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SHRM Perspectives Universalistic Perspective

Proponents of the Universalistic view of SHRM propose a best practice approach to SHRM. According to these researchers, some HR practices are always better than other it is therefore necessary that organizations adopt these practices. Pfeffer (1994) is one of the supporters of the universalistic view of SHRM. He argued that there is a set of interrelated HR practices that characterize achieving competitive success through HR management. Under the universalistic approach, SHRM practices are those that contribute to the achievement of higher organizational performance, regardless of the organization‟s strategy. The universalistic approach is also called the „best practice‟ approach. Proponents of the best practice approach argues that a single high performance human resource strategy enhances effectiveness regardless of organizational goals, work systems, or context (Pfefeer 1998). Within the area of SHRM, there are significant researches that support the notion that certain HR practices are linked to organizational performance. In a research conducted by Arthur (1994), he found that HR practices that put emphasis on the enhancement of employee commitment such as employee empowerment, comprehensive training, and strategic compensation were connected to higher performance. The best practice approach to SHRM according to Pfeffer and Veiga (1999) are employment security; selective hiring; self-managed teams and decentralization; comparatively high compensation contingent on organizational performance, extensive training, reduction of status differences and information sharing. Considered as the simplest SHRM theory, the universalistic approach implies that the relationship between a given independent variable (HR practice) and a dependent variable (performance improvement) is universal across different organizations. The universalistic view of SHRM stresses that there is one best way to manage human resources. Strategic HRM is the process of transforming HRM practices into a limited set pf „best practices‟ HRM procedures and policies.

Definition of SHRM based on Universalistic Perspective Pfeffer (1994; 1998) argues that employees work both harder and smarter today. According to him this is because of the effective HR practices that are emerging as organizations seek to attract, motivate and retain employees that increase performance. According to the universalistic view proposed by Pfefffer, employees work harder because of greater job involvement, greater peer pressure for results, and the economic gains based on high performance. Employees work smarter because they can use their knowledge and skills, acquired through training and development in the job themselves, in getting the work done. Based on the universalistic perspective I can say that SHRM is a process of finding and applying best HR practices in order to improve the performance of the firm.

There are several benefits that are attributed to the fit perspective on SHRM. Perhaps. The contingency perspective according to Radcliffe (2005) assumes that business performance will be improved when there is consistency or fit between the business strategy and HR policies. External fit on the other hand. The vertical alignment (external alignment) is the level of alignment between the components of the organization‟s human resource strategy and core features of its business strategy. refers to the level of complement and support between HR practices and other elements of the strategic plan.Disadvantages of the Universalistic Perspective Work in the universalistic perspective is largely unconcerned with interaction effect among organizational variables and implicitly assumes that the effect of HR variables are additive. Practices that are universally implemented would have similar rather than different effects on competing firms. Contingency perspective is also called „fitalignment‟ perspective. Internal fit refers to the level of that human resource practices complement and support each other. The insights that are provided by the universalistic perspective are often regarded as limited and of no significant value. linear view of an organizational system ignores the notion of system-level resources. They argued that HR must be closely integrated into the planning process of the firm. strategies and policies. It has been argued that HRM practices that are not aligned and consistent with organizational strategy and which conflict with other HRM practices can restrain both individual and organizational performance. Jackson et al (1989) suggested that firms that seek to pursue innovation as a strategy used HRM practices that will complement the strategy. In addition they also advocated the idea that a firm can achieve success if it is able to develop HR policies and practices that complement and support both other HR policies and practices and the other elements of the organization‟s strategic plan. Horizontal fit (internal alignment) measures the level of alignment among components of the organization‟s HR strategies such as recruitment. training and compensation. Two types of fit were identified by these theorists. The universalistic perspective also negates the notion that sustainable competitive advantage can be achieved through differentiation in the firm‟s resources. selection. . the most notable argument in favor of the fit perspective was presented by Baird and Meshoulam (1988). There are two forms of fit alignment – vertical and horizontal. Contingency Perspective Proponents of the contingency perspective in SHRM argue that a firm can be effective if its HR practices and strategy are aligned with other aspects and strategies of the firm. These are internal and external. Such a reductive. The universalistic perspective have a tendency to lead to „sameness‟ across firms.

