Barriers and supports to the use of research by human resources practitioners in New Zealand.

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Theses / Dissertations
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Degree name
Master of Science
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O'Sullivan, Z. M.

The research-practitioner gap has been long established within the field of organisational psychology and has implications for both the relevance of the field and the efficacy of Human Resources (HR). However, although there are many recommendations from researchers about how to address this gap, these recommendations are based on the perspectives of researchers, not HR practitioners. Research also suggests a difference in research utilisation across domains of HR practice, however, the reasons for this difference have not been explored. To address this gap in the literature, the present study interviewed 15 HR practitioners within New Zealand about their perspective on research, their use of research across domains, and the barriers and supporting factors to use of research. It utilised theoretical sampling and semi-structured qualitative interviews to identify these barriers and supports to research use. The findings of the study support previous research’s findings regarding the impact of academic language and restrictions on organisational resources, but also demonstrate the factors influencing practitioners’ relationship with research, factors motivating and prompting research use and how practitioners interact with research, and tensions present within participants. Based on these results a new typology for categorising practitioners is proposed, and recommendations for increasing HR practitioners’ utilisation of research are provided.

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