Staying close to business: the role of epistemic alignment in rendering HR analytics outputs relevant to decision-makers

Markus Ellmer, Astrid Reichel

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


HR Analytics (HRA) are said to create value when providing analytical outputs that are relevant to decision-makers’ immediate business issues. While extant research on HRA attributes success (or lack thereof) in providing business relevant outputs to the presence or absence of particular skills and resources, we know little about how practitioners actually mobilize these skills and resources in daily practice. Drawing on observational and interview data from a case study of an HRA team, we identify boundary spanning, customizing dashboards, and speaking a language of numbers as three epistemic practices in which team members combine and mobilize a particular set of skills and resources that allows them to accomplish epistemic alignment, i.e. aligning to decision-makers’ perception of business reality when creating analytical outputs. Epistemic alignment enables the team members to produce complex analytical outputs while at the same time staying close to the decision-makers’ immediate business problems. At the same time, team members are capable of accounting for conditions in the broader organizational context, such as compliance issues, dependencies, political tensions, and a prevailing data-driven decision culture. Our findings contribute to knowledge on how organizations can build effective HRA and how advanced forms of digitalization transform the work of HRM in contemporary organizations.
Seiten (von - bis)1 - 21
FachzeitschriftThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021