The Cranet Survey: Improving on a Challenged Research-Practice?

Jesper Christensen*, Frans Bévort, Erling Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Cranet-survey has mapped human resource management (HRM) practices for more than 25 years, and so it is timely to take a closer look at the significance of this unique multinational, longitudinal, empirical endeavor. How may we understand the inner workings and emergent practices of this ambitious research effort in order to better assess the value of the unique data-set and propose avenues for its improvement? This is of course a daunting task if the purpose is to make a general evaluation, as was the case in 2011 in the Human Resource Management Review issue on the Cranet International Network. Rather, the contribution of this article is to examine the established research practices of the Cranet Network from the point of view of incoming researchers to identify and assess fundamental challenges of design, measurement, and project management that underlie many of the more apparent and often-discussed issues relating to validity, comparability, and the multinational adaptation of standardized research tools. To accomplish this, the article analyzes the Danish Cranet project from its inception in 1991 until today, with particular emphasis on the effort to establish a longitudinally comprehensive Danish database with application in cross-country comparisons, exemplified here through comparisons with New Zealand. On this basis, the article discusses the ramifications for the Cranet Network and proposes opportunities and potentials for improving future consistency and comparability of the global research practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies of Management and Organization
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)441-464
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Also published in: "Comparative Human Resource Management: Contextual Insights from an International Research Collaboration" / eds. Michael J. Morley; Noreen Heraty, Chapter 7 (Routledge, June 2021).


  • Academic research networks
  • Comparison
  • International and comparative human resource management
  • Longitudinal
  • Research practice

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