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CentrePiece article
Human resource management: how much do firms really need?
Alex Bryson and Michael White
December 2013
Paper No' CEPCP407:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 18 (2) Autumn 2013

JEL Classification: J28; L23; M12; M54

Tags: human resource management; high performance; organizational commitment

More complete systems of human resource management (HRM) could deliver really extensive gains in employee motivation, according to an analysis of representative data from British workplaces by Michael White and Alex Bryson. Their research explores whether the introduction of ‘high-performance work systems’ really make a difference to business performance and whether it is possible for firms to have ‘too little’ or ‘too much’ HRM. They find that workplace attitudes become steeply and progressively more positive once a threshold of HRM practices has been reached. But in terms of employee attitudes, it might be better to have no HRM than just a little. At present, a half of British workplaces are experiencing slightly depressed employee attitudes.

This article summarises ‘Positive Employee Relations: How Much Human Resource Management Do You Need?’ by Michael White and Alex Bryson,CEP Discussion Paper No. 1097, November 2011.