The dark side of high performance human resource practices in the visitor economy

Document Type

Journal Article


Pergamon Press

Place of Publication

United Kingdom


School of Business and Law


Originally published as: Page, S. J., Bentley, T., Teo, S., & Ladkin, A. (2018). The dark side of high performance human resource practices in the visitor economy. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 74, 122-129. Original article available here.


Enhancing employee performance and improving staff retention are key objectives within the visitor economy, especially among the subset of tourism and hospitality businesses where there is a strong emphasis on ‘people first’ practices. A significant threat to achieving these sector goals is the presence of psychosocial risk factors associated with abuse and ill-treatment at work. This study examines the role of workplace bullying in the relationship between two organisational approaches to support workforce performance, high performance work systems and perceived organisational support, and employee engagement and retention. Our findings indicate that bullying weakens or even reverses the impact of these organisational initiatives, with HPWS found to increase perceived exposure to bullying. The paper discusses the implications for the visitor economy, particularly, the need to enhance the perception of concern for employee wellbeing and create healthy work environments in the sector if organisational efforts to enhance engagement and retention are to be effective



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