and rewarded in ways that further the achievement of business objectives.92). promotion. and the internalization of the importance of human resources on the part of line managers. pp. flexibility and quality. trained. p. SHRM can be defined as the integration of HR practices and policies to the overall organizational objectives with the aim of improving performance. balanced process that begins with the identification of goals that will guide human resource practices.performance appraisal. the integration or complementarity and consistency of mutuality employment policies aimed at generating employee commitment. . The goals and objectives of HRM are aligned with the strategic objectives and plans of the organization. compensation. The role of HRM is to determine the human resources needed to support strategic objectives and to ensure that employees are selected. p. training and other functions are designed and managed so that they work towards the strategic objectives of the firm (p. 29). The recruitment. 43-44). Ahmed et al (2006) defines SHRM as the process of linking the human resource functions with the strategic objectives of the organization in order to produce better performance. Strategic human resources management means accepting the HRM function as a strategic partner in both the formulation of the organization‟s strategies and the implementation of those strategies through activities such as recruiting.Definition of SHRM based on Fit Perspective Based on contingency or fit perspective. be detrimental to organizational outcomes (cited in Gratton et al 1999. 27). in themselves. and rewarding personnel (Sims 2002. Strategic integration or fit has three dimensions. evaluated. One of the weaknesses of the fit perspective is the lack of evidences that a tight fit leads to positive outcomes. structure and human resource dimensions of the organization in direct alignment. Buyens and de Vos (1991) on the other hand defines SHRM as the linking of HRM with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization in order to achieve a progressive business performance and achieve an organizational structure that promotes innovation and flexibility. training. The fundamental strategic management problem according to Tichy et al (1982) is to keep the strategy. Disadvantages of the Contingency or Fit Perspective The fit perspective proposes that there should be a strategic integration between HR policies and practices and organizational strategies. The main objective of strategic HRM is to improve organizational performance as judged by its impact on the organization‟s declared corporate strategy (Brewster et al 2004. selecting. These are the integration or fit of human resources policies with business strategy. The integration of the HR programs with the goals of the organization will result to the organization‟s increased value. Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall (1990) also argues that the concept of fit implies inflexibility and rigidity which could. Strategic HRM has the purpose of improving the way that human resources are managed within firms. Strategic HRM is frequently described as a linear. Integration with business strategy can be concerned with developing HR polices the fit either the organization‟s stage of development or its orientation.

The internal strengths of a firm contribute to the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage. Strategists also consider resource-based view as essential because it allows them to extend and enhance traditional models of strategy formulation and implementation. what is the nature of rents and how heterogeneity originated (Peteraf 1993). Barney (1991) presented a criteria in identifying which internal strengths can contribute to the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage. Resource-based view is of significant interest to economists as they seek to determine how firms apply and combine resources in order to achieve competitive advantage. capabilities. routines. The importance of HR as a source of competitive advantage sprung up from the resourced-based view of the firm. which presents a notion that firms develop competitive advantages through valuable and inimitable internal resources. Resource-based arguments were used by Prahalad and Hamel (1990) in describing the significance of core competencies and how competencies are enhanced as they are applied. and knowledge. that are tied semi-permanently to or controlled by a firm (Barney 1991. Wernerfelt 1984 cited in Niehaus 1995). efficient procedures and capital. including assets. The focus of the resource-based model is on the strategic significance of internal strengths.Resource-Based Perspective Looking at the firm in a resourced-based view has given birth to the idea that Human Resource can be a source of competitive advantage for the firm. trade contracts. and HRM researchers. Examples of resources according to Niehaus (1995) are brand names. These criteria are: o o o o Value Rarity Inimitability Non-susbstitutability . The resource-based view played a significant role in the development of Strategic Human Resource Management. The resource-based view is considered as a theoretical starting point for empirical investigations by economists. employment of skilled personnel. how firms sustain their competitive advantage. The resource-based view is a conceptualization of firms as unique bundles of accumulated tangible and intangible resource stocks. in-house knowledge of technology. Resource stocks are defined as internal attributes. machinery. processes. strategists. HRM researcher also value resource-based theories because it give them a foundation in developing theories in the field of HR.

