The Research-Practice Gap in Human Resource Management: A Cross-Cultural Study

Aino Tenhiälä*, Tamara L. Giluk, Sven Kepes, Cristina Simón, In Sue Oh, Seongsu Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we examine the cross-cultural differences in human resource (HR) managers' beliefs in effective HR practices by surveying HR practitioners in Finland (N = 86), South Korea (N = 147), and Spain (N = 196). Similar to previous studies from the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia, there are large discrepancies between HR practitioner beliefs and research findings, particularly in the area of staffing. In addition, we find that interpersonal-oriented aspects of HR practices tend to be more culturally bound than technical-oriented aspects of HR practices. We interpret the differences using Hofstede's cultural dimensions (Power Distance, Individualism versus Collectivism, Masculinity versus Femininity, Long-Term Orientation versus Short-Term Orientation, and Uncertainty Avoidance). We discuss the overall nature of the science-practice gap in HR management, and the implications for evidence-based management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-200
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cross-cultural comparison
  • Evidence-based management
  • HR practices
  • International HR


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