High-involvement Management, Economic Recession, Well-being and Organizational Performance
journal contributionposted on 10.10.2016, 14:08 by Stephen J. Wood, Chidiebere Ogbonnaya
High-involvement management was introduced as a means of overcoming economic crises, but it has been argued that the inevitability of cost-cutting measures when organizations face such crises would undermine its efficacy. This article first presents theories of why tensions may exist between high-involvement management and actions typically taken by management during recessions, such as wage and employment freezes. It then reports research aimed at testing whether the performance effects of high-involvement management were lower in organizations where management took such actions to combat the post-2008 recession, due to their adverse effects on employees’ job satisfaction and well-being—and even whether high-involvement management still had a performance premium after the recession. Using data from Britain’s Workplace Employment Relations Survey of 2011, the research shows that both dimensions of high-involvement management—role- and organizational-involvement management—continued to be positively associated with economic performance as the economy came out of recession. Recessionary actions were negatively related to both employee job satisfaction and well-being, while job satisfaction mediated the relationship between role-involvement management and economic performance, which is consistent with mutual-gains theory. However, recessionary action reduced the positive effect that role-involvement management had on job satisfaction and well-being and thus may have reduced its positive performance effects. In the case of organizational-involvement management, it reduced the level of job dissatisfaction and ill-being, suggesting that it may provide workers with more information and greater certainty about the future.