the firm can invest on its human capita to in order to further decrease the probability of such imitation by qualitatively differentiating a firm‟s employees from those of its competitors. Thus. they exist as a dynamic mixture of . Unlike other sources of competitive advantage such as technological innovations. While cheap and ready access to capital. Human Resources can be a source of competitive advantage if they are equipped with rare skills. 1. HR systems are more difficult to separate. One such disadvantage is it is relatively easier to describe than to apply. Human Resources can be a source of competitive advantage if they are able to yield a human capital that is hard to imitate. Disadvantages of the Resource-Based View The resource-based view of SHRM although useful has also some major challenges and disadvantages. Human Resources can be a source of competitive advantage if they are able to add value to the production processes of the firm.Viewing SHRM in a resource-based perspective. or marketing a new product. the aim of SHRM is to attract. 3. high-quality products. organizations must be able to sustain the competitive advantage that the knowledge and skills of these employees provide. or inventing some new technologies. competitive advantage could be gained through finding better. cheaper access to financial capital. 4. As an approach to improving the competitive advantage of the firm. Definition of SHRM based on Resource-Based View Viewing human resources as a resource that has the potential to contribute to the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage. Burke and Cooper (2004) argued that SHRM has emerged as a major approach to improving the competitive advantage of the firm. Over time and throughout rapidly changing circumstances. Sims (2002) considers human resources as a source of competitive advantage for the firm. 2. he views SHRM as a contributor in developing and retaining this source of competitive advantage. Out of this realization has come SHRM (Sims 2002). Wright and McMahan (1992) argues that human resources have the ability to provide sustained competitive advantage through the fulfillment of four basic requirements. Human Resources can be a source of competitive advantage if they are not subject to replacement by technological advances or other substitutes. and new technology remain important components of any organization‟s competitive advantage. In the past. HR systems are multifaceted and extraordinarily complex. distinguish and differentiate from one firm to another. train and develop and retain employees of the highest quality. Although human resources are not subject to the same degree of imitation as equipment of facilities. today‟s business environment requires a greater focus on the human resources element in business.

The resource-based model also tends to put much emphasis on the internal resources to the point that external factors such as competition are neglected. and retain employees with high competence levels relevant to the organization activities. HR practices on themselves cannot be a source of competitive advantage because they are seldom rare. HR can be a source of competitive advantage if the organization is implementing a value creating strategy that competitors do not implement. and organizations should adopt this best practices. HR must be of value. Resource of an organization includes all assets. procedures. contracts. Using the resource-based perspective. Conclusion This paper discussed the three perspectives on Strategic Human Resources Management. As a resource. hard to imitate and non-substitutable. As an internal resource HR can be developed and improved in order to differentiate the organization from its competitors and in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. knowledge and others that are controlled by a firm that enable it to conceive of and implement strategies that improve its efficiency and effectiveness. develop. organizational processes. I believe that HR practices and policies cannot be a source of competitive advantage. policies.traditions. the resource-based perspective argues that HR must be considered as an internal resource. The contingency model promotes the integration of HR in the planning process of the firm. Proponents of the universalistic perspective argue that there are SHRM practices and policies that will improve organizational performance and ultimately contribute to the success of the firm. there are SHRM approaches that are better than others are. I personally consider the resource-based view of SHRM as the most adequate of the SHRM perspectives discussed above. References . The universalistic perspective is also called the “best practice” model. stresses the importance of “fit” between SHRM practices and between SHRM practices and organizational goal. According to the best practice model. use. information. inimitable and non-substitutable. I agree with the resource-based perspective because I believe that human resources or the people are the ones that contribute to the success of the organization. Lastly. The contingency model on the other hand. capabilities. firm attributes. The competitive advantage lies in the human resources or the people that are working form the organization. rare. Strategic HRM according to Sims (2002) engenders organizational success by enhancing an organization‟s ability to acquire. HR practices and policies are used in order to realize the full potential of every employee. The proposition that HR systems lead to sustainable competitive advantage is hard to support due to the difficulty in characterizing HR systems in a comprehensive manner. I think that HR must be considered as a resource that has a potential to contribute to the firm‟s success. and executive order.

