This study investigated the relationship between organizational context characteristics and personnel practices. The following organizational characteristics were hypothesized to influence personnel practices: industry sector, the pursuit of innovation as a competitive strategy, manufacturing technology, and organizational structure. In addition, organizational size and unionization were examined. Results based upon data obtained from 267 organizations provided support for the general hypothesis that personnel practices vary as a function of organizational characteristics. In addition to interorganizational differences in personnel practices, this study illustrates that large intraorganiza-tional differences exist with respect to the practices used for managerial and hourly employees. Implications and future research needs are described.