October 2005

IZA DP No. 1812: High Performance Workplaces and Family Friendly Practices: Promises Made and Promises Kept

published in: International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2010, 21 (11), 1976-1995

High performance workplaces elicit greater involvement and productivity from employees but past theory and evidence remain divided on whether or not such workplaces are compatible with family friendly work practices. We present new evidence on the association using perceptions of a representative sample of workers and an innovative testing framework. The evidence reveals that high performance workplaces are no more likely to make commitments to provide family friendly workplaces than are other workplaces. It shows, however, that high performance workplaces are more likely to keep the family friendly commitments they make, thereby maintaining a "psychological contract" based on mutual obligation. As providing family friendly practices requires both making and keeping commitments, the evidence confirms that high performance workplaces are more likely to provide such practices.