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Policy implications of HRM research?

  • 1.  Policy implications of HRM research?

    Posted 09-14-2021 08:18

    What specific HRM topical areas have been used to derive policy implications, and which not? What can we, HRM researchers, do to create a dual theory-policy agenda for future research in HRM focused on creating implications for policy?

    We would like to create a dialogue about these issues given that the following article in Academy of Management Perspectives reports that only 1.5% of articles include policy implications based on organizational behavior and HRM research (the Abstract is below):

    • Aguinis, H., Jensen, S. H., & Kraus, S. in press. Policy implications of organizational behavior and human resource management research. Academy of Management Perspectives. Available at https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2020.0093

    We look forward to a fruitful conversation about these issues!

    All the best,



    We identified policy implications of organizational behavior and human resource management (OBHRM) research based on reviewing 4,026 articles in 10 journals (2010-2019). We found that policy implications are underutilized and not part of OBHRM's zeitgeist because only 1.5% of the articles (i.e., N = 61) included them, suggesting that OBHRM risks becoming societally irrelevant. Societal irrelevance may result in lower perceived value-added, less prestige and status compared to other fields that do offer implications for policy, and less support regarding research funding. However, we see great potential for OBHRM research to make meaningful contributions to policymaking in the future because we uncovered a handful of areas that do offer some policy implications such as labor relations, leadership, training and development, justice/fairness, and diversity and inclusion. We offer a dual theory-policy research agenda focused on (a) designing empirical studies with policymaking goals in mind, (b) converting existing exploratory and explanatory research to prescriptive and normative research, (c) deriving policies from bodies of research rather than individual studies, and (d) creating policies based on integrating theories, fields, and levels of analysis. We hope our article will be a catalyst for the creation and implementation of research-based policies in OBHRM and other management subfields.

    Herman Aguinis, Ph.D.
    President, Academy of Management
    Avram Tucker Distinguished Scholar & Department of Management Chair
    The George Washington University School of Business
    Washington, DC