Employment Subsystems and the ‘HR Architecture’

David P. Lepak and Scott A. Snell

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547029
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577390 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Employment Subsystems and the ‘HR Architecture’

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


Show Summary Details


There is an interesting tension that exists within the HRM literature with regard to employment subsystems. On the one hand, a clear pattern is emerging in strategic HRM research that suggests that HR systems geared toward increased commitment and employee involvement can have a dramatic impact on organizational outcomes. Terms such as commitment-oriented HR systems, high-performance work systems, high-involvement HRM, and the like exude a connotation of extensive investment in, and reliance on, employees. This article first reviews the ‘HR architecture’ to provide a backdrop for our discussion of employment subsystems and changing forms of employment. Second, it examines the implications of globalization, strategy, and managing knowledge flows for how companies structure their portfolio of employment subsystems. Throughout the discussion it offers suggestions for future research.

Keywords: employment subsystems; strategic HRM; employee involvement; HR systems; high-performance work systems; globalization

Article.  8527 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.