A promise made is a promise kept: Union voice, HRM practices, implicit contracts and workplace performance in times of crisis. By: Zeitoun, Hossam; Pamini, Paolo. Human Resource Management Journal. Jan2021, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p277-292. 16p.

Sociological debates on financialisation emphasise that workplace‐based productivity bargains between employers and employees are often precarious. This literature suggests that where employers are unable to keep their side of the bargain, participative arrangements with employees are likely to become unsustainable in generating high workplace performance. Recessions substantially increase the pressures on employers to breach (unwritten and invisible) implicit bargains with employees. We propose that a robust (rather than shallow) implementation of union voice and Human Resource Management (HRM) practices will make implicit bargains more resilient and benefit workplace performance if recession impact is high. Using two waves of the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey (2004 and 2011), we examine our hypotheses in the context of the deep 2008–2009 recession and find supportive evidence – especially in (a) firms without a dominant individual or family owner and (b) growing markets.