A quantitative and qualitative review of what meta-analyses have contributed to our understanding of human resource management

Shani Pindek, Stacey R. Kessler, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


In this paper we review the contribution that researchers have made to the field of human resource management (HRM) using the method of meta-analysis. First, we summarized results of a content analysis of the most frequently studied HRM topics and topic combinations found in 407 papers published in the major HRM peer-reviewed outlets. Specifically, we found that the most frequently studied topics were performance, attitudes, diversity/demographics, personality, withdrawal, and job characteristics. Second, we used the ISI Thomson Web of Science database to conduct a citation analysis of the 100 most impactful meta-analytic HRM papers. Among the top 10, two focused on justice and two on turnover. Third, we provided a narrative review that noted some important meta-analytic contributions to HRM knowledge. This discussion was organized according to a 2 × 2 framework depicting whether a paper's purpose was to test a theory or was more descriptive/exploratory, and whether a paper's purpose was mainly to cumulate effect sizes or test moderators. This narrative review provided examples that illustrates the breadth of the many contributions made with meta-analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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