Scholar-Practitioners in HRD: A Qualitative Study of Research-Practice Integration


Literature in the human resource development (HRD) field identifies a gap between scholars and practitioners. HRD scholar-practitioners can close the gap between research and practice by acting as a bridge between empirical-based HRD research and practice. However, bridging the gap requires scholar-practitioners fulfilling a unique role. Moreover, a preliminary review of the HRD literature shows that little research has been done to explore how HRD scholar-practitioners identify and define their own competencies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore HRD scholar-practitioners’ perception and experiences of research-practice integration. I employed a qualitative, interpretative research approach to conduct this study. The approach included in-depth interviews with 14 HRD scholar-practitioners in order to better understand their perception on essential competencies and strategies. Participants, identified through criterion sampling, are knowledgeable about and experienced with evidence-based practice. The primary data source for this qualitative study was in-depth interviews with open-ended questions. The findings of this study provided several implications to HRD research and practice. For practice, universities can use this study’s competency framework to guide curriculum development in graduate HRD programs, and companies can provide ongoing professional development to their HRD practitioners on how to create a shared vision focused on evidence-based practice and continuous learning. Future research can employ a case study methodology to explore if HRD scholar-practitioners working in the same organization possess the same competencies. Future research can also explore contextual factors to better understand the competencies and strategies required to successfully integrate research and practice

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This paper was published in Texas A&M Repository.

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