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The Diffusion of Workplace Voice and High-Commitment Human Resource Management Practices in Britain, 1984-1998

Authors/Editors: Bryson, A.
Gomez, R.
Kretschmer, T.
Willman, P.
Published: 2007
Type: Articles in Refereed Journals (International)
ISBN/ISSN: 0960-6491
Published by: Industrial and Corporate Change, 16(3), pp. 395-426


Workplace voice and systems of high-commitment human resource management (HCHRM) have been found to impart measurable benefits to adopting firms, yet significant numbers of establishments fail to employ such practices. This article addresses the puzzle of staggered diffusion by explicitly treating voice and HCHRM as technological innovations. Using British data, the article finds that variables highlighted in the technological diffusion literature are significant predictors of workplace voice and HCHRM adoption. Specifically, we find that (i) number of employees, (ii) size of multi-establishment network, (iii) ownership type, (iv) set-up date and (v) network effects all play a significant role in predicting where voice and HCHRM are found. We also find evidence of joint usage of workplace voice and HCHRM practices, suggesting that HCHRM is not a substitute or natural successor to voice.