Original Research

Developing ambidexterity and resilience: The predictive role of high-performance work systems

Charles Hanu, Njabulo Khumalo
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 21 | a2226 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v21i0.2226 | © 2023 Charles Hanu, Njabulo Khumalo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 January 2023 | Published: 19 October 2023

About the author(s)

Charles Hanu, Department of Human Resource, Faculty of Management Science, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Secretaryship and Management Studies, Faculty of Business Studies, Takoradi Technical University, Takoradi, Ghana
Njabulo Khumalo, School of Management, IT and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Orientation: Organisations and employees face crises at a point in time that may disrupt their normal work activities. High-performance work systems (HPWSs) help develop and enhance individuals’ and firms’ ability to respond to crises effectively.

Research purpose: This study examined the differential impact of HPWS on employee resilience, employee ambidexterity and organisational resilience during crises in pharmaceutical manufacturing firms in Ghana.

Motivation for the study: Limited studies have examined how HPWSs predict employee ambidexterity and employee and organisational resilience in separate studies. Nevertheless, knowledge regarding the differential impact of these outcomes in a single study is sparse, particularly during crises.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative research approach was used in this study. Data for this study were gathered through a cross-sectional survey utilising a structured online questionnaire. A total of 324 participants formed the sample for data collection. The measure and structural models were assessed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM).

Main findings: The results show that HPWS positively and significantly affects employee and organisational resilience and ambidexterity during crises within the research context.

Practical/managerial implications: The outcomes from the study provide helpful information for pharmaceutical firms’ managers to enhance their employees’ resilience and ambidexterity and the organisations’ resilience.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the HPWS literature by enriching the understanding of its effects on employee resilience, employee ambidexterity and organisational resilience in the context of an emerging economy.


high-performance work systems; resilience; exploitation; exploration; ambidexterity

JEL Codes

M12: Personnel Management • Executives; Executive Compensation

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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Crossref Citations

1. From high-performance work systems and resilience to employee well-being during crises: exploring the moderating role of employee ambidexterity
Charles Hanu, Njabulo Khumalo
Current Psychology  vol: 43  issue: 11  first page: 9955  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1007/s12144-023-05138-3