A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm
Article first published online: 29 APR 2004
British Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume 42, Issue 2, pages 349–378, June 2004
How to Cite
Godard, J. (2004), A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42: 349–378. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2004.00318.x
- Issue published online: 29 APR 2004
- Article first published online: 29 APR 2004
- Final version accepted 24 July 2003.
This paper assesses research on the effects of high-performance systems on employer, worker and union outcomes. It concludes that, compared with what has long been thought of as good management practice, claims that these systems yield superior performance outcomes may be unwarranted, and their implications for both workers and unions are at best uncertain. Conventional explanations for these findings are found to be insufficient. Alternative explanations involving the nature of the employment relation are proposed, and the need for an alternative paradigm, which promotes legal and institutional reforms, is established.