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Harvard Business Review. Interactive Human Resource Management and Strategic Planning. (1993). Boston. (1998). A Resource Base View of the Firm. Pfeffer. and Lengnick-Hall. (1984). The Comerstones of Competitive Advantage: A Resource-Based View. M. and Hamel. Organizational Success through Effective Human Resources Management. Strategic HRM. 79-91. Sims. Westport CT: Quorum Books. G. 18(3). Pfeffer. B. Radcliffe. J. M. J.Lengnick-Hall. 13(2). Otago Management Graduate Review. D. Prahalad. and Veiga.: Quorum Books. (1995). 53+. Sloan Management Review. 14. California Management Review. 3.K. The Human Equation: Building Profits by putting People First. L. 47-61. (1990). J. MA: Harvard Business School Press. Wernerfelt. 5. . 23(2). Conn. N. R. 90(3). J. Pfeffer. 170-191. 9-28. C. Tichy. Putting People First for Organizational Success. Peteraf. (1990). (1994). Strategic Management Journal. (2002).A. F. Competitive Advantage through People. Strategic Management Journal.M et al (1982). Niehaus. 171-180. Academy of Management Executive. 37-48. A. Westport. R. Critique of Human Resources Theory. Strategic Human Resource Management. 51-67. (2005). Human Resource Planning. C. The Core Competence of the Corporation. (1999).

decision-making and practices that they support not only are less effective than they could be. they are potentially harmful. Among other accomplishments. C. (1992). He later found that "the findings in decision-making suggest that they should have kept it at that size. Screening for intelligence results in higher job performance than screening for values or values fit.typepad. team-effectiveness research has established that for that kind of team—in which members didn’t depend on each other to fulfill team goals—more communication harmed performance. received the prestigious $50." he says. HR practitioners are not using the knowledge base created for their use." However. "Because of that. Losey Human Resource Research Award. and McMahan G. Herbert Heneman. says Denise Rousseau. Being very intelligent is not a disadvantage for performing well in a "low-skilled" job."Human Resource Management. more than half of the 959 respondents either did not believe the following findings to be true or were uncertain about them:    Intelligence predicts job performance better than conscientiousness. professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.html#ixzz1y4AvTSaA At the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 60th Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago in June 2008. disagreed or were uncertain about 35 proven management. When it comes to research-based HR. Yet many academics say that HR practitioners either don’t use structured interviews or. director of the University of Liverpool Management School. that’s just the tip of the iceberg. professor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin’s Management and Human Resources Department in Madison. I counseled members of a high-level team to spend more time on building communication between team members. 18(2): 292-320. Read more: http://ivythesis. Journal of Management.com/term_paper_topics/2010/05/strategic-human-resource-management. Consider the survey of HR executives and managers conducted by management professor Sara Rynes and colleagues Amy Colbert and Kenneth Brown at the University of Iowa ("HR Professionals’ Beliefs about Effective Human Resource Practices: Correspondence Between Research and Practice. In another case. R. an example where the common sense approach is contradicted by research. compensation and other employment practices. don’t know the justification for using them. he was credited with helping prove that structured interviews of job applicants are vastly superior to informal ones." adds Murray Dalziel. even increased it. M. if they do. Theoretical Perspectives for Strategic Human Resources Management." "There’s an incontestable gap between what’s happening in scholarly research and what’s happening in the world of practitioners. staffing. Summer 2002). Dalziel admits that even he has sometimes been ignorant of relevant research findings while formerly a consultant. .000 Michael R.Wright. "I advised a bank to change the structure of [its] credit committee because it was too big. Asked whether they agreed.

