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Title: High performance Work Systems: One size fits all? Het effect van leeftijd op de relatie tussen ervaren inzet van High Performance Work Practices en ervaren werkdruk
Authors: Brouwers, HJMA
Keywords: Human Resource Management
High Performance Work Systems
Work pressure
Job Demands
Job Resources
Issue Date: 5-Dec-2013
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: High Performance Work Systems: One-size-fits-all? Het effect van leeftijd op de relatie tussen ervaren inzet van High Performance Work Practices en ervaren werkdruk Abstract Organizations need to become more and more efficient and cost-effective. This has led to an increa¬sing interest in performance enhancement and optimization of human resources. High Performance Work Systems are systems of HR instruments, aimed at contributing to the organization strategy. Three different perspectives on the impact of HRM can be distinguished. The optimistic perspective, also known as the mutual gains model, states that both organization and employee benefit from HPWS. The pessimistic view acknowledges benefits for the organization, but emphasizes the dis¬advantages for employees. HPWS lead to intensification of work, which has a negative impact on wellbeing. Finally the skeptical perspective recognizes neither a positive nor negative impact of HRM. This study concentrates on one of the possible negative effects of HPWS – experience of increased work pressure. The Job Demands-Resources model states that certain resources – when providing for a person’s need – can compensate for negative effects of job demands. Which resources are able to compensate, is different for every individual and group, depending on their specific needs. When High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) serve an employee’s need, this HPWP will be experienced positively and thus will be able to compensate for negative effects of HPWS for this employee. Age seems to be a differentiating factor in employee’s needs. Young employees usually have a stronger orientation on growth, whereas older employees tend to be more focused on maintenance and prevention of losses. These orientations are also visible in employee’s needs and therefore influence their preferences for specific HR instru¬ments. From this perspective, a growth focused bundle of HR instruments can be interpreted as a resource for the younger employee and in this way provide compensation for increased work pressure. It is expected that a bundle of HR instruments aimed at maintenance, will provide in needs of the older employees and serve as a compensating factor for this group of employees. This study aims to test whether age has a moderating effect on the relation¬ship between HPWS and experienced work pressure. Using questionnaire data gathered among 606 employees, four hypotheses were tested. First the relationship between HPWP’s and increased experienced work pressure was analyzed. In the next step the possible moderation of age on the relationship was added. Finally the negative effect of growth focused HPWP’s on experienced work pressure was tested among the younger employees and the negative effect of maintenance focused HPWP’s on work pressure, for older employees. Both the relationship between HPWP’s and experienced work pressure and the moderating effect of calendar age were not supported by the data. Furthermore no significant differences in experience of HPWS and work pressure between groups of younger, middle aged and older employees, were found. There are several possible explanations why the expected results did not appear in this study. Differences in content of the bundles of HR instruments for instance, and differences in employee attribution to the ‘why’ of HR instruments, could have led to deviations. In addition it is possible that factors which were not included in this research, could have influenced the results. This study may contribute to the negation of stereotypes regarding older and younger workers. Nevertheless further elaboration in future research to gain a better perspective on the effects of HPWS on experienced work pressure would be desirable. Keywords: Human Resource Management, High Performance Work Systems, Work pressure, Job Demands, Job Resources, Age
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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