This article provides a theoretical framework for understanding why high-involvement work practices are adopted more rapidly by some organizations than others. Drawing on evolutionary economics and innovation literature, we identify three key drivers: (1) the level of complementary human resource practices and technology; (2) performance achieved with previous practices; and (3) factors that alter the cost of introducing new practices. Empirical analyses of a unique longitudinal data set of forty-three automobile assembly plants worldwide provide support for hypotheses about complementary HR practices (but not complementary technologies) and partial support for hypotheses about past performance and factors that alter adoption costs.