Phenomenology and Human Resource Development: Philosophical Foundations and Implication for Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the philosophical foundations of phenomenology and their relevance for research. A return to the foundations is warranted because of the popularity of phenomenology as a methodological choice in Human Resource Development (HRD). At the same time, there is concern that the groundbreaking philosophical premises of phenomenology are being lost in favor of functionalist misapplications of the method. Phenomenology offers a powerful critique of positivism and provides a way of inquiring into central qualities of human beings and of being human in this world. It focuses on core dimensions of lived experience beneath the surface of everyday life and proposes an approach to deeper understanding and insight. As a research method, phenomenology is grounded in profound and complex philosophical thought. Researchers adopting phenomenology are well advised to move beyond method-focused textbooks and engage with the movement’s primary literature, especially the writing of its founders, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-58
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Heidegger
  • Husserl
  • phenomenology
  • positivism critique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenomenology and Human Resource Development: Philosophical Foundations and Implication for Research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this