High reliability Human Resource Management (HRM): A system for high risk workplaces

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Kellner, Ashlea
Townsend, Keith
Loudoun, Rebecca
Wilkinson, Adrian
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2021
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Abstract

High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) research is based on the search for the most suitable bundle of complementary practices appropriate for the organisation and its operating environment. We examine the contents of a HPWS in organisations seeking impeccable safety and reliability as their foremost ‘performance’ outcome. We propose a ‘High Reliability HRM’ framework, and examine the degree of implementation in a three case study of Australian state emergency services organisations. The findings highlight HRM practices inconsistent with the framework, and illustrated by rich interview accounts, we detail associated negative implications for employee behaviour and attitudes. We contribute to HPWS research by empirically examining how reliability-seeking organisations conceptualise and implement HRM systems. This study emphasises how inconsistency in HRM practice bundles can pose a threat to reliable service provision, a critical finding for emergency services and reliability-seeking organisations more broadly.

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Human Resource Management Journal
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This publication has been entered as an advanced online version in Griffith Research Online.
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Human resources and industrial relations
Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Applied and developmental psychology
Social Sciences
Industrial Relations & Labor
Management
Business & Economics
best practice
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Kellner, A; Townsend, K; Loudoun, R; Wilkinson, A, High reliability Human Resource Management (HRM): A system for high risk workplaces, Human Resource Management Journal, 2021
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