Unions and the Adoption of High Performance Work Systems: Does Employment Security Play a Role?

Posted: 30 Jun 2010

See all articles by Wenchuan Liu

Wenchuan Liu

Capital University of Economics and Business

James P. Guthrie

University of Kansas - School of Business

Patrick Flood

Dublin City University

Sarah MacCurtain

University of Limerick

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

Previous research on the association between unionization and the adoption of high performance work systems (HPWSs) has yielded inconsistent results. Using data from a 2004 multi-industry survey of firms operating in the Republic of Ireland, the authors examine the relationship between employee union membership rates and relative use of HPWSs. They also test arguments that employment security may affect the receptiveness of unions to such HR practices. The results indicate that as union representation increased, there was a significant decrease in the use of high performance work systems. Evidence also suggests that providing employment security significantly ameliorated this negative impact.

Keywords: Unions, Adoption High Performance, Work Systems, Employment Security

JEL Classification: J51, J52,

Suggested Citation

Liu, Wenchuan and Guthrie, James P. and Flood, Patrick and MacCurtain, Sarah, Unions and the Adoption of High Performance Work Systems: Does Employment Security Play a Role? (October 1, 2009). Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1632884

Wenchuan Liu (Contact Author)

Capital University of Economics and Business ( email )

Beijing
China

James P. Guthrie

University of Kansas - School of Business ( email )

1300 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Patrick Flood

Dublin City University ( email )

Dublin
Ireland

Sarah MacCurtain

University of Limerick ( email )

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

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