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James Guthrie

William and Judy Docking Professor in Business
Primary office:
Capitol Federal Hall
Room 3103
University of Kansas

Academic Area

Human Resources


Ph.D., University of Maryland
MBA, SUNY at Buffalo
B.A., SUNY at Buffalo


Teaching Interests:

  • Intro/survey courses human resource management (undergraduate & graduate)
  • Courses in compensation & reward systems (graduate)
  • Courses in international HRM (undergraduate & graduate)

Research Interests:

  • Strategic human resource management
  • Compensation and rewards
  • Employment volatility (e.g., turnover, downsizing)

Current Activities

Jim Guthrie is the William and Judy Docking Professor in Business at the University of Kansas School of Business.

He joined the KU School of Business in 1988 as an assistant professor. Guthrie was promoted to full professor in 2002, and he was appointed associate dean of academic affairs for the business school in 2014. He served as interim dean of the KU School of Business from 2016 to 2017. As a professor, Guthrie has taught courses in the human resource management field at the doctoral, master’s, undergraduate, and executive education levels. Guthrie has also been a visiting professor at the University of Limerick and Dublin City University in Ireland and the University of Waikato and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Before joining KU, Guthrie was a research assistant and an instructor at the University of Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a doctorate in human resource management from the University of Maryland.

His research topics include human resource policies and practices and firm performance, employment instability, and reward systems. Guthrie is an author of more than 100 journal articles, proceedings and presentations that have been cited in many media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and CNBC.com.​ 

Selected Publications

Messersmith, J.G, Lee, J., Guthrie, J.P. & Ji, Y. Turnover at the top: The relationship between executive team departures and firm performance.  Organization Science, 2014, 25(3):  776-793.

Messersmith, J.G, Guthrie, J.P., Ji, Y. & Lee, J. Executive turnover: The influence of dispersion and other pay system characteristics. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2011, 96(3): 457-469.

Armstrong, C., Flood, P.C., Guthrie, J.P., Liu, W., MacCurtain, S. & Mkamwa, T. The impact of diversity and equality management on firm performance: Beyond high performance work systems. Human Resource Management, 2010, 49(6): 977-998.​

Datta, D.K., Guthrie, J.P., Basuil, D. & Pandey, A. Causes and effects of employee downsizing: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 2010, 36(1): 281-348.

Messersmith, J.G. & Guthrie, J.P. 2010. High performance work systems in emergent organizations: Implications for firm performance. Human Resource Management, 2010, 49(2): 241-264.

Unions and the Adoption of High Performance Work Systems: Does Employment Security Play a Role? (with Liu, W., Flood, P. & MacCurtain. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2009, 63(1): 109-127.

Martin-Tapia, I. & Arragon-Correa, J. & Guthrie, J.P. 2009. High Performance Work Systems and Export Performance. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2009, 20(3): 633-653.

Guthrie, J.P., Flood, P.C., Liu, W. & MacCurtain, S. 2009. High performance work systems in Ireland: Human resource and organizational outcomes. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2009, 20(1): 112-125.

Guthrie, J.P. & Datta, D.K. 2008. Dumb and dumber: The impact of downsizing on firm performance as moderated by industry conditions. Organization Science, 19(1): 108-123.

Guthrie, J.P. Remuneration: Pay effects at work. In Boxall, P., Purcell, J. & Wright, P. (Eds.), The Handbook of Human Resource Management, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 344 - 363.

West, M.A., Guthrie, J.P., Dawson, J.F., Borrill, C.S. & Carter, M. Reducing patient mortality in hospitals: The role of human resource management. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2006, 27: 983-1002.

Datta, D.K., Guthrie, J.P. & Wright, P.M. HRM and labor productivity: Does industry matter? Academy of Management Journal, 2005, 48(1): 135-145.

Guthrie, J.P. & Hollensbe, E.C. Group incentives and performance: A study of spontaneous goal setting, goal choice, and goal commitment. Journal of Management, 2004, 30(2): 263-284.

Guthrie, J.P., Spell, C. & Nyamori, R. Correlates and consequences of high involvement management: The role of competitive strategy. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2002, 13(1): 183-197.

Guthrie, J.P. High involvement work practices, turnover and productivity: Evidence from New Zealand. Academy of Management Journal, 2001, 44: 180-190.

Hollensbe, E.C. & Guthrie, J.P. Group pay-for-performance plans: The role of spontaneous goal-setting. Academy of Management Review, 2000, 25: 864-872.


HR policies & practices and firm performance; Employment instability; Reward systems

Research Interests

  • Human resource policy and practice
  • Firm performance
  • Employment stability
  • Reward systems

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