Original Research

Programme evaluation: Can it improve human resource management practice?

Johann Louw
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 3 | a428 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i3.428 | © 2012 Johann Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2011 | Published: 13 July 2012

About the author(s)

Johann Louw, Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: This is the final article in the special edition on human resource (HR) programmes and evaluation. Its starting point is that programme evaluation is the application of a wide range of social science research methods that provide credible information about the need, use, planning, effectiveness and cost of a programme.

Research purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the other articles in this volume, and to draw out general conclusions about their contributions to knowledge in the field.

Motivation for the study: If evaluations are undertaken in the HR domain in South Africa, they remain mostly unpublished, and thus cannot contribute to a knowledge base for the field.

Research design, approach and method: This article provides a theory-based approach to programme evaluation. The seven articles were analysed in terms of two major functions of programme evaluation, namely to ask ‘How does a programme work?’, and ‘Does it work?‘

Main findings: Eight overarching themes are identified in the articles included in this volume.

Practical/managerial implications: The evidence discussed here can be used to make better decisions, promote organisational learning, improve practice, and enhance employee wellbeing.

Contribution/value-add: The main contribution of this concluding article is its argument that research and theory in this field can enhance the work of HR professionals, by providing evidence about how ‘good’ a programme is, and why it is good. This adds substantial value in a world characterised by accountability and evidence-based practice.


programme theory; prospective evaluation; transdiscipline; evidence-based; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Exploring the current application of professional competencies in human resource management in the South African context
Nico Schutte, Nicolene Barkhuizen, Lidewey Van der Sluis
SA Journal of Human Resource Management  vol: 13  issue: 1  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v13i1.724