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STUDENT ZONE Chapter 9 Human Resource Development Jeff Gold CH !

TER O"ER"#E$ The chapter considers ideas and practices relating to Human Resource Development (HRD) that move beyond a narrow conception of training and development. It will explore how the attention to learning throughout an organi ation is considered the only strategy to cope with change. !articular attention is given to the importance of establishing HRD at strategic levels of decision"ma#ing$ implementation and the attraction of ideas such as the learning organi ation (%&)$ organi ation learning (&%) and #nowledge management ('() as moves towards finding ways to integrate wor# and learning. Chapter o%&ect'ves )fter studying this chapter$ you should be able to* Discuss the place of HRD within human resource management (HR() +nderstand the connections between HRD and strategy Discuss the effectiveness of a national infrastructure for HRD ,xplain how HRD may be implemented ,xplain #ey ideas of wor#place learning +nderstand developments in #nowledge management and e"learning.

CH !TER OUT(#NE #ntroduct'on HRD is an organi ation-s investment in the learning of its people and acts as a powerful signal of its intentions* .) /y replacing the words 0training cost- with 0investment-$ there is an indication that a longer"term view is being ta#en$ particularly with respect to the outcomes of HRD. 1) HRD acts as a triggering mechanism for the progression of other HR( policies that are aimed at recruiting$ retaining and rewarding employees who are recogni ed as the 2ualitative difference between organi ations.

3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556

7) HRD is crucial for organi ations see#ing to adopt a 0high"road- HR( strategy engendering the conditions whereby loyalty and commitment towards an organi ation-s aims can be encouraged. In recent years$ HRD has moved beyond a narrow conception of training and development and many organi ations now attempt to ta#e a holistic view that embraces the idea of learning at individual and organi ational levels as a crucial source of competitive advantage. Strate)* and human resource development )n organi ation-s HRD provision represents the pivotal component of the 0bundle- of HR practices re2uired for a 0high road- HR( strategy. ) #ey image is that of a high performance wor#ing where high level s#ills and high discretion in the performance of wor#. 'ey implications include* employees are recruited for a s#illed wor#ing role that will re2uire learning and change line managers are fully involved in the development of their staff to such an extent that the differentiation between learning and wor#ing becomes virtually impossible to discern

%eadership is said to be a #ey variable in lin#ing strategy$ culture and the commitment of employees. +sing the Design 8chool model of strategic wor#$ HRD became a feature where senior managers sense important environmental trends and signals in HRD terms ) contrasting view is where strategies can emerge from the actions of employees. Strate)'c human resource development )n orthodox view of strategic HRD ma#es it business"led and thus responsive to organisational strategy and most probably to the re2uirements of a broader HR( strategy. HRD is tied to the Performance Management System and its contribution will be 9udged on the benefits it brings in achieveing performance targets. )lternative versions of strategic HRD provide for a more reciprocal and proactive influence on organi ational strategy. HRD specialists are able to play an important role by developing new ideas which both match strategy and ta#e it forward. There is scant evidence that strategic HRD has made significant progress in the +'. Esta%l'sh'n) human resource development In the +'$ decisions about HRD are ta#en principally by those in organi ations in what is referred to as a voluntarist approach. The role of the government in this approach is to 3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556 2

encourage organi ations to ta#e responsibility for their own training and development and the finance of it. ) contrast can be made with more interventionist approaches where the government or its agents see# to influence decision"ma#ing in organi ations and ma#e decisions in the interests of the economy as a whole. The view that people are worth investing in as a form of capital where performance and the results achieved can then be considered as return on investment and assessed in terms of costs and benefits is referred to as human capital theory Developmental humanism based on the personal empowerment of the wor#force through learning is in contrast to human capital theory. The case for HRD is made at the different levels of individuals$ the organi ation and the economy:society. S+'lls and Comm'tment The examination of s#ills and the commitment to HRD have been long"standing issues in the +'. The attention to s#ills and commitment to HRD can be seen as part of a broader agenda connected with visions of a 0learning revolution- incorporating 0lifelong learningand the 0learning society-. The general supply of skills to the economy was the sub9ect of the 8#ills Tas# ;orce (8T;) in the +'$ providing a rigorous investigation of s#ills and commitment to HRD. Research supports a pattern of a self"reinforcing cycle of low"2uality products and low s#ills in the +'. <or#ing on the basis of a voluntarist approach to HRD$ successive governments in the +' have framed their policies on the idea of a mar#et"led system for s#ills where demand and supply determine the amount of training provided. <ithin a mar#et"led approach$ the role of government and its agents has been to improve the +'-s training infrastructure and provide funding for interventions to support the smooth wor#ing of the system where mar#ets fail. This includes* efforts to stimulate the demand for s#ills within organi ations the establishment of a framewor# of vocational 2ualifications based on national standards (=ational >ocational ?ualifications (=>?s) and 8cottish >ocational ?ualifications @8>?s) and a =ational ?ualifications ;ramewor# (see ;igures @.. and @.1) a national networ# of regionally based institutions to coordinate national HRD initiatives aimed at improving the functioning of mar#ets.

