High Performance Work Systems Management Essay

In order for an organisation to last, it must hold the capableness to accommodate. When the environment is disruptive and complex, version becomes more hard but interestingly more of import. Even organisations that have enjoyed stable environments in the past are now confronting unsure technological, economic, political, and cultural alterations. Organizational designs must be put in topographic point that allows appropriate version. A powerful organisational design for version is high public presentation work systems ( HPWS ) . Advocates of HPWS argue that version and reactivity can outdo occur when the determination devising and authorization is given to the individual with the most relevant and timely information and accomplishments. HPWS provide employees with a more cardinal function in making and pull offing their procedure. It links people and engineering in ways that optimize both potencies ( Emery, 1967, Sherwood, 1988, Lawler, 1992 ) . In this essay, we shall be critically analysing HPWS as ‘best pattern ‘ and why this promise might be false. In order to make this, we explore the construct of HPWS along with its writer ‘s positions on its importance on the success of organisation and its failings and come to a decision as to whether or non the promise is false.

“ The High Performance Work System is an organisational architecture that brings together work, people, engineering and information in a mode that optimizes the congruity of tantrum among these elements in order to bring forth high public presentation in footings of the effectual response to client demands and other environmental demands and chances. ” ( Nadler et al, 1992 ) .

HPWS is non a specific design but a set of design rules. An of import facet of the design is that it fits the environment in which it operates ( Nadler et al, 1992 ) . Variations in organisational design can impact the capableness for sense devising and accordingly appropriate decision-making and actions. Variations in sense devising affect enthusiasm, the willingness to prolong complex coaction, and resourcefulness in the face of reverses ( Weick, 1999 ) .

High Performance Work Systems

The literature on HPWSs can loosely be divided into three watercourses. First, protagonists of HPWS claim that of import organisational alterations following their debut ( e.g. authorization, engagement in decision-making, the reintegration of construct and executing, increasing control over undertakings allotment, and uninterrupted accomplishment betterments ) , which replace the hierarchal construction associated with traditional signifiers of work organisation, as these systems require workers to hold autonomy over their occupation undertakings, to take part in autonomous squads, to be portion of problem-solving and other offline squads, and to pass on on a regular basis with employees outside their work groups ( Appelbaum et al. , 2000 ; Whitfield and Poole, 1997 ) .

A 2nd strand of more disbelieving research workers is critical of the organisational and institutional effects of HPWSs and reasoning that they can be used to sabotage labor. Ramsay et Al. ( 2000 ) happen that employees enjoy some benefits ( e.g. greater discretion ) in HPWSs, which are often far outweighed by work intensification, insecurity and emphasis.

A 3rd watercourse harmonizing to Rocha ( 2010 ) sees the alterations in a more contextual position. Vallas ( 2003 ) sees the novel citizenship rights, participatory democracy and authorization ( i.e. “ normative ” dimensions ) , and increasing accent on surveillance, public presentation betterments, market dealingss, flexibleness, etc. ( the “ rational ” dimension ) as come ining into the new managerial governments and at the same time making tenseness in pattern, so that there is no stable result, but instead a uninterrupted procedure of alliance and re-alignment between different dimensions of this theoretical account.

The promise of the greater use of the front line worker has been discussed since the socio-technical surveies in the 1950 ‘s ( Trist et al, 1963 ) . The promise of the more systemic HPWS has been discussed for more than ten old ages. Many surveies have reported impressive consequences for those organisations that have experimented with HPWS or one of HPWS ‘ critical constituents, self-managed squads ( SMT ) .

Gephart and VanBuren ‘s ( 1996 ) research update of HPWS lists the organisations that have been reported to hold results taking to sustainable competitory advantage. These results have translated to increased fiscal public presentation. Harmonizing to them, the successes are non short-run, erstwhile events but have been sustained in the undermentioned organisations for over 5-10 old ages.

