

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Peccei, R.E., 2004. "Human Resource Management And The Search For The Happy Workplace," ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management EIA-2004-021-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam..
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