Working in a high-performance corporate culture: Effects on employee perspective and health

Christina Anne Murphy, Fordham University


As businesses evolve, to keep ahead of competition, so do their expectations for individual performance. Many chief executives have deliberately created organizational cultures that foster performance excellence, and improve or eliminate ineffective performers. At the same time as these performance cultures are evolving, employees are experiencing a change in their commitment to their work and their employers, seeking a greater quality of life. The resulting corporate cultures, known as high-performance cultures, may create a counterculture in which employees view their jobs as insecure because they are based on others' perceptions of their performance. Thus, there has been a growing debate over the efficacy of high-performance cultures and whether they truly produce the results they purport to produce for shareholders, executives, and employees. The majority of participants were 18 to 29 years of age, female, white, married, and with no children. The analysis of demographics showed the largest group of respondents had only one to four years of experience, were individual contributors, and earned compensation between $10,000 and $20,000. A majority of the respondents that indicated their organization had high-performance expectations and a "very good" performance rating. The study found that work-life balance decreases if the overall perception of job stress affecting health declines as well. In addition, predictors of job stress affecting overall health were occurrences of work-life impeding relationships with family and friends, lack of desire to recommend one's company to friends and family, pressure to produce constantly to meet goals and objectives, and respect for one's manager. Implications of this research provide a foundation for future research. Further research recommendations to gain more insight and clarity into the underpinnings of high-performance expectations and employee health were provided as well as recommendations for improving performance philosophy and worker health were suggested for corporate executives.

Subject Area

Occupational health|Management|Economics|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Murphy, Christina Anne, "Working in a high-performance corporate culture: Effects on employee perspective and health" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3323266.