The relationship between organizational performance and two dimensions of the ‘high performance work system’ – enriched job design and high involvement management (HIM) – is widely assumed to be mediated by worker well-being.
We outline the basis for three models:
- mutual-gains, in which employee involvement increases well-being and this mediates its positive relationship with performance;
- conflicting outcomes, which associates involvement with increased stress for workers, accounting for its positive performance effects; and
- counteracting effects, which associates involvement with increased stress and dissatisfaction, reducing its positive performance effects.
Job satisfaction mediates the relationship between enriched job design and four performance indicators, supporting the mutual gains model; but HIM is negatively related to job satisfaction and this depresses a positive relationship between HIM and the economic performance measures, supporting a counteracting effects model.
Finally, HIM is negatively related to job-related anxiety–comfort and enriched job design is unrelated to it.