The Paradox of High Performance Work Systems: An Empirical Investigation on Perceived High Performance Work Systems & Employees’ Negative Psychological Outcomes of Executives in Selected Licensed Commercial Banks in Sri Lanka


  • HM De Silva Department of Human Resource Management University of Sri Jayewardenepura
  • KAC Chandrika Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura


This study attempts to identify how perceived high performance work systems can result in negative psychological outcomes, specifically referring to job burnout, job anxiety, role stress and job insecurity among executives in the banking industry. Although there is increasing research on how HPWS can create a competitive advantage for organizations in terms of organization performance, many unanswered questions remain in this field such as the influence it has on employees. Hence, the research problem addressed in this study is to identify whether HPWS result in negative psychological outcomes among executives in selected licensed commercial in Sri Lanka. As the first phase of the study, the data were collected from a convenient sample of 150 executives in selected licensed commercial banks in Sri Lanka with a structured questionnaire, which consisted of 44 question statements in a five point Likert Scale.  Following that, in phase two, 06 interviews were conducted in order to variates the findings of the survey questionnaire. This ensures data triangulation of this research. According to the statistical findings of Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation and Regression Analysis, high performance work systems are having a strong positive relationship with employees’ negative psychological outcomes as a collective aspect. However when taking job burnout, job anxiety, role stress and job insecurity separately, the relationships are divergent and gives different results. Since high performance work systems will have a substantiate impact on employees’ negative psychological outcomes as a whole, an organization should more focused on mitigating such negative psychological aspects holistically, rather than just taking remedial actions to avoid individual psychological outcomes.

Keywords: High Performance Work Systems, Employees’ Negative Psychological Outcomes, Job Burnout, Job Anxiety, Role Stress, Job Insecurity