Discrepancy between human resource research and practice: Comparison of industrial/organisational psychologists and human resource practitioners' beliefs

  • Carless S
  • Rasiah J
  • Irmer B
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There is a large and growing body of research to show that human resource (HR) practices affect individual performance, organisational productivity and organisational performance. Academic findings about effective HR practices, however, have not readily been adopted by practitioners. A variety of theoretical and practical explanations have been advanced about the research-practice gap. Research by Rynes, Colbert, and Brown (2002) suggested that the research-practice gap is due to a lack of knowledge, but the extent to which these findings apply to the Australian context is unknown. The sample consisted of 102 industrial/organisational (I/O) psychologists and 89 HR practitioners. The main aim of the present study was to replicate and extend the work of Rynes et al. by examining and comparing the knowledge of I/O psychologists and HR practitioners. It was found that overall I/O psychologists were better informed about HR research than HR practitioners; in particular, they were more knowledgeable about management practices and recruitment and selection. In both groups, of the five content areas examined (Management Practices; General Employment Practices; Training and Development; Recruitment and Selection; and Compensation and Benefits), the greatest gaps were in Recruitment and Selection. © The Australian Psychological Society Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Human resources research
  • Research knowledge
  • Scientist-practitioner

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  • Sally A. Carless

  • Jana Rasiah

  • Bernd E. Irmer

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