Exploring the effects of high-performance work systems (HPWS) on the work-related well-being of Chinese hospital employees

Mingqiong Zhang, Jiuhua Cherrie Zhu, Peter John Dowling, Timothy Bartram

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95 Citations (Scopus)


This study addresses the recent call to restore employees well-being to the centre of high-performance work system (HPWS) research through investigating the effects of HPWS on the major dimensions of work-related well-being, such as emotional exhaustion, work engagement and job satisfaction. Based on data collected from a sample of 207 clinicians (medical practitioners and nurses) and administration staff in six Chinese hospitals, we introduced the perceived nature of the employee-employer relationship as a moderator to understand the complex mechanisms through which HPWS may influence employee well-being. Given that China s health care system is one of the most market-orientated systems in the world, the Chinese health care context provides an ideal site to study the implications of HR practices for employees. The findings demonstrated that HPWS may lead to work engagement or emotional exhaustion, depending on employee perceptions about the nature of the employee-employer relationship. The economic exchange perception increases the possibility that HPWS leads to employees emotional exhaustion, while the social exchange perception decreases the possibility that HPWS leads to employee work engagement. The findings have significant practical implications for hospital management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3196 - 3212
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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