Today, businesses operate in highly competitive environments. To be able to face the competition and to overcome it they must leverage various resources including physical, organizational, knowledge and human. The competitive advantage of companies is precisely the ability to use optimally those resources. Among the resources cited, the most important asset is certainly that of human resource the fundamental objective of human resource management is to identify and allocate these resources so that they ensure the competitive advantage of companies. The management of human resources therefore becomes an integral and fundamental part of the business strategy.
High Performance Work Systems comprise of an amalgamation of an interconnected system of practices related to the management of human resources. These practices include the extensive recruitment along with selection procedures and working towards the enhancement of performance outputs of both the employee and the firm through overall enhancement of competence of the entire workforce, the motivation towards work along with their attitudes. The overall goal of these systems is to attract, select and manage training, retaining and motivating human resources, and raising the required positions behaviors in order to achieve organizational goals. (Amabile, 1996)
In the coming years the research work regarding the analysis and assessment of management of human resources followed by steps taken by an organization to optimize their performance and accuracy at an organizational level has achieved considerable significance. During these times therefore, the high-performance work systems have come out as an interesting approach regarding the research work being carried out on effective management of human resources. The high-performance work systems comprise of a set of processes that involve proper recruitment practices, management of overall performance, detailed initiatives regarding training followed by increased involvement by the employees. (Kalmi, 2008)
The modern world of work poses many challenges for employees. While some careers allow for a relaxed interaction among work and personal life.
Competitive level of advantage
In recent years another perspective has been highlighted regarding the incorporation of the high-performance work systems. This perspective encompasses the fact that the aim of these high-performance work systems along with providing requisite benefits in the outcomes of the organization has also been the creation of competitive level of advantage for the specific organization. This advantage tends towards the development of an environment in which an individual employee of the organization gets neglected. This overall ignorance of the concerned employees of the organization lead to an enhanced level of work burden and pressure on the individuals, work overload followed by burnout. It has been assessed that the outcomes and requirements of the employees are either fully neglected or considered as a secondary requirement in attainment of an optimized and enhanced level of organizational performance. So, this is why it has been emphasized by various scholars and researchers that an effective research be carried out regarding the overall effects of the management of human resources as well as the high-performance work systems onto the employees and workers of the organization and their relationship with the senior management.
Each employee is motivated differently in the performance of their job. Having a clear understanding of what drives each team member to achieve good results can be fundamental for the success of the company. Many managers think it is every employee’s duty to do the job they were hired for and do it best. It is certainly a legitimate belief; however, recognition is a very important part of the relationship between employees and managers. In this way, in fact, an emotional connection is established: the fundamental element capable of stimulating the commitment of employees and satisfying the fundamental needs of each individual of esteem and belonging within a group. Awards and prizes are tools that allow you to significantly improve your performance. In the Work Human Research Institute 2016 report, 79% of respondents said recognition programs and rewards programs push them to work harder. Finally, recognizing a job well done is essentially a free action: it can be in the form of a formalized program, or it can be as simple as sending a weighted email (or better yet a handwritten note) to the team members which reports their great job.
With the incorporation of the infrastructure of the high-performance work systems in an organization, they slowly become a part of the regular processes that are implemented. This in turn has a significant effect on both employers as well as employees. The views regarding the effects brought on by practices of high-performance work systems on the employees of an organization are mixed. On basis of a critical perspective on the high-performance work system focuses its adverse effects on social and human outputs instead of financial outcomes. Moreover, it has been inferred that the performance of the specific organization can be offset on the basis of longer work hours by the employee as well as higher intensification towards the work. This in turn brings an additional amount of pressure on the concerned stakeholders. (Boxall, 2012)
It is very important that the responses and feedback of the employees regarding practices and management of human resources be considered. This in turn can lead to the creation of a viable as well as stable work environment that works towards the overall improvement of motivation level of the employees to attain optimum levels of organizational efficiency.
