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CEP discussion paper

Catching a Wave: the Adoption of Voice and High Commitment Workplace Practices in Britain: 1984-1998


In this paper we treat workplace voice and systems of high-commitment human resource management (HCHRM) as technological innovations in order to account for the uneven diffusion patterns observed across establishments. Using British data, the paper finds that variables highlighted in the technological diffusion literature are significant predictors of voice and HRM adoption decisions. Workplace size, size of multi-establishment network, ownership type, set-up date and network affects all play a significant role in high-commitment HRM adoption. We also find that union presence, per se, is not an inhibitor to the adoption of high commitment HRM practices.


Alex Bryson, Rafael Gomez and Tobias Kretschmer

February 2005     Paper Number CEPDP0676

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's programme.