Public Knowledge Project
School of Business and Law / Centre for Innovative Practice
The study draws on the high-performance work systems (HPWS) to explore the different types of HPWS implemented in professional service firms, specifically in Australian law firms. Although there has already been considerable empirical effort toward understanding the relationship between HPWS and organisational performance outcomes, there is no agreement on what constitutes HPWS and more importantly, there is limited evidence exploring how HPWS are implemented in practice. Based on interviews with 21 Managing Partners and Partners of Australian law firms to gain an in-depth understanding of HPWS practices implemented by the firms, we found evidence of nine (9) HPWS practices of recruitment and retention, creating positive organisational culture, training and development, organisational sharing and learning, developing an effective organisational structure, performance management, rewards, job mobility, and succession planning. The research findings offer contributions to theory and practice on the implementation of HPWS in professional service firms.
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