If resources enable the organization to implement or create that improve their effectiveness and efficiency then such resources are considered as valuable and they must be real. Valuable common resources provide only competitive parity, ensuring that a firm is not at competitive disadvantage due to the lack of this resources. If the valuable resources are not rare then these resources are possessed by a large number of other firms, enabling them the possibility of exploiting it in the same way, creating and implementing the same strategies, giving no firm the possibility of generating a sustained competitive advantage through the use of this resources (Barney, 1991; Barney & Wright, 1998). Valuable and rare resources, can only be sources of sustained competitive advantage if they cannot be obtained by other firms, meaning that they are imperfectly imitable. This can happen because of unique historical conditions, causal ambiguity and social complexity. Regarding unique historical conditions, Barney states that the ability of firms to acquire and exploit some resources depend upon their place in time and space and when this particular time in history passes. He gives the example of a “unique and valuable organizational culture that emerged in the early stages of a firm´s history may have an imperfectly imitable advantage over firms founded in another historical period”. Causal Ambiguity exists when the connection between the resources of a firm and a firm´s competitive advantage is poorly understood. This causes difficulties when a firm wants to imitate other firm´s strategies through the imitation of its resources, because they don´t know which ones they should imitate. The level of causal ambiguity must be the same for the firms that want to imitate and the ones that are the subject of imitation, otherwise, the gap of knowledge, linking the resources and the competitive advantage, among firms might be eliminated, for example, by hiring personnel from the company with the competitive advantage. Social Complexity can constrain significantly the imitation of a firm´s resources. Interpersonal relationships between managers in a firm, a firm´s culture, a firm´s reputation among suppliers and customers, are examples given by Barney to illustrate social complex resources that although have a very clear connection to the competitive advantage, they are so complex that a systematic management or influence of these resources is impossible, making them imperfectly imitable (Barney, 1991; Patrick M. Wright, McMahan, & McWilliams, 1994).
The “Dark-Side” of the system is based on an economic exchange relationship and although rhetorically concerned with employee outcomes. But actually, this tool is used for boosting the performance of the organization overlapping the outcomes of employee by increasing job demands, leading to negative attitudes & behaviors for example emotional exhaustion, stress, & work disengagement. It further increases the job strain that is resulted from intensification & stress experienced by the employees because of enhanced discretion & responsibilities. Initially it has positive outcomes for some of the workers but the with more intense system it leads to stress, low job satisfaction, etc. (Messersmith, 2011)
Recently, the three prevailing views have been integrated. Lepak and Shaw (2008) integrate the contingency and configurational perspectives into a “contingent configurational perspective”, which indicates that the effectiveness of human resource management systems can also be dependent on external emergency factors, therefore human resource management systems must be internally consistent and also obtain external alignment with emergency situations. (Meuer, 2017)
Further investigation is therefore required in assessing the manner and the various strategies by which sustainability is employed for implementation of practices regarding human resources management. To further elaborate the various effects brought on by the incorporation of high-performance work system in an organization, the emotions as well as relevant work experiences of the concerned employees need to be brought into focus. It has been observed that the affection states of relevant employees of the organization are greatly influenced by the different events that take place within the workplace premises leading to development of reactions in attitude from the employee side. This essay focuses on both the positive as well as negative impacts regarding the incorporation of high-performance work systems in an organizational framework. This has mainly been focused on the overall environment of the workplace which includes the generation of positive as well as negative affective states. (Pfeffer, 1995)
These affective states further lead to the attitudes of the employees getting influenced with respect to their job and work respectively. While considering the positive impacts on an organizational level it has also been inferred that there is a proper disconnection developed between these high-performance organizational work systems and the relevant experience acquired by the employees. Here the organizational level of high-performance work systems comprises of the systems of human resources that conduct their practices for effective management of organizational employees and the optimum redesigning of their work practices and systems. This provides an understanding of the goals and objectives of a particular organization to develop relevant decisions pertaining to the manner in which they intend to manage and maintain their employee workforce. Any kind of inconsistency shown or developed in the high-performance work systems on organizational level can lead to inaccurate understanding by the requisite employees and showcasing behavioral patterns that are not in compliance with the strategic objectives of the organization. (Bowen, 2004)
There have been several arguments and researches on the fact that the implication of high-performance work systems on the organizational level leading to adverse effects on employees further leading to leading to a growing possibility of generation of strains. These strains are considered to be a result of the workplace environment intensity as well as the unduly stress.
During the recent years that have followed, anxiety and depression have unfortunately become common and growing illnesses. Another illness includes anxiety disorder which have adverse effects on not only the suffering person but on this surrounding environment as well. On the basis of several case studies conducted at an organization level it has been inferred the existent relation between the constraints of the organization is kept intact through the different emotions at the workplace which act as the mediator. Job stress being a result of justice level existent within the organization has also been highlighted. This includes the overall production of responses pertaining consequent levels of stain as well behaviors inciting negative emotions. This in turn links the stress with a behavior pattern that is counterproductive. The improper controlling of a workplace environment that is stressed can lead to workplace anxiety being a constant product of the organizational level of justice. (Godard, 2004)
Job burnout comprises of certain characteristics which include a certain amount of fatigue at an emotional level, overall minimization of any kinds of individual achievements followed by complete detachment with the work. Researches have shown that the exhaustion range of requisite work of any organization includes elevated fatigue levels and an irregular as well as improper commitment towards work. It has been inferred that the specific worker or employee is most likely to undergo exhaustion during work in a workplace environment that is both stressful and traumatic. Moreover, in an organizational environment where the high-performance work systems have been implemented, certain restrictions at the executive level and unfairness at all levels lead to generation of high levels of exhaustion.
