Agile Human Resource Management: A Systematic Mapping Study

Shaima' Moh'd*, Peggy Gregory, Leonor Barocca, Helen Sharp

*Corresponding author for this work

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Agile HR is well-established in practice and has emerged as an exciting research area in the last 4 years. However, no comprehensive review of the literature on this subject has been conducted. The aim of this paper is to map the current state of agile HR research. We conducted a systematic mapping study and found 86 relevant primary studies. Our findings are organised into seven research topics that fall into two major themes: Agile for HR; how the HR function adopts agile practices, and HR for Agile; how the HR function supports an agile organisation. The HR for Agile theme is more mature, with more research papers, proposed models, and frameworks. We also review the types of publications, venues, and research methods. The body of publications is fragmented and diverse, with most articles published after 2019, primarily in multidisciplinary journals, incorporating a mix of theoretical and empirical approaches. The paper contributes a thematic analysis of research topics, a comparison of traditional with agile HR practices, a list of theories and models used, a new definition of agile HR, research gaps in the literature, and an agenda for future research. Contributions to practice include findings that agile HR practices benefit organisations, that agile talent acquisition facilitates organisational agility, and that HR can transition to agility by making small changes to their practices rather than undergoing radical change. More academic work needs to be done on agile HR to improve conceptual clarity, theory building and development, understanding benefits and value for the business, identifying challenges, understanding contextual factors, and critically exploring outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalGerman Journal of Human Resource Management
Early online date22 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2024

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