Do High Performance Work Systems Pay for Small Firms? An Intellectual Capital Building Perspective


  • LeAnne Coder Western Kentucky University
  • Whitney O. Peake Western Kentucky University
  • M. Shane Spiller Western Kentucky University


Prior research suggests that small firms often struggle with human resource management, and limited research indicates that high performance work systems may assist firms in boosting their level of performance via the construction of intellectual resources for the firm. However, exploration of these phenomena in the small firm context is limited. We examine the mediating role of intellectual capital on the relationship between HPWS implementation levels and firm performance and find that a mediating impact is present for sales growth, profit growth, and perceived performance. Results suggest that HPWS implementation enhances small firm performance via intellectual capital building.


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Author Biographies

LeAnne Coder, Western Kentucky University

Associate Professor, Management Department

Whitney O. Peake, Western Kentucky University

Vitale Professor of Entrepreneurship

Assistant Professor, Management Department

M. Shane Spiller, Western Kentucky University

Associate Professor, Management Department