The dark side of high performance human resource practices in the visitor economy

Stephen J. Page, Tim Bentley, Stephen Teo, Adele Ladkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Enhancing employee performance and improving staff retention are key objectives within the visitor economy, especially among the subset of tourism and hospitality businesses where there is a strong emphasis on 'people first' practices. A significant threat to achieving these sector goals is the presence of psychosocial risk factors associated with abuse and ill-treatment at work. This study examines the role of workplace bullying in the relationship between two organisational approaches to support workforce performance, high performance work systems and perceived organisational support, and employee engagement and retention. Our findings indicate that bullying weakens or even reverses the impact of these organisational initiatives, with HPWS found to increase perceived exposure to bullying. The paper discusses the implications for the visitor economy, particularly, the need to enhance the perception of concern for employee wellbeing and create healthy work environments in the sector if organisational efforts to enhance engagement and retention are to be effective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Early online date15 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Workplace bullying
  • Workplace harassment
  • High performance work systems
  • Social exchange theory
  • Organisational behaviour


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