Introduction to HR Research Using Statistics

Introduction to HR Research Using Statistics

Dipak Kumar Bhattacharyya (Xavier University, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4947-5.ch001


HR research through collection, collation and analysis of data, using statistics, immensely help. Even in day to day HR decision making, we need statistics. HR managers can take decisions, and so also a HR researcher can frame suitable hypothesis for getting deeper insights on specific research issue. In all HR functions, we see use of statistics can help. While for some HR researcher statistics help in finding answer to a research issue or a problem; for HR manager statistics can help in taking critical HR decisions with minimum chances of error. Thus, statistics promotes fact based approach in HR research and HR decision making. With statistics, it is also possible to take predictive HR decisions, when we simultaneously make use of HR analytics. Predictive HR decisions help in understanding the future implications of HR decisions, which help HR managers to initiate corrective actions well in advance, before the catastrophic failure in organizations.
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Hr Research And Scope Of Statistics In Hr

Traditionally organizations use statistics in HR for descriptive purposes. For example, when costs of some operations are higher than other, collating data and then using statistical analysis, we can identify possible causes; based on which managers can intervene to rationalize costs bringing desirable changes in the operation. Use of statistics in HR is very much situation specific. Broadly it can be theoretical, academic, or action-oriented.

Through pure basic HR research, we intend to resolve, illuminate, and exemplify theoretical HR issues. Through objective HR research, we try to find a solution to a HR problem with established knowledge. Evaluative HR research focuses on assessment of some aspects of organizational function, analysing effectiveness of a given problem. Applied HR research tries to solve a specific HR problem through application of appropriate knowledge. Through action research in HR, we not only try to solve a problem, also in the process of solving, we also try to improve existing knowledge repository on the subject. Depending on the nature of HR research issue, we can categorize them in any specific type.

Before we think on use of statistics in HR research, another important aspect is initial concept mapping exercise. A concept map is a formative assessment and research tool, and it helps in visualizing relationships between concepts. It is also known as cognitive map both for the organization and the person. HR managers benefit from a concept map from different perspectives. These are like; understanding research issue, exploring new information and relationships, accessing prior knowledge, gathering new knowledge and information, designing structures or processes, and finally dealing with the problem solving.

With initial concept mapping, once research issue become clear, HR managers can ground research, based on the available knowledge repository on the issue. Research may require the need for developing suggestive model for solution, understanding cause and effect between different relationships. With statistical tools, we can develop such models to portray key concepts and proposition of a theory.

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