Evidence-based human resource management practices in three EU developing member states: Can managers tell truth from fallacy?

Frank Bezzina , Vincent Cassar , Katarzyna Tracz-Krupa , Sylwia Przytuła , Darko Tipurić


Good management practice is assumed to be the product of a good knowledge base and its application, not least in Human Resource Management (HRM). The aim of this study is to assess the extent to which managers adhere to practices of HRM that are more likely to be upheld by research evidence as opposed to beliefs for which research evidence is highly lacking. In addition, it evaluates practitioners’ explanations about adopting HR practices. This study was conducted in three European Union (EU) developing countries (Poland, Croatia and Malta). A mixed-methods approach is adopted, utilising a web-based questionnaire targeting a purposive sample of 300 practitioners occupying managerial positions and directly involved in people management (Study 1), followed by 20 in-depth interviews with similar participants (Study 2). Our study reveals that managers are always fully cognisant of the main body of research evidence related to specific HR practices. Practitioners are more likely to access required knowledge for applications through popular sources rather than more reliable ones due to time constraints, inaccessibility and inability to evaluate evidence. While they appreciate the role of theory, the leap from theory to application is not easy or straightforward, commenting that large gaps between research and practice prevail. These overall trends may imply that practitioners base their decisions on personal experience rather than on evidence-based knowledge or expertise acquired through evidence-grounded applications. Results suggest that future research should focus on closing the gap by evaluating how academics impart the knowledge and how practitioners apply that knowledge
Author Frank Bezzina
Frank Bezzina,,
, Vincent Cassar
Vincent Cassar,,
, Katarzyna Tracz-Krupa (MISaF / IOaM / KZK)
Katarzyna Tracz-Krupa,,
- Katedra Zarządzania Kadrami
, Sylwia Przytuła (MISaF / IOaM / KZK)
Sylwia Przytuła,,
- Katedra Zarządzania Kadrami
, Darko Tipurić
Darko Tipurić,,
Journal seriesEuropean Management Journal, ISSN 0263-2373, e-ISSN 1873-5681, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englishhuman resource management, evidence-based practices, managers, practitioners, Poland, Croatia, Malta
ASJC Classification1408 Strategy and Management
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263237317300312
Languageen angielski
Bezzina_Cassar_Tracz-Krupa_Przytula-TipuricEvidence-based_ human_ resource_ management2017.pdf 445,14 KB
Score (nominal)25
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 1; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 2.076; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.369 (2) - 2017=3.412 (5)
Citation count*9 (2020-02-04)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.