Using nationally representative linked employer-employee surveys of workplaces with 50 or more employees we find the adoption of High-Performance Work Systems (HPWS) in the private sector is largely positively correlated with employee job attitudes pre-recession. However, high intensity HPWS has partly adverse consequences for private sector employees in the post-recession period. In contrast, there are no indications of public sector employees responding positively or negatively to HPWS and HPWS is not associated with adverse effects post-recession. The sectoral difference in results is interpreted in terms of different employment relationships and different sources of employee motivation.
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