Practitioners want to see how it affects the bottom line." says Howard Klein. "For academics. "There’s no definitive answer. But for academics. instead. Practitioners focus on solving problems and getting tasks done in time. If wearing plaid instead of polka dots on Tuesdays increases retention." In other words. they’ll do it. Pay is much more important to employees than what they imply in surveys. It’s good to a degree. but too much can be deadly. interest or tolerance for the more than 15.and pressure-packed settings.   Personality inventories vary considerably in terms of how well they predict an applicant’s job performance. They don’t care why processes. "People want to see cost-benefit analyses before they implement. the more likely our veins eventually will clog up. submitted articles must survive a blind review where academics with expertise in the subject matter offer comments.900 academic English-language journals each year. they’re not happy with ambiguities. the more you realize you don’t know. the best answer may be. those subjects may be too theoretical or too esoteric. or may not be a need-to-know priority. Fellow academics play a significant role in tenure and promotion processes and base recommendations to a great degree on the research that professors produce. just that they do. offer attractive solutions with formulaic takeaways. such gurus often dumb down and oversimplify research to provide takeaways." Dalziel says. Still. tests. most HR professionals have little time. For practitioners. the topics are influenced by what the academic reward structure requires." says professor Wayne Cascio of the University of Colorado Business School in Denver. whose careers rise or fall on their success at achieving tenure and promotion. Academics explore. . contemplate and pursue research that can take three years or more before culminating in a journal article. Academics tend to be interested in different subjects than practitioners.000 business and management articles that pour out of 1. according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). There are 1. Different Worlds There’s consensus—among academics and research-savvy HR professionals—that HR managers who follow evidence-based principles are best positioned to optimize the success of their organizations. The most highly regarded research is published in peer-reviewed journals. or other instruments or procedures work. Why? Practitioners: Can’t wait for answers. Want relevant research. "The more fast-food ideas we take in. Care less about science than outcome. Goal setting is more effective for improving performance than employee participation in decisionmaking." Hate ambiguity. But this advice comes with drawbacks: "It’s like consuming fast food. ‘It depends. Edited by academics. professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University in Columbus. 522 in human resources— including personnel and industry-labor relations—and 742 in behavioral science and organizational behavior. writing in trendy books.264 full-time faculty members in HR-related disciplines at four-year and graduate institutions. "It’s not enough to know structured interviews will give you better-quality people.’ " Practitioners need concrete solutions. They may turn to business gurus who. the more you know.

