High Performance Work Systems

Topics: Employment, Job satisfaction, Hawthorne effect Pages: 23 (3581 words) Published: May 12, 2014


Does a High Performance Work System have the Ability to Induce Higher Job Satisfaction and Job Performance?

Abstract
The idea that a happy worker is a hard worker has been discussed and researched since the 1930 Hawthorne experiments. Researchers believed that with increased job satisfaction came an increase in job performance and vice versa. No matter how logical this idea seems, it has not been proven, and the argument continues. This paper looks at the facets of job satisfaction, job performance, how they are measured, and why they cannot be linked. Then, it moves on to cover the idea of a High Performance Work System and why this system is linked to increases in both job satisfaction and job performance. Through examination of research as well as business and sports examples, it is proven that a high performance environment is the key to promoting both high job satisfaction and job performance.

Does a High Performance Work System have the Ability to Induce Higher Job Satisfaction and Job Performance?
Since the 1930’s Hawthorne experiments, researchers have struggled with understanding the connection, if there is one, between job satisfaction and job performance. Although many people believe that there is a positive correlation between the two, research has proved inconclusive. Therefore, the question has remained unsolved. This topic is complex, and due to the fact different employees have varying attitudes, situations, and motivating factors, it has been a difficult question to answer. By comparing job satisfaction and job performance to the characteristics of a high performance work system, there is a clear connection between the three. By answering the following questions, the connection between the three will be made clear.

1. How is Job Satisfaction measured?
2. How is Job Performance measured?
3. Why can’t these two aspects of employee behavior be linked?
4. What is a High Performance Work System?
5. What is the Real-Life Connection between this System and Successful Teams (Sports and Business)? 6. How does High Performance promote Satisfaction among Team Members? 7. How does High Performance promote Performance among Team Members? Due to the different factors motivating people at work, it has been impossible for researchers to find a definite correlation between job performance and job satisfaction. However, these two highly scrutinized aspects of employee behavior are often a positive result of a high performance work system. How is Job Satisfaction measured?

Measuring job satisfaction is a complex task because it is difficult to develop quantitative tools for measuring the emotions one feels towards his/her job. One must rely on answers driven by emotions. When attempting to measure job satisfaction, companies usually choose to employ one of these three strategies: focus groups, interviews, or employee surveys. The main issue with the first two is that responses in focus groups or interviews can be tainted by a person’s attempt to appease others in the group or the interviewer. This results in an inaccurate sampling of employee satisfaction. The third option, surveys, which have their issues as well tend to be the most accurate because they eliminate the need to alter one’s answers for fear of judgment by peers or supervisors. The two most commonly used tests are the Cornell Job Descriptive Index and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (Saari & Judge, 2004). Out of the two, it has been accepted that the Cornell Job Descriptive Index is the best measure of job satisfaction. The Cornell Job Descriptive Index, widely acknowledged as the most reliable, is intended to pass several different tests. The survey is designed so that it can be used over a wide range of job classifications, covers different aspects of the possible work situations, and is reliable in terms of internal consistency and long-term...

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THE HAWTHORNE STUDIES
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