HRM and Workplace Motivation: Incremental and Threshold Effects

| Publication date: 10 Oct 2011 | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity, Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Bryson, A | External Author(s): White, M. | JEL Classification: J28; L23; M12; M54 | NIESR Discussion Paper Number: 381

The HRM-performance linkage often invokes an assumption of increased employee commitment to the organization and other positive effects of a motivational type. We present a theoretical framework in which motivational effects of HRM are conditional on its intensity, utilizing especially the idea of HRM Ôbundling'. We then analyse the association between HRM practices and employees' organisational commitment (OC) and intrinsic job satisfaction (IJS). HRM practices have significantly positive relationships with OC and IJS chiefly at high levels of implementation, but with important distinctions between the domain-level analysis (comprising groups of practices for specific domains such as employee development) and the across-domain or HRM-system level. Findings support a threshold interpretation of the link between HRM domains and employee motivation, but at the system-level both incremental and threshold models receive some support.

Keyword tags: 
human resource management
high performance
organizational commitment
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