The Cranfield Project

The Network

The "Cranfield Network on International Strategic Human Resource Management" (briefly: CRANET), which is represented by Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kabst as network partner in Germany, was founded in 1989 by five European HR-Management working groups. The aim is to compare business practices in the area of international HR-Management. The biggest HRM research association worldwide includes 47 universities in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia today.

The CRANET Surveys

The network partners regularly carry out surveys at organizations in their respective country within the scope of the CRANET survey – such as again in 2015/2016. The surveys are coordinated by the eponymous Cranfield School of Management (UK), Prof. Dr. Chris Brewster.

CRANET is unique in its conception and scope - with respect to the range of information about HR-Management as well as the international coverage - and fills a substantial gap in HR-Management research. On the basis of the CRANET Surveys numerous articles in scientific top journals (amongst others Journal of International Business Studies) as well as in practice-oriented magazines (amongst others PERSONALquarterly and Personalführung) has been published.

The Content of the CRANET Surveys

Within the scope of the CRANET Surveys basic trends in the structure and politics of HR, Recruitment, HR-Management, Compensation and Industrial Relations should be analyzed. Moreover, differences between organizations, sectors (private vs. public), industries, countries and cultural clusters should be considered in detail. Additional information about organizational features such as company size, demographic characteristics of the employees, fluctuation and absenteeism (as HR KPIs), the competitive position (productivity, environmental aspects etc.), organizational change (Mergers, Acquisitions etc.)  and many more are also gathered.

Besides the constant core elements of the CRANET questionnaire in all survey waves current trends in HR-Management were taken up primarily, whereas the „Guiding Principle“ was always the strategic orientation of HR-Management and its integration in corporate governance – still a current topic after more than a decade after David Ulrich's vision of the HR Business Partner.                        

The Focus at a glance:                                                                                                        

  • 1990: Integration of HR-Management in corporate governance and strategy implementation
  • 1991: Communication within the company
  • 1992: Atypical employment relationships
  • 1995: Institutionalization of HR politics
  • 2000: Downsizing
  • 2005: Outsourcing
  • 2009: HR Information Systems (HRIS)
  • 2015: amongst others Diversity & Inclusion

The Empirical Design

The CRANET Surveys are carried out in written form as well as Online by now by means of standardized questionnaires. Addressee of the CRANET Surveys is the Chief HR-Manager in each case. The questionnaire is identical for all participating countries except for a few country-specific supplements. It has been translated to the respective national language and if necessary adjusted to the country-specific frameworks.

In all survey waves the core elements of the questionnaire has been maintained in order to be able to trace trends in a wider time frame. The previous surveys took place in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2009. During the last survey in 2009 (project completion in 2010) the return were 6,258 completed questionnaires from 32 countries. The response rate was 9.8%. The international result report of the CRANET Survey 2009 is available since 2011.

The Cranet Executive Report on the last survey in 2015/2016 was made available to all participating organizations and supporters after the end of the project. In addition to an interview on the most exciting findings with Prof. Dr. Kabst, the following practice-oriented publications based on Cranet 2015/2016 have appeared to date:

  • Wehner, M., Kabst, R., Meifert, M. (2017). HR im internationalen Vergleich. Personalmagazin, Ausgabe 2/2017, S. 14-19.
  • Krebs, B., Wehner, M., & Kabst, R. (2017). Wer hat hier das Sagen? Personalmagazin, Ausgabe 2/2017, S. 20-23.
  • Krebs, B., Wehner, M., & Kabst, R. (2017). Nordeuropa hat´s nicht nötig. Personalmagazin, Ausgabe 2/2017, S. 24-25.
  • Krebs, B., & Kabst, R. (2017). Talent Management sollte auch Chefsache sein. (09.02.2017).

More information:

Our cooperation partners: