Using narrative evidence synthesis in HRM research:an overview of the method, its application, and the lessons learned


The use of systematic approaches to evidence review and synthesis has recently become more common in the field of organizational research, yet their value remains unclear and largely untested. First used in medical research, evidence review is a technique for identifying, evaluating and synthesizing existing empirical evidence. With greater demand for the best evidence about ‘what works’ in organizational settings, nuanced approaches to evidence synthesis have evolved to address more complex research questions. Narrative synthesis is perceived to be particularly suited to evaluating diverse evidence types spanning multiple disciplinary fields, characteristic of the HRM domain. This article evaluates the narrative evidence synthesis approach, explains how it differs from other techniques and describes a worked example in relation to employee engagement. We consider its strengths, the challenges of using it and its value in HRM research.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Additional Information: © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. Funding: National Institute for Health Research. Grant Number: 12/5004/01.
Uncontrolled Keywords: narrative evidence synthesis,employee engagement,Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management,Applied Psychology
Publication ISSN: 1099-050X
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2024 07:04
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2017 09:55
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-03-01
Published Online Date: 2017-10-24
Accepted Date: 2017-07-31
Authors: Madden, Adrian
Bailey, Catherine
Alfes, Kerstin
Fletcher, Luke (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-7238-3480)



Version: Accepted Version

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