Agile human resource management: A systematic mapping study

Moh'd, Shaima'; Gregory, Peggy; Sharp, Helen and Barroca, Leonor (2024). Agile human resource management: A systematic mapping study. German Journal of Human Resource Management: Zeitschrift für Personalforschung (early access).



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.

Plain Language Summary

This paper investigates existing work in the area of Agile HR, i.e. the relationship between people services and agility in organisations and teams. 86 studies were found and were analysed to reveal seven topics that fall into two categories: agile for HR and HR for agile. The former focuses on making the HR function agile, while the latter focuses on providing HR services to support the organisation's agility.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions