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Policy Implications of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Research

Herman Aguinis, Søren H. Jensen, Sascha Kraus
Published: 10 September 2021

Abstract: We identified policy implications of organizational behavior and human resource management (OBHRM) research based on 4,026 articles in 10 journals (2010-2019). We found that policy implications are underutilized and not part of OBHRM’s zeitgeist because only 1.5% of the articles (i.e., N = 61) included them, suggesting that OBHRM risks becoming societally irrelevant. Societal irrelevance may result in lower perceived value-added, less prestige and status compared to other fields that do offer implications for policy, and less support regarding research funding. However, we see great potential for OBHRM research to make meaningful contributions to policymaking in the future because we uncovered a handful of areas that do offer some policy implications such as labor relations, leadership, training and development, justice/fairness, and diversity and inclusion. We offer a dual theory-policy research agenda focused on (a) designing empirical studies with policymaking goals in mind, (b) converting existing exploratory and explanatory research to prescriptive and normative research, (c) deriving policies from bodies of research rather than individual studies, and (d) creating policies based on integrating theories, fields, and levels of analysis. We hope our article will be a catalyst for the creation and implementation of research-based policies in OBHRM and other management subfields.
Keywords: OBHRM / irrelevant / Societal / policy implications / diversity / policymaking / Organizational Behavior / Human Resource

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