Impact of high involvement work systems in shaping power, knowledge sharing, rewards and knowledge perception of employees

Mai Nguyen, Nicolas Pontes, Ashish Malik*, Jaya Gupta, Ritika Gugnani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, fostering employee creativity has become paramount for organizations. However, there is a scarcity of research on digitalization of the workplace and its implications for implementing high involvement work systems (HIWSs) in organizations, particularly in relation to their impact on employee outcomes, such as creativity and job satisfaction. Additionally, limited attention has been given to the role of job level and organizational type in driving change during times of adversity. This study aims to examine the factors within the HIWSs model using the PIRK model – power (P), information sharing (I), rewards (R) and knowledge (K) to explore how HIWSs shape the extent of power individuals have over their employment, the sharing of information, the types of rewards that engage and motivate employees and the knowledge required to fulfil employees’ responsibilities effectively, both individually and collectively.

 Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative research methodology, this study uses thematic analysis for data collection, analysis and interpretation. Semi-structured interviews (n = 48) served as the primary data collection method. Using the theoretical lenses of high-involvement practices and employee perceptions of PIRK, the effect on employee creativity and job satisfaction is analysed.

 Findings: The findings of this study reveal that employee creativity is significantly influenced by how employees perceive power, information, rewards and knowledge. Moreover, the study highlights the role of transformational and transactional leadership in shaping employee perceptions of power, information and knowledge within HIWSs. A high perception of PIRK is found to positively impact employee job satisfaction. 

Research limitations/implications: This study offers valuable insights for human resource management (HRM) professionals seeking to make informed decisions regarding best practices and initiatives for enhancing employee outcomes in the post-COVID era. By recognizing the pivotal role of HIWSs and their influence on employee perceptions, organizations can strategically implement HIWSs to foster creativity and job satisfaction. Furthermore, this research contributes to the existing literature by examining the interplay between HIWSs and the PIRK model in the context of workplace digitalization, emphasizing the importance of adapting HRM practices to address the evolving needs of the modern workforce. 

Originality/value: This study will help HRM professionals in making informed decisions on the best practices and initiatives to enhance employee outcomes in the post-COVID era. This paper adds to the existing literature on HIWS and PIRK in the context of workplace digitalization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Early online date12 Jan 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Employee creativity
  • High involvement work systems (HIWSs)
  • information sharing
  • PIRK model (power
  • reward and knowledge)
  • Workplace digitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of high involvement work systems in shaping power, knowledge sharing, rewards and knowledge perception of employees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this