Advancing the field of employee assistance programs research and practice: a systematic review of quantitative studies and future research agenda

Tianyi Long, Fang Lee Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the critical role of organizational support for the workforce. An employee assistance program (EAP) represents an inclusive strategy which organizations adopt to provide supportive and empathic care to help employees overcome undesirable situations. To date, we have limited knowledge of what EAP issues have been researched from the human resource management (HRM) perspective and what theoretical underpinning these studies have used. This article systematically reviews quantitative empirical studies on EAPs. Drawing upon 115 articles from 72 journals across 40 years (1981–2020), we trace the evolutionary trend of the construct of EAP and shed light on the internal link of EAP with HRM. After summarizing research themes, methods, theories, and approaches to the evaluation of EAPs, we identify pitfalls in the current research and contribute to extending the field by proposing several research agendas for future investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100941
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Human resource management
  • Strategic management

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