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Team Effort Spotlights Human Resource Management ResearchPractice Gap 

Wendy Becker 
Unviersity of Albany

Clif Boutelle
SIOP Administrative Office

Readers of TIP will be interested in the winter 2004 issue of Human Resource Management Journal, to be published this fall, entitled Contributions of Psychological Research to Human Resource Management. The issue features the work of several SIOP Members. 

Mark Huselid of Rutgers University and the immediate past editor of HRMJ, said the articles speak to the research to practice gap in human resource management. They were cowritten by senior HR professionals and HR academics and focus on relevant HR issues such as recruitment and selection, performance management, training and development, teams, leadership, workforce competencies, employee attitudes, diversity, and downsizing. He said each of the authors captures key takeaways in their domain of expertise. This issue of HRMJ should be read by all those interested in managing people as a source of competitive advantage, he added.

The impetus for the issue came following a proposal by Mike Burke of the Tulane University, Ann Marie Ryan of Michigan State University and Lise Saari of IBM. Burke and Ryan are past SIOP presidents and Saari recently completed a term as chair of SIOPs Visibility Committee. They asked if HRMJ would be interested in SIOP members writing articles for the issue on the contributions of psychology research to HR management.

The special issue was motivated by research by Sara Rynes, Amy Colbert, and Kenneth Brown of the University of Iowa, which found that HR professionals knowledge of the HR research being performed by I-O psychologists is less than it could be.In fact, they noted there are large discrepancies between research findings and practitioners beliefs in many areas, notably personnel selection. Not knowing about available HR research can lead executives to make decisions that are less than optimal and costly to organizations, they said. Their research was published in the Academy of Management Executive (2002, Vo. 16, No. 3) and the summer 2002 issue of Human Resource Management Journal. 

Huselid, who wanted the articles to focus on exploring the differences between HR practices and empirical findings about such practices, asked Jack Edwards of the U.S. Government Accountability Office to serve as guest editor for the issue. Edwards, along with Burke, Saari and Ryan, proposed the general topics to be covered and suggested potential first authors for each article. Each first author selected one or more coauthors. 

The result, said Edwards, is aninformative issue of HRMJ that will, hopefully, open up communication among researchers and practitioners and help SIOP strengthen its relationships with other professional associations.

Saari added we need to better inform HR practitioners about our profession and what we know to help them in their work. She noted that an important goal of SIOPs visibility mission is to clarify how our field and research is of value outside of academia. 

Ryan said that rather than expecting HR practitioners to read our journals (which research shows does not happen), the special issue was conceived to provide research/practice summaries in a forum that targets the HR audience. She added that readers of TIP might find the articles of a user-friendly format that can be shared with those in practice. 

Human Resource Management Journal is published by Wiley; the journals home address is: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-HRM.html.


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