Potential for Meta-Scientific Inquiry to Improve the Usefulness of HRD Research Outcomes for Practice

David L. Passmore, Chungil Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Problem: Meta-science, that is, science about science, is an application of scientific method to explain and control the methods and enterprise of science. The field of inquiry of meta-science emerged originally in reaction to problems with reproducibility and replicability of seemingly settled science. These same problems could affect research evidence conducted by human resource development (HRD) researchers and, as a result, could limit the applicability of HRD research outcomes to HRD practice. The Solution: Discussed in this article are examples of meta-scientific issues and solutions that ultimately affect the transition of knowledge derived through research to practice in the field of HRD. Problems with the reproducibility and replication of research conducted in the field are detailed as are meta-scientific issues involved in judging the quality of scientific work, methodology-agnostic applications of meta-scientific inquiry, requirements for sharing data and code, and the need to let theory guide research. The Stakeholders: Researchers would benefit from the considerations of meta-scientific concerns in the design, conduct, and reporting of research to improve the replicability and reproducibility of research outcomes. Knowledge of meta-scientific principles and cautions by adopters of research outcomes would inject healthy skepticism into decisions about whether research outcomes are worthy for application in practice or to guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-420
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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