The Link Between Research and Practice: Experiences of HRD and Other Professions ~ My Article

Another of the articles I worked on for some time was also just published in the current issue of the journal Advances in Developing Human Resources — The Link Between Research and Practice: Experiences of HRD and Other Professions.

I will repeat the abstract:

Creating synergy between research and practice is viewed as the basis for creating successful and meaningful HRD outcomes and is fundamental to the maturation of the profession. Given this, there is naturally an interest in the strength of the relationship between research, theory, and practice, and this has been reflected in the journals of the Academy of Human Resource Development from their inception. In this article, the authors summarize some of the key points from the last 10 years of those journals and put them in the context of research-to-practice experiences in other professions. We conclude that HRD practitioners, practice, and professionals are hampered by the lack of connection between practice and research in the field.

I appreciate the work and support of my co-authors, Darren and Sophia!

Practitioner Perspectives on the Gap Between Research and Practice ~ My Article

One of the articles I wrote was just published in the current issue of the journal Advances in Developing Human Resources — Practitioner Perspectives on the Gap Between Research and Practice: What Gap? This article was several years in the making, and I am thrilled all our efforts have finally come to fruition.

I will repeat the abstract:

The research-to-practice gap within HRD is an increasingly important focus of research.This study empirically investigates this issue from the perspective of practitioners, who are directly asked about their use of research. Results suggest that practitioners use "research," though the term is not used in the same way that those who engage in academic and scholarly research use it. This peer-reviewed research is perceived to not be reaching practitioners, who instead turn to their own communities of practice to meet their research needs.

The biggest surprise with our findings is how the term “research,” as in “we are doing research,” means so many different things to different people. I hope this work helps move the discussion within the area of scholar-practitioners along.

Director of Strategic Reflection

I attended an online book discussion within my organization recently, and there was a very interesting question the class facilitator ended the session with. He asked:

If we were to write our own ideal job title, what would it be? 

I thought that was the grandest thought-provoking question I have encountered in some time, and came up with “Director of Strategic Reflection.”

As a proponent of reflective practice within an ongoing learning organization, I think those of us within human resource development, adult education, communication, and organizational development would greatly benefit from more active (both structured and unstructured) reflection. How else can we identify the assumptions and patterns of behavior that stifle us from moving forward to create a more just and aware organizational structure and society itself? We who engage in organizational, management, and leadership studies know that when people within an organization are more aligned within one another and with the mission and vision, then the organization itself is stronger and healthier.

What would your ideal job title be, and what impact would it have? 

Is HRD Research Making a Difference in Practice?

Human Resource Development QuarterlyThe first article I have published as the lead author just came out in the Winter 2007 issue of Human Resource Development Quarterly, Volume 18, Issue 4. HRDQ is the research journal of the Academy of Human Resource Development. The editorial is entitled Is HRD Research Making a Difference in Practice?, and I wrote it with my writing colleague, Robin Yap.

As scholar-practitioners, we are very interested in the bridge between research and practice, and how that affects organizations and how people function within them. We discussed the value of scholar-practitioners, those people who seek to bring the findings of research into practical use, so that decisions and processes within organizations have more than simply best practices to follow–they are supported by sound research that is in turn built upon applicable theory.

Our conclusion is that it is critical for the field of HRD that research positively impacts practice. After all, if it does not, then it belongs in the fascinating and grand but practically useless world of Plato’s Forms.

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