The analysis of the impact of human resource (HR) practices on employee well-being at work is an important yet relatively neglected area of inquiry within the field of human resource management (HRM). In this inaugural address, the main findings from ongoing research based on data from the 1998 British Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS98) are presented. These suggest that the HR practices that are adopted by organisations have a significant impact on the well-being of their workforces and that this impact tends, on the whole, to be more positive than negative. The effects, however, are more complex than is normally assumed in the literature. In particular, preliminary results indicate that the constellation of HR practices that help to maximise employee well-being (i.e. that make for happy workplaces), are not necessarily the same as those that make up the type of ‘High Performance Work Systems’ commonly identified in the literature. This has important theoretical, policy and ethical implications for the field of HRM. These are discussed along with important directions for future research.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam. Address given in shortened form at the occasion of accepting the appointment as Professor on the Rotating Chair for Research in Organisation and Management in the Faculty of Economics, on behalf of the “Vereniging Trustfonds Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam” with the teaching and research commitment ‘Organizing and Human Resource Management’ on Thursday, January 15, 2004
ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Peccei, R. (2004, January 15). Human Resource Management And The Search For The Happy Workplace. ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management. Retrieved from