In the eye of the beholder: the role of self-perceived status in the relationship between high-performance work systems and affective commitment

Mijeong KIM, Inseong JEONG, Johngseok BAE

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Research has suggested that employees interpret high-performance work systems (HPWSs) as targeting two distinct organizational objectives: enhancing performance and promoting employee well-being. These attributions often exert divergent effects on employee attitudes. Thus, this study aims to investigate this dynamic within the context of the Korean nursing occupation, clarifying how the HPWS can simultaneously evoke dual attributions: human resource (HR) well-being and HR performance attributions. Additionally, the authors examine the contrasting effects of these attributions and identify a moderating variable that could reconcile them. Drawing on the psychological experience of status theory, the authors conceptualize and test the moderating effect of employees' self-perceived status on the relationship between HR performance attribution and affective commitment.

Data were collected from 475 nurses in 82 work units in Korean hospitals. Hypotheses were tested in a multilevel moderated mediation model.

The findings revealed that an HPWS elicits HR well-being and HR performance attributions. While HR well-being attribution was positively associated with affective commitment, HR performance attribution was positively related to affective commitment when employees' self-perceived status was high. Moreover, the HPWS demonstrated an indirect relationship with affective commitment via increasing HR performance attribution when self-perceived status was high.

Although the personal meaning of HR attributions differs depending on the perceiver’s situation, this aspect has received little attention in the field of research. This study advances the understanding of HR attributions derived from the HPWS within the specific context of Korean nursing. Furthermore, the authors suggest that the two attributions may not conflict with each other, indicating that the impact of HR performance attribution is conditional on an individual’s self-perceived status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-640
Number of pages20
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • High-performance work system
  • HR attributions
  • HR well-being attribution
  • HR performance attribution
  • Affective commitment
  • Self-perceived status


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