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Reflections on the "High Performance" Paradigm's Implications for Industrial Relations as a Field

John Godard and John T. Delaney
ILR Review
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Apr., 2000), pp. 482-502
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/2695970
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2695970
Page Count: 21
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Reflections on the "High Performance" Paradigm's Implications for Industrial Relations as a Field
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Abstract

Over the past decade, several leading U.S. scholars have advanced a new industrial relations paradigm, according to which "high performance" work and human resource management (HRM) practices have replaced unions and collective bargaining as the innovative force in industrial relations. Although this model fundamentally challenges the traditional focus of the field of industrial relations in the United States, research on it has centered on the diffusion and performance effects of HRM innovations, with surprisingly little systematic reflection on either the underlying tenets of the new paradigm or its implications for the future of the field. Drawing on work of British and U.S. scholars, the authors identify critical aspects of the literature on this subject that deserve careful scrutiny, and suggest several criteria (such as industrial democracy) that need to be used in addition to measures of firm performance in evaluating the new paradigm.

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