Methodological choices of HR research conducted in Asia

Karin Sanders, Julie Cogin, Caihui Lin

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A twenty-year study of the Human Resource (HR) practices–outcome relationship has found that more rigorous methodologies have been adopted over time. However, several problematic features such as cross-sectional, single-informant, and single-level designs continue to be adopted (Bainbridge, Sanders, Cogin & Lin, in press). Responding to calls for increased contextualization of research by investigating the relationship between the location of data collection and the methodological choices of researchers, this study answers the question “How unique are the methodological choices of HR research conducted in Asia?” Applying content analysis to 241 published articles, we compare internal, external, construct and statistical conclusion validity of studies collected in North America (n=66), Europe (n=95) and Asia (n=80, including 57 studies from China). Results show that despite similarities in cross-sectional, single-informant and single-level designs across regions, research conducted in Asia is mainly undertaken via field studies, using subjective outcome measures at the organizational level, following a post-predictive design. In addition, studies from Asia are more recent, and show a shorter time gap between data collection and publication. Theoretical and practical implications embedded in the dynamic context of Asia in general, and China more specifically are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers of Business Research in China
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 08 Sept 2017


  • methodological choices
  • validity
  • HR practices
  • China
  • contextualization


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