Article Title

Workplace Design, Complementarities among Work Practices, and the Formation of Key Competencies: Evidence from Italian Employees


The author analyzes the extent to which High Performance Workplace Practices (HPWP) act as a mediating variable between High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) and the economic outcomes of firms in developing workers’ key competencies, which include higher order cognition, problem-solving, and self-reflexivity. Using a large survey of Italian employees drawn from a government-constructed database, the author finds that HPWPs that comprise greater worker discretion, participation in improvement groups, inclusion in workplace improvement schemes, and involvement in performance evaluation help employees develop such competencies, thus enabling firms to thrive and grow. He also shows that these organizational work practices result in more efficient production when simultaneously adopted as a bundle, which confirms the importance of complementarities or synergies among such practices.

As of August 31, 2014, the ILR Review is published by SAGE. Please visit the journal site to read this article.