Closing the gap between scholarly knowledge and practice: Guidelines for HRM action research

Inge Bleijenbergh*, Jorrit van Mierlo, Tanya Bondarouk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper we review the current use of action research in the field of Human Resource Management (HRM), and assess its potential contribution to the field. We show that action research is very suitable for theory development and excels in developing scholarly knowledge that informs practitioners and is relevant for specific contexts. Although only a handful of HRM papers label their research as action research (from our review of nine journals between 2000 and 2019), they substantially contribute to HRM by explaining the role of context and the dynamic nature of HRM design, implementation and evaluation and by showing the effectiveness of systemic interventions. We offer guidelines for conducting HRM action research projects, emphasizing the importance of involving relevant stakeholders, rigorously making field notes of the research process and reflexivity on the interests of both researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100764
JournalHuman resource management review
Early online date31 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 31 Mar 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Guidelines
  • Practice
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Theory development
  • Action research

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