Higher Education

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 231–251 | Cite as

Building human resources management capacity for university research: The case at four leading Vietnamese universities

  • T. L. Huong NguyenEmail author


At research-intensive universities, building human resources management (HRM) capacity has become a key approach to enhancing a university’s research performance. However, despite aspiring to become a research-intensive university, many teaching-intensive universities in developing countries may not have created effective research-promoted HRM policies. This study investigates the extent to which four leading universities in Vietnam have motivated their academics to improve research performance. By analysing policy documents and 55 semi-structured interviews with university leaders, managers, and academics, the study found that compared to the “ideal” research-enhanced HRM policies employed by research-intensive universities, the four case-study Vietnamese universities have shown their recognition of academic research; however, their HRM policies are not powerful enough to encourage academics to do research to the best of their potential. In realizing their vision of becoming research-oriented universities, the four Vietnamese universities should employ a long-term HRM capacity-building strategy by providing stronger remuneration packages for academics, applying explicit indicators in assessing lecturers’ research performance, and building a comprehensive staff development agenda for research team building. However, for the four universities to implement these recommendations, changes must also be made at the system level. The Vietnamese government must allocate more research funding and confer a higher level of autonomy to universities so that they can implement their desired HRM policies to accelerate institutional research capacity and performance.


Research management University research Research leadership Human resources management Capacity building Public administration 



I thank Professor David Beckett and Professor Bernadine Van Gramberg for their critical reading and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to express my appreciation for the useful comments of the editor and the two anonymous referees of the Journal.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swinburne Business SchoolSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

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