Are High-Performance Work Systems always a valuable retention tool? The roles of workforce feminization and flexible work arrangements Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2017

start page

  • 128

end page

  • 136


  • 1


  • 35

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0263-2373

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5681


  • High-Performance Work Systems (HPWS) are commonly related to higher rates of employee retention. However, variations in such rates arising from differences in workforce gender composition have hardly been studied, so the aim here is to address these issues based on a sample of British workplaces. It is hypothesized that HPWS have reduced retention outcomes in highly feminized workplaces as compared to less feminized ones. An exploration is also made of how HPWS operate in conjunction with the provision of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) to affect retention across both types of workplaces. The results suggest that workforce gender composition does indeed matter when it comes to the relationship between HPWS and retention. Contrary to expectations, the provision of FWAs alongside HPWS appears to be a less-than-optimal approach to retain employees, particularly in highly feminized workplaces. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • human resource management; high-performance work systems; workforce feminization; flexible work arrangements; retention rate