Many managers are frustrated by a bewildering array of advice about what works in the workplace. This volume contributes to a growing consensus about effective workplace practices. The collection combines detailed studies of single industries (automobile assembly, apparel, and machine tools) with cross-industry studies of financial performance. Compared to most past investigations, the research here has better measures of both workplace practices and organizational performance. The contributors find that systems of innovative human resource management practices can have large effects on business performance. Success does not come from any single innovation, but from a coherent system encompassing pay, training, and employee involvement. Although a majority of contemporary US businesses now have adopted some innovative work practices, only a small percentage of businesses have adopted a coherent new system. A concluding chapter outlines barriers to diffusion and discusses public policies to remove barriers and enhance dissemination of effective management.

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