High-performance work systems (HPWS)-performance research has dominated innovative human resource management studies for two decades. However, mainstream HPWS research has paid little attention to employees’ perceptions of HPWS, or to the relationship between HPWS and corporate social performance (CSP). The influence of CSP on employee outcomes such as organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) has thus been similarly neglected. This paper seeks to investigate these missing links in literature using data collected from a sample of 700 employees in China. The findings demonstrate that HPWS is positively related to HPWS satisfaction and employees’ perceptions of CSP. HPWS satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between HPWS and employees’ affective commitment (AC). There are multiple mediators between HPWS and OCB, indicating more complicated mechanisms through which HPWS leads to desired HR outcomes. Employees’ perceived CSP has a significant influence on HPWS satisfaction, AC and OCB, suggesting firms should place a premium on achieving a reputation as being socially responsible.