Differentiating the workforce: The performance effects of using contingent labor in a context of high-performance work systems Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2014

start page

  • 1334

end page

  • 1341


  • 7


  • 67

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-2963

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7978


  • In this study We focus on the impact of contingent labor on the outcomes of high-performance work systems (HPWS). Building on the emerging research on the social mechanisms linking HRM to organizational effectiveness, we argue that a higher incidence of contingent labor diminishes the productivity payoff associated with the use of HPWS for managing standard employees. We test these arguments using a sample of 229 British firms of different industries. The results support our arguments and help develop a more holistic and critical viewpoint in the analysis of workforce differentiation. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • human resource management; workforce differentiation; high-performance work systems; contingent employment; productivity; human-resource management; high-involvement management; firm performance; organizational performance; flexibility; employment; productivity; turnover; behavior; externalization