The Relationships of Informal High Performance Work Practices to Job Satisfaction and Workplace Profitability


  • The authors would like to thank Ariel Avgar, John Benson, Alexander Colvin, and Carol Kulik for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper, and also Tina Morganella for her editorial assistance. While the research and analysis are based on data from Statistics Canada, the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada. Lee Grenon of Statistics Canada provided valuable assistance on the project.


Recent empirical evidence reveals considerable divergence between management reports and employee reports regarding organizational high performance work practices (HPWPs). This divergence implies that employees may not participate in some HPWPs that are formally present in their organizations, but also, that employees may participate in HPWPs that are not formally present in their organizations. In this study, we examine the implication of the latter case (i.e., employee participation in “informal” HPWPs) for employee-level and organization-level outcomes. Our analyses, using data from the Statistics Canada Workplace and Employee Survey, suggest that employee participation in informal HPWPs is associated with enhanced job satisfaction and workplace profitability in a similar way as employee participation in formal HPWPs is associated with these outcomes.