Mapping the relationships between high-performance work systems, employee resilience and engagement: a study of the banking industry in China

Fang Lee Cooke, Brian Cooper, Tim Bartram, Jue Wang, Hexuan Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


There is now growing interest in employee resilience in the organizational context and its contribution to organizational performance. However, little is known the extent to which high-performance work system (HPWS) contributes towards enhancing employee’s resilience as well as their levels of engagement. This study examines the relationships among HPWS, employee resilience and engagement, using a sample of 2040 employees in the Chinese banking industry. Drawing on the job demands-resources model and strategic/high-performance human resource management theory, we develop three hypotheses to test the relationship between HPWS and employee resilience, resilience and employee engagement, and the mediating effect of resilience on the relationship between HPWS and engagement. All hypotheses are supported and suggest that HPWS can be used as a job resource to positively affect resilience and subsequently employee engagement. The key message of the paper is that employee resilience can be viewed as a set of skills and attributes that can be developed through the effective use of HPWS to benefit both individuals and the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1260
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Banking industry
  • China
  • employee engagement
  • employee resilience
  • high-performance work systems

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