Original Research

Evaluating human resource interventions

Joha Louw-Potgieter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 3 | a420 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i3.420 | © 2012 Joha Louw-Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2011 | Published: 13 July 2012

About the author(s)

Joha Louw-Potgieter, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: Programme evaluation is a transdiscipline, which examines whether a programme has merit or not. A programme is a coherent set of activities aimed at bringing about a change in people or their circumstances.

Research purpose: The purpose of this special edition is to introduce readers to the evaluation of human resource (HR) programmes.

Motivation for the study: There are few comprehensive evaluations of HR programmes despite many publications on functional efficiency measures of HR (i.e. measures of cost, time, quantity, error and quality).

Research design, approach and method: This article provides a value chain for HR activities and introduces the reader to programme theory-driven evaluation.

Main findings: In summarising all of the contributions in this edition, one of the main findings was the lack of programme evaluation experience within HR functions and the difficulty this posed for the evaluators.

Practical/managerial implications: This introductory article presents answers to two simple questions: What does HR do? and, What is programme evaluation? These answers will enable practitioners to understand what programme evaluators mean when we say that programme evaluation seeks to determine the merit of a programme.

Contribution/value-add: The main contribution of this introductory article is to set the scene for the HR evaluations that follow. It alerts the reader to the rich theory contribution in HR literature and how to apply this in a theory-driven evaluation.


transdiscipline; programme evaluation; human resource management; human resource programme evaluation; South Africa


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