however. she found some overlap in articles. but most haven’t had training. "If I don’t think it will be published." says Maureen Fleming. In small and mid-size organizations. I won’t research it." Academics have a wish list. For example. says higher-level HR managers. "These articles tend to be strong on rigor. When co-author Diana Deadrick. Klein says. Academics want practitioners to: Understand and value research. They should master the ‘how to’ as well as the ‘what. you still have to know in what situation and with what timing you should use the evidence. "The work gets lost in translation. "prospects are grimmer. Gowan. director of people and organizational capability for Microsoft in Redmond. as a master of communicating research for the average reader. Rousseau says. Jeff McHenry. "I’m not sure many of the research questions are what keep practitioners awake at night. professor emeritus in the University of Montana’s School of Business Administration and past chair of the SHRM Foundation." Rynes cites Malcolm Gladwell. too. how can we get them to try it? It’s the toughest nut to crack. "Academics speak primarily to academics. Wash." Dalziel says. 2008). improving the odds of publication. but also significant differences. professor of management at Elon University in Elon. see the source and differentiate between an opinion and evidence-based conclusion. Brown. too often their writing is unintelligible to the business community. not be so risk-averse or qualify stuff so much. Peer review is self-perpetuating and limits the type of work. compared the content of HR-related academic journals with trade publications ("Revisiting the Research-Practice Gap in HR: A Longitudinal Analysis." Be flexible. Va." Want research they can understand. N. compensation was not among the top eight topics of interest to academics. tend to be research-literate. Even when academics want their research to impact practice. especially in larger organizations. But what editors publish may not appeal to practitioners." Human Resource Management Review." . There is no incentive for the author to rewrite it for practitioners or to publicize it further. More open-mindedness to ideas and less defensiveness would be welcome. you find this in every discipline. "Practitioners have to learn to be discriminating. though practitioners demonstrate strong interest in compensation issues." Apply research principles.. 2009)." Klein says. "If we think we have a good finding that people don’t think they’ll like. "After an article appears in a journal. to be able to look back. faculty members study the journals and target their research to areas popular with them. Rynes says..Since editors choose the subjects. "More of us have to learn from authors like Gladwell. weak on relevance.’ Even if you know what the research says.C. Practitioners need to be discerning research customers. We have to come up with better stories. associate professor of management at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. author of the best-seller Outliers: The Story of Success (Little. Ticking off scientifically proven principles is easy—the hard part is using them." says Mary A. its value for tenure and promotion purposes has been established.

Two hundred eighty-one AACSB-accredited schools have selfselected applied scholarship—contributions to practice—as their "high emphasis" priority. or whether more in-depth study and practical applications should be added. which LeClair says will take time. One hundred eighty-four more list it as a co-priority with either discipline-based or pedagogical scholarship." Or. The AACSB requires member schools—461 in the United States—to establish a mission that includes production of intellectual contributions that advance the knowledge and practice of business and management. and turn the emphasis to more on outcomes. "We need to audit our curriculums to make sure students are being taught to appreciate the importance of evidence-based management and the role of research in advancing HR. "We did research on who chooses HR and found that a lot were math-phobic. vice president and chief knowledge officer at AACSB in Tampa. we’ll be headed in the right direction. Most undergraduate business and industrial psychology curriculums feature at least one course in statistics." That requires basic understanding of math and statistics." Rynes says. That means if a school says its emphasis is applied research. Here are a few suggestions that may stimulate discussion: Get serious about implementing academic accreditation standards. "The faculty’s scholarship will be a mix of management practice-related advances and pedagogical research. In recent years. The pressure on faculty to earn good student ratings of their teaching has an . therefore." says Daniel LeClair." LeClair says. 12 focus on human resources. "How can we blame practitioners if we haven’t taught them?" Rousseau asks. tenure and promotion decisions mainly continue to be driven by the number of theoretical or disciplinebased articles a professor scores in top-tier journals. In theory. In HR and organizational behavior combined." Examine college curriculums. faculty members have been reluctant to add more quantitative requirements to HR curriculums for fear of losing students. quality and communication to the population it is supposed to reach. Rousseau estimates there are 35 to 40 top-tier English-language journals. are up for discussion. readable applied research should flow freely. and some observers say that should suffice. evidence-based and seat-of-the-pants management. HR curriculums should develop the competency in all HR professionals to know what is and is not a scientifically based finding or conclusion. academics and practitioners." according to AACSB Accreditation Standard 2. "What matters is that schools choose and actually do what they say. the pipeline of relevant. Whether the form and content of these courses is sufficient. Making quality count as much as quantity represents a major shift. "We’re trying to reverse the practice of just counting. Fla.Bridge the Gap The debate is under way about how to close the gap between research and reality. in quantity. it might read: "The school will lead management through basic scholarly research that contributes original knowledge and theory in management disciplines. "We’re studying 10 schools to try to move in this direction. faculty scholarly contributions should reflect that priority. If we’re only successful in making quality matter as much as quantity. The definition might read: "The school will support management practice through the production of articles and tools for managers. In practice." Or. Each school is asked to define the intellectual contributions it deems appropriate to its mission.

