High-performance work systems and the instrumental employee
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Employee instrumentalism, which has been defined as the belief that work is primarily a means to non-work ends rather than a central life interest, was investigated as a potential negative antithesis to employee job involvement, organisational commitment, trust in managers, and job satisfaction. Drawing on data from a representative national population survey, instrumentalism was found to be negatively related to commitment and involvement, but independent of the degree to which employees trust their managers and find satisfaction in their jobs. Furthermore, instrumentalism was found to be independent of managerial practices encompassed under the high-performance work systems (HPWS) rubric, suggesting it to be a stable socialised state that employees bring to their jobs rather than a response to the work environment. Practical implications are discussed.