Employee firm-specific knowledge and the acquisition of a high-performance work system organisation

Nazila Razi, Elizabeth More

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior studies assert that high-performance work system (HPWS) practices allow a firm to build firm-specific human capital knowledge (FSK), which positively influences customer relations. This, in turn, leads to improved organisational performance. This study investigates whether a takeover influences existing firm-specific human capital knowledge and its impact on customer relations. The study was conducted on a small, recently acquired Australian telecommunications company identified as having a HPWS environment. The qualitative research was conducted through semi-structured interviews with the top, middle and supervisory management team of the company. From the findings it is evident that the existence of a HPWS environment in the organisation helped the employees to develop and build on firm-specific human capital. Intimate knowledge of the firm's products, customers and work processes enabled the firm to gain more individual efficiency. Firm-specific knowledge was identified as the most significant contributing factor towards improved customer relations and high performance of the organisation pre and post takeover. The takeover seems to have had no negative impact on employee FSK. It seems that employee knowledge of products, customers and work processes has improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalAccounting, Accountability and Performance
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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