Beyond profit? Sectoral differences in high-performance work practices

Arne L. Kalleberg, Peter V. Marsden, Jeremy Reynolds, David Knoke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Drawing on a recent survey of establishments in the United States, the authors examine how nonprofit, public, and for-profit establishments vary in the use of high-performance work organization (HPWO) practices that offer opportunities for participation in decision making (via self-directed teams and offline committees), enhance the capacity for participation (via multiskilling practices such as job rotation), and provide incentives for participation (via compensation practices). Nonprofit and public organizations are less likely to use performance incentives (gain sharing and bonuses) and some multiskilling practices than are for-profit organizations but more likely to use both self-directed work teams and offline committees. Sectoral differences in the prevalence of incentive compensation and self-directed teams persist after correlates of sector that predict HPWO prevalence - including establishment size, industry, computational requirements, and unionization - are controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-302
Number of pages32
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • High-performance work organizations
  • Human resource practices
  • Incentive compensation
  • Nonprofit sector
  • Public sector
  • Work teams


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