‘I’ve read them. liability questions and survey fatigue." LeClair says." Rynes says. president and CEO of People Focus in Pleasant Hill. practical answers to pressing problems that practitioners grapple with." Use Effective Practice Guidelines (EPGs). EPGs—on topics from retaining talent to total rewards—can be downloaded from the SHRM web site. Create an encyclopedia of HR precepts. personality and knowledge. "They are better geared to do so than academics. Cross attendance does occur. Encourage exchanges. however. John Boudreau. practitioners were not reading medical journals and had .’ " [Editor’s note: Fogli. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has a good model that seems to be attracting a broad cross section. so instead students are just discussing cases and practicing being a leader. "They feel their only real competitive asset is their people and are worried about knowledge leakage.] The SHRM Foundation also produces DVDs that demonstrate research applied in business settings." Cascio. Calif. Rynes says. For example. As with pharmaceutical company research. if the professors hadn’t dragged me along to help them with their consulting. She cites medicine as a discipline whose practitioners do this effectively. I wouldn’t have had the advantage of being able to relate to the practice side. "I can’t pay $600 to figure out if it’s good. Rousseau says. Also. "MBA students don’t like reading research. Academics who moonlight as consultants are more likely to relate to the realities of the workplace. "Just getting access has become more difficult." Open doors. Foster co-creation of ideas. The SHRM Foundation has been addressing the "lost in translation" dilemma by hiring academics to rewrite academic research in a digestible form. professor at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. … Someone told me. don’t understand them and to me they look too theoretical. too often graduate students are not being asked to do research or even read it. "Conferences are too much one side or the other." Consultants have better data than academics because they tap institutional databases. most consultant-based research is privately owned and not widely available for study. "They’re the best example of a bridge between practitioners and evidence-based practices. Assemble a "bible" of about 130 HR principles you should know. Gowan and Rousseau are on the board of directors of the SHRM Foundation. and Dave Ulrich. "Twenty years ago. "In my own graduate training. but not in enough numbers to create a shared comfort zone. Encourage faculty and practitioners to develop and partner in research. But "practitioners still don’t know they exist and don’t know how to apply them.impact on what and how they teach. by virtue of presentation skills. "It influenced my whole career." Cascio says. she says. critics argue that self-interest taints consultants’ findings." Rynes says." says Larry Fogli. thrive in both camps. Consultants generate useful. Establish conferences or think-tank sessions that bring them together. "They are really interested in picking up the latest research and getting it out. professor in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor." Recognize consultants as middlemen and researchers. Businesspeople should cooperate with researchers. number among a growing cadre of academic consultants who. they talked about a research gap.

" Support sponsored research. "We get about 50 to 60 applications and award grants that average $65." LeClair says. it will be hard to close the gap. The SHRM Foundation is looking to fund research that has clear." Party. party." Last year.000. party. For example. What has helped doctors catch up to this and other scientifically supported findings is the recognition that they had not been following the evidence. "Our criteria are grounded in relevance and rigor. Then came the Internet. Invest in academics doing research that practitioners need.significantly different views about treatments depending on where they practiced. "Six out of 10 will be delighted to speak with you. Until academics and practitioners have more of a social life together. practical implications." Call your local professor. making the whole body of knowledge open. the SHRM Foundation gave grants totaling about $750. "Ask questions. Rynes says. In every boundary where knowledge doesn’t transfer. . but we’ve actually known about it for 20 years. They’ve created medical summaries available to everyone. chair of the SHRM Foundation Board of Directors’ Research Committee. we now know the value of carrying an aspirin in your wallet in the event of a cardiac event. social relationships are lacking." says Klein. "We ask applicants to make the case why their proposal matters from an academic and practice perspective.000.