*The authors' affiliations are, respectively, Katz Graduate School of Business and the Learning Research Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, and Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. We are grateful to the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT and the Sloan Foundation for financial support, and to J. D. Power and Associates for access to their quality data. We would also like to thank the following for their comments and advice: Peter Cappelli, Lorna Doucet, Barry Gerhart, Chris Ittner, Bruce Kogut, Paul Rosenbaum, Louis Thomas, Michael Useem, and Sidney Winter, as well as participants at the national IRRA conference (January 1996, San Francisco), and the conference on “Understanding the Structure of Human Resources” (October 1995, Center for Human Resources, Wharton). We are further indebted to the editors and reviewers of this issue for helpful suggestions.
The Adoption of High-Involvement Work Practices
Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2008
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
Volume 35, Issue 3, pages 423–455, July 1996
How to Cite
PIL, F. K. and MACDUFFIE, J. P. (1996), The Adoption of High-Involvement Work Practices. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 35: 423–455. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-232X.1996.tb00414.x
- Issue online: 1 MAY 2008
- Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2008
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.