Organizations implement high-commitment human resource management (HRM) systems to increase work engagement as they provide employees with a sense of being looked after in the workplace. This relationship is rarely considered alongside the responsibility of management to look after employees beyond the workplace too in return for hard work and loyalty, as represented by paternalistic values. This study, therefore, investigates the effect of high-commitment HRM systems on work engagement, mediated by employees perceiving the HRM system to be distinctive, consistent, and consensual (i.e., a strong system), and moderated by employee belief in paternalistic values. Based on an empirical study of 384 employees, high-commitment HRM is found to increase work engagement as hypothesized. However, HRM system strength does not mediate this relationship as expected and instead is associated with lower levels of work engagement. When testing for the moderating effect of employee belief in paternalistic values, when this is low, high HRM system strength leads to lower levels of work engagement. These findings imply that strong HRM systems may be perceived as intrusive, as paternalism may be, for employees with low belief in paternalistic values.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)