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Practise v/s Research
Human Resources » Case Studies

Chrm Message From: bindu Total Posts: 59 Join Date: 18/08/2006
Rank: Manager Post Date: 25/08/2006 00:27:27 Points: 295 Location: United States

Dear Group,

We are exploring the issue of the gap between HR research (Theory development) and practice. With my experience I feel that the gap is huge and all the fads which are associated with HR comes into practice faster than core research findings. While MDPs which are conducted by some of the best institutions try to bridge this gap, in most of these programmes, participants are interested to hear about their own problems than seeking new ideas/ solutions.

Also the proactiveness (or even support) of industry in supporting relevant research is not encouraging.

It would be great if you could share your thoughts.

Warm Regards,

Chrm Message From: vishalb Total Posts: 49 Join Date: 18/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 25/08/2006 01:37:30 Points: 245 Location: United States

Hi Bindu & Group,

I definitely agree with your viewpoints. But, personally what I feel is that the theories that were once propounded came out of practical implementation and are practiced at many places. But yes, the conditions under which these theories were propounded are not the same as what it is today. But, HR research (Theory Development) can be used as a base for bringing into new ideas/solutions.

The reason for a low support from the industry is because only a handful organisations have a system that can complement these theories. And in India, only the big & established corporates have the support to accept these theories and convert it into practice.

Any more view points members....



Chrm Message From: amarjeet Total Posts: 40 Join Date: 18/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 25/08/2006 05:07:02 Points: 200 Location: United States

There is indeed a huge huge gap between HR research and practice. In my opinion, the quantum of research in HR is very less in India. Very little initiative is being taken by the professional bodies in this regard.

The industry as you have pointed out is not very cooperative and is lost in problems specific to the business / establishment and have little or no time to even think about HR research. Sadly, most of the researchers are academicians whose understanding of the industry and its problems is limited. In India research is being done for academic honours and in my opinion has least relevance to the industry.

Academicians like you should come forward to establish forums which will have collective representation from industry as well as academicians to conduct research on focus areas which would benefit HR fraternity and India as a whole.

I would be the first to volunteer for such cause and would do whatever little i can in this regards.

Hope to hear from you soon..

Chrm Message From: madure Total Posts: 278 Join Date: 18/08/2006  
Rank: Coach Post Date: 25/08/2006 08:28:31 Points: 1440 Location: United States

There needs to a sensible balance between research and practice. Research gives us many clues to what underlying factors affect certain practices and then take effective measures to correct them in the future.

Without a proper research base we will keep on doing what we have been doing for decades and continue to get the same old results.

To give you an idea of the type of research CIPD-London is involved in currently with regard to HR, I list below some specific areas that may be interest to you.

Business and economics
To show awareness of the wider business and economic contexts, such as the labour market, in which organisations operate.

Career management
Developing employees to their full potential can benefit both the employee and the employer.

Corporate social responsibility
Identifies the role of people management and development in the wider community.

Diversity underpins all people management and development practices. We are researching into general diversity practices, as well as specific issues for women, older employees and religious groups.

Our research has been focused on removing e-learning away from the domination of technology on the supply-side to supporting the needs of the learner.

Employing people with criminal records
Ignoring a large number of potential employees, just because they have a criminal conviction, can mean organisations aren't making use of the best available talent.

Helping people learn
CIPD research which considers how learning can be supported, accelerated and directed towards an organisation's needs.

High performance working
Encompassing 30 different HR practices, HPW has the potential to increase company performance.

HR and technology
Details of our work investigating the impact of technology on HR

Human capital
Awareness of the inadequacy of financial systems alone for measuring the value of an organisation has put measuring the contribution made by employees under the spotlight.

Improving health through human resources
Details of the project being managed by CIPD for the NHS.

International HRM
People management and development specialists need to be aware of the growing international dimension as more organisations work at a global level.

Knowledge workers and management
As organisations increasingly trade on the knowledge and skills of their employees, the skills HR professionals possess play an important role in managing the knowledge workers.

Mergers and acquisitions
Playing a more active and consistent role in a merger situation, HR professionals can prevent poor post-merger performance.

Organisation development
With organisations undergoing change, on average, every three years, HR professionals have a pivotal role in managing an effective change process.

People and performance
Effective people management and development policies make organisations more profitable and productive. Our research has been conducted over several years, and offers an in-depth insight into what effective organisations are doing.

People resourcing
Reviews our work in the resourcing area, covering recruitment, outsourcing and flexible working.

Psychological contract
Maintaining a successful employment relationship in which both employee and employer show mutual respect and trust, can raise commitment, motivation and satisfaction.

Good reward management practices are key in gaining full engagement and commitment from employees. We are researching into general reward issues, as well as the specific issues of pensions, flexible benefits and total reward.

Talent management
Information on the ongoing CIPD research project, with references to the significant number of related pieces of research we have previously completed.

Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe


Chrm Message From: nicole_j Total Posts: 35 Join Date: 18/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 26/08/2006 00:07:57 Points: 175 Location: United States

Hello Colleagues,

The curiosity over this discussion led me to join this site, so let me pen down my views on the same. I must say the views of all have been realistic and I'm of hope to take this discussion further.

I agree that there is a big gap between HR research and Theory. This gap also differs from country to country. Take performance management in UK as an example.

I am sharing the findings out of a recent research on Performance Management : -
- Organisations are shunning competency approach to PM.
- A fifth of UK’s largest employers have no formal PMS.
- 1% of 900 companies polled they used competency based approach.
- Most organisations especially large ones – don’t have basic tools in place to align people management and business performance
- A fifth of >5000 staff did not have any form of formal performance management.
- 46% of firms small firms did not have formal PM
- 27% overall of the 900 did not have formal PM.

The poll has cast a doubt on how far organisations are linking IPM to business objectives :- 
- 11% have computerised systems to manage goals.
- 50% still use paper trails. Vast majority find it difficult to analyse.
- 83% felt that PM was linked to Organisational objectives but did not know how.
- 57% say that it is used to Monitor Org, objectives
- 87% say it used for personal development
- 90% used targets set locally between employee and manager – 180 Degree!

The statistics suggest :-
- Efforts to improve business performance by linking people management practices to bottom line are more rhetoric than reality.
- Improving productivity is a key goal for 61%. Only 37% use it as a performance measure.
- Identifying skill gaps is a major objective – 71%. But only 38% monitor current knowledge and skills. 24% monitor for the future.

The survey shows that ‘Talent Management’ is not a priority for most PMS’
- Less than 50% said PM was used for succession planning.
- Linking performance to pay has shot up in Banking & Finance and Government sector.

Leave aside this study - my personal experience. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of HR Practitioners in India and in UK as well.

I have studied the requirements of many organisations in Performance appraisal and have come to the conclusion that what we were taught in B-School the models and the bias and the technicalities are hardly ever a part of the design ''In Majority of companies''.

I am not saying that there are no companies who do it. I am sure there are. Part of it is because -

HR is understaffed, overworked, underpaid (more or less) especially in UK (Thats my feeling, would be happy if others disagree, it will be an eye opener for me). As a result the focus and demarcation of work is very clear. Applying research to practice would require a little more bandwidth.

Keep going..


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