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First-line Implementation of High-Performance Work Systems: Effects on Work Unit Human Capital, Empowerment, and Performance

  • N. SOENS


  • M. S. TAYLOR
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    This study examines whether and how implementation of high-performance work systems (HPWS) by first-line managers relates to work unit performance. We hypothesized and tested a positive relationship between first-line managers’ implementation of HPWS and work unit performance, and we investigated cognitive (work unit human capital) and motivational (work unit empowerment) mechanisms through which this relationship occurs. Data were obtained from 135 employees of 62 Belgian branches of an employment agency and 10 middle managers overseeing these branches. Results revealed that first-line implementation of HPWS was positively related to work unit productivity and work unit customer service. Also, the relationship between first-line implementation of HPWS and work unit productivity was mediated by work unit human capital. These findings contribute to both theory and practice by providing an evidence-base of the proclaimed importance of first-line managers in establishing effective HPWS.

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    Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 12/783.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:12/783
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent
    Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
    Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
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    1. Mark A. Youndt & ohan Subramaniam & Scott A. Snell, 2004. "Intellectual Capital Profiles: An Examination of Investments and Returns," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 335-361, 03.
    2. Ann P. Bartel, 2004. "Human resource management and organizational performance: Evidence from retail banking," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 181-203, January.
    3. John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
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