Sponsored research needs to come with a government health warning

It’s a pity that Penny Tamkin’s response (Personnel Today, 18 March) to Paul Kearns’ criticisms that recent IES/Work Foundation research does nothing to enhance the image of the HR profession (Personnel Today, 11 March) did not include reference to recent comments on my blog, HC Global.

There are serious issues with regard to this research, both in its ‘conclusions’ and the question of the independence of the Work Foundation and the IES.

I would reiterate that the IES and Work Foundation have compromised their independence on producing this report, particularly in how they have gone out of their way to provide so called ‘evidence’ regarding Investors in People, who were one of the sponsors.

Using analysis to provide an unsubstantiated link between HR and business processes may be fine as a purely academic exercise, but it does nothing for actual practitioners. This kind of research should carry a government health warning, since a number of their agencies were, after all, the sponsors.

Nicholas J Higgins

Dean, International School of Human Capital Management

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