Qualitative Research in Human Resources Management

  • Sónia P. Gonçalves
  • Patrícia Jardim da Palma


Since the beginning of the century, there have been requests for the integration of traditional individualistic (micro) and management (macro) paradigms into human resources management studies.

The human resources field needs research that is more sensitive to institutional and cultural contexts, focusing on formal and informal relationships between employees, supervisors and HR managers. Interest in qualitative research has increased in recent years because of its relevance to the development of the field of Human Resource Management (Ridder & Hoon, 2009).

Reinforcing this relevance is the fact that leading journals promote special editions on qualitative research, the Academy of Management has institutionalized workshops in the annual meetings on qualitative research.

Although qualitative issues are recognized as important in HRM research, they are often neglected. This paper aims to discuss the specificities of qualitative research in human resources management, as well as the challenges that arise in terms of qualitative research in this scientific area.

To this end, a literature review and analysis of the studies in the area of ​​human resources management and organizational behaviour using a qualitative methodology is being carried out, to contribute to the systematization in terms of methodologies.

The dimensions of content analysis include: the thematic area of ​​the problem under study, research paradigms, the scope of the investigator-investigated relationship, the data collection techniques, the data analysis procedures, the triangular investigation process, the guarantee of metric qualities or the issues inherent in ethics in conducting research.