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Don’t know, don’t care: An exploration of evidence based knowledge and practice in human resource management
Human Resource Management Review (2017)
  • Carol Gill

Over the past two decades the integrity (alignment of words and deeds) of the Human Resource Management (HRM) profession has been questioned by scholars who have identified a gap between the rhetoric of ‘people are our most important asset’ and the reality of ‘impersonal economic rationalism’. In a more recent, and as yet unconnected, stream of research there has been concern about a research-practice gap in HRM. This article draws on both streams of research to explain why HRM Does not implement evidence based practice. It focuses on research indicating that HRM practitioners are not incentivized to learn about evidence based practice and develops theory proposing that their satisfaction with the status quo reflects a value proposition based on utilitarian instrumentalism. Further to this, it is proposed that management’s focus on the short-term drives and obfuscates current approaches. It concludes that neither academia nor HRM practitioners are incentivized to change current practice with negative consequences for employees, organizations, and HRM practitioners. Arguments are supported and illustrated with High Performance Work Practices and solutions are proposed to implement evidence based practice.

  • human resource management,
  • evidence based practice,
  • research-practice gap,
  • rhetoric and reality,
  • high performance work practices
Publication Date
June 16, 2017
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Gill, C., Human Resource Management Review (2017),