Another aspect regarding the effect that the incorporation of high-performance work systems has on the employees of the specific organization is considered in the form of work overload. This come out as stress which is a resultant of the increasing expectations regarding the perspective of both work and the institution as a whole which is put on the employee. It has been inferred from the perception of the work overload that certain expectations regarding role are developed among the setters of these roles due to the institutional features. These role setters then transfer all the pressures to the next person and so on it slowly establishes itself in the infrastructure of the entire organization. There is also the case of costs linked with these roles when the expected roles are not carried out efficiently by the concerned employees. The work load is related with conditions in which the employees are of the view that against the available time the implementation of too many activities and duties have been asked of them. This can then be considered by the employees as feelings of additional pressure and stress. It has also been reported that problems have been faced in this regard by the workers related to the completion of the work that they are allotted with due to the increased burden of work to meet the requirements of their organization. Researchers have also come to an agreement that the increased amount of work along with inconsistencies in their role lead to associations of a strong nature in compliance with different responses shown by the workers. These responses include abnormal behavior at the office, emotional collapse followed by severe anxiety. These kinds of different stresses that are a result of overburdening in a specific job have been linked to the counter productive work behavior by various researchers. Other stresses include discrepancies of the interpersonal configuration, uncertainty in the work role, restraints of the organizational level followed by overwork and divergence in the role.
It is true that the implementation of high-performance work system leads to a positive impact on the entire organization but there has been a debate on whether the positive interpretation of high-performance work systems like efficient performance, attendance, motivation and timeliness are even realized or not. The entire structure of the high-performance work system has been designed in order to acquire the highest level of work effort from the workers. This high work effort at highest efficiency levels leads to development of a high level of work strain. Negative effects regarding the alternate kind of work practices on workers have also been reported. During the recent years there has been an increase in the adoption and implementation of practices related to the high-performance work systems mostly in the private sector organizations. In this period there has been noted to be several observational reports of the added amount of pressures on the relationship among the employees in the private sector organizations. This proves to be a great disadvantage for the employees leading to overall intensification of their work, imbalances developed in their work and lives followed by development of inequalities in their earnings.
It has been concluded on the basis of extensive research that the reason for the inculcation of negative effects is the increased level of job demands and incorporation of additional working hours or the intensification of work by the structure of high-performance work systems. This is based on the critical perception that the improved level of effectiveness regarding organization stems from the need to make greater efforts and develop high levels of involvement in the work through providing additional amounts of work. It has also been inferred that the negative effect which is a resultant of intensification of work can in turn lead to the development of negative behaviors and attitudes towards work related matters. So, in a way the inculcation and motivation of the workforce of the organization towards bringing about high levels of involvement as well as participation, has led to development of additional work responsibilities and work load for the acquisition of the specified financial goals which are almost always at the expense of the sanity of the concerned employee. The original idea or driving force behind the inculcation of high-performance work systems has been the development of optimum management leading to efficient organizational performance.
But it has been observed that in the means of this implementation, high performance work systems have indeed brought on additional work load, intensification of the work as well as increased levels of stress that have resulted in the lowering of satisfaction levels related to the job and exploitation of labor. Moreover, there has also been an added tension among the relationship between senior management and the employee workforce due to decreased quality of both work and life of the employees. This can be considered grave and a serious hindrance regarding the development of a harmonious and optimum workplace environment of an organization leading to the betterment of a society.
This essay focuses on both the positive as well as negative impacts regarding the incorporation of high-performance work systems in an organizational framework. This has mainly been focused on the overall environment of the workplace which includes the generation of positive as well as negative affective states. These affective states further lead to the attitudes of the employees getting influenced with respect to their job and work respectively. While considering the positive impacts on an organizational level it has also been inferred that there is a proper disconnection developed between these high-performance organizational work systems and the relevant experience acquired by the employees. The reason for the inculcation of negative effects is the increased level of job demands and incorporation of additional working hours or the intensification of work by the structure of high-performance work systems. This is based on the critical perception that the improved level of effectiveness regarding organization stems from the need to make greater efforts and develop high levels of involvement in the work through providing additional amounts of work.
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