Ames Rubber- 48 % productiveness betterment, 5 old ages sustained growing

Ashton Photo – 1 % productiveness addition, 22 % client growing

Connor Formed Metal Product – Gross saless increase 21 % , new orders 34 % , Profit increase 21 %

Granite Rock – 88 % market portion addition, 30 % addition on clip bringing

Motorola – 131 % addition in gross revenues, Reduced rhythm times – 4.5 hebdomads to 1 hr

One Valley Bank – Employee turnover down 48 % , productiveness up 24 %

Tennessee Eastman Division – productiveness increase 70 % ( Gephart and VanBuren ‘s, 1996 ) .

While the benefits of HPWS seem to be good established, the execution of HPWS is another narrative. Organizations are still fighting to travel to high public presentation environments. While less complex inventions such as self-managing squads have been implemented, HPWS is still dawdling behind. As competently pointed out by Gordon ( 1994 ) it seems the transmutation is right around the corner it still remains elusive.

Steckler and Fondas province that corporate America has wholeheartedly embraced the usage of self-managing squads, a critical constituent of HPWS ( Steckler & A ; Fondas, 1995 ) , but that is non the instance with HPWS, although anticipations abound for its increased usage ( Sexton, 1994, Stewart & A ; Manz, 1990, 1995 ) . Gordon refers to the high public presentation organisation as the ‘Camelot ‘ of our clip. Everyone wants to be at that place, but they are non certain whether it is existent or a fable ( Gordon, 1994 ) . On one manus, HPWS is a deceivingly simple construct with major organisational impacts, but on the other manus its execution has proved to be every bit elusive as the fabulous Camelot.

Recent surveies have shown small support for High public presentation work system, Cappelli and Neumark in a longitudinal information from National Employers Surveys in the U.S.A found out that HPP is associated with increased labor costs, weak productiveness effects at best and no labour efficiency in fabrication industries.

HPWS for employees in theory gives improved quality of work life with positive societal and psychological results, and higher wage and occupation security. However, in contrast, Landsbergis et Al ( 1999 ) , Smith ( 1997 ) found that HPWS particularly alternate work pattern is be associated with high degrees of work strength and emphasis. It is besides of import to observe Barker ( 1993 ) analysis of independent squads in a US fabrication works which suggest that employees felt pressured by strong public presentation norms which he referred to as ‘concretive ‘ control. Hence, these suggest that where HPWS was ab initio accepted by workers, support diminished over clip as experience accumulates ( Bruno and Jordan, 1999 ; Mckinlay and Taylor, 1996, Rinehart et al, 1997 ) .

Harley ( 2001 ) and Ramsay et Al, ( 2000 ) studies based on findings from the 1998 WERS informations that employers in workplace a with independent squad system had no more or less favourable work experiences than those in work topographic point without any signifier of squads ( Godard, 2004 ) .

It is besides argued by advocates of HPWS that high public presentation plans allows brotherhoods prosecute in a new function where they become effectual spouses with direction in the chase of common additions. In contrast, Fisher ( 1997 ) , Parker and Slaughter ( 1998 ) argues that they may weaken member support for a brotherhood due to the fact that they provide workers with alternate single agencies of doing their voice heard and aid to guarantee just intervention ( see Taylor, 1994 ) . The accent on corporation may cut down brotherhood ‘s indispensable adversarial function and may make a hostile environment to those with pro-union sentiments. Harmonizing to ( Kochan 1980 ; Kochan et al 1986 and Jacoby 1997 ) patterns related with high public presentation paradigm have been used in some if non many instances to avoid brotherhoods particularly in the U.S.A. Huselid and Rau ‘s ( 1996 ) survey of US houses and Roche ‘s ( 1998 ) survey of Irish Firms have found negative association between HPWS and brotherhood presence ( Godard, 2004 ) .

In decision, it is of import to observe that HPWS holding looked at critically tends to hold negative deductions for the workers and brotherhoods particularly compared to what the advocates of HPWS has preached. For employers, it is more advantageous for organisation to follow what has been considered as good direction work patterns and with some alternate work patterns included. These patterns may non give high degree committedness preached by HPWS but will bring forth realistic degrees of public presentation. Hence HPWS is as ‘best pattern ‘ can be seen as a false promise.


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