Academic perceptions of the research evidence base in work and organizational psychology: A European perspective


David E. Guest, Department of Management, King's College, London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE19NH, UK (e-mail:


There has been a growing interest in evidence-based management. A core component is a body of high-quality research evidence to inform practice. Initial research with human resource managers in the United States and the Netherlands reveals only modest knowledge about a number of ‘widely documented’ research findings. However, it is unclear whether research experts would display any greater agreement about the research evidence. The present study addresses this issue by exploring levels of agreement about the quality of the research evidence base in work and organizational (W/O) psychology using a pan-European sample of 75 senior academic W/O psychologists who completed two rounds of a study, first identifying core findings in the field of W/O psychology and then reporting levels of agreement about them. The results show that there were only seven of 24 core findings on which over 75% agreed that there was good-quality evidence. The challenges of developing and utilizing an evidence-based approach are discussed and it is concluded, in agreement with Briner and Rousseau (2011a), that there is some way to go before W/O psychologists can begin to feel confident about the quality of much of their research evidence.