3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556

HR, 'n !ract'ce 9-. A Getting the value from NVQs at the Northern Snooker Centre shows how the =orthern 8noo#er Bentre gained value from =>?s. The demand for s+'lls ;or a mar#et"led approach to operate to ensure high demand for s#ills$ action is re2uired principally from within organi ations. &rgani ations may ad9ust to low s#ill re2uirements for production and lose awareness that this is holding them bac#. &f most importance is the definition of the firm specific skills re2uired for the specific production re2uirements of an organi ation. The recognition of trade unions may also lead to more effective HRD strategies. +nder provisions in the 1551 ,mployment )ct$ recognition can be granted to +nion %earning Representatives (+%Rs)$ who can have paid time"off to arrange learning for members. The notion or vision of high performance wor#ing may not necessarily be e2uated with high s#ills.There is limited evidence of such a lin# and production is still fre2uently organised around =eo";ordist principles of 9ob design. Investors in !eople in the +' plays a role in providing a rationale$ a process and a positive language for HRD where managers are already convinced of its virtues. HR, 'n !ract'ce 9-/ " N!P an" #nvestors in People provides an example from one organi ation of the benefits of Investors in !eople. In pursuance of its lifelong learning agenda$ government has sought to increase demand for learning. The learn'n) movement The recommendations$ ideas and exhortations relating to HRD and learning at wor#$ plus the structures to support these$ are a feature of the learning movement (%(). !ursuing a policy of HRD has to reflect the strategy of senior managers who are able to view their organi ations in a variety of ways. 8eeing people as being worth investing in means being able to ward off the competing pressures that might challenge this view. #mplement'n) HRD Traditionally$ employees learnt their 9obs by exposure to experienced wor#ers who would show them what to do (0sitting by =ellie-) and line managers did not see it as their responsibility to become involved in training. 8urvey evidence suggest that line managers play a crucial role in what is learnt on an everyday basis. ) systematic training mo"el emerged during the .@C5s$ based on a four"stage process (see figure @.7). 3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556 4

,valuation can occur throughout the process with an emphasis on managers ta#ing responsibility for encouraging the transfer of learning$ that occurs during training$ into wor#place performance. n 'nte)rated and s*stem'c approach )n integrated and systemic approach highlights #ey interdependencies within organi ations such as the lin# to strategy$ the role of line managers$ the lin# to team" based learning and #nowledge transfer. It is therefore an approach to which the label HRD seems more suited. The development of competency framewor#s see#s to lin# business ob9ectives and employee performance via a performance management system to provide a performance and development plan that will include an identification of training needs and a plan to meet such needs. However$ such framewor#s may not reflect s#ills gaps. ) policy of HRD has to be translated into the structures$ systems and processes that might be called a learning climate composed of sub9ectively perceived physical and psychosocial variables that will fashion an employee-s effectiveness in reali ing learning potential. )n organi ation-s 0learning environment- can be considered as expansive or restrictive. )t the heart of the learning climate lies the line manager"employee relationship. 8ome organi ations have recogni ed this and have included 0developing others- within their competency framewor#s for managers and a number of roles have been associated with managers to support the fusion$ including coaching an" mentoring$ Boaching and mentoring are both processes that can provide a lin# between HRD activities$ transfer to wor# and evaluation (see ;igure @.D. The activities of managers to support transfer within HRD are a #ey feature of the evaluation of HRD (see ;igure @.E). ,vidence is needed to prove the benefits of HRD against costs to show a positive Return on Investment (R&I). The unified view of learning as a 0good thing- can be 2uestioned. There is growing interest in a more critical view of HRD. There <here management presents HRD to pursue policies of 0lean- production$ employees may be reluctant to learn new s#ills. are contested possibilities for HRD (see ;igure @.C). $or+place learn'n) <or#place learning has become a #ey idea in recent years* it casts a whole organi ation as a unit of learning$ allowing managers to ta#e a strategic view but others to thin# in terms of how their learning impacts on the wider context 5

3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556

it is an idea that unifies an increasingly diverse set of influences and disciplines within HRD such as training and organi ation development but also information systems it highlights the significance of HRD practitioners as people with specialist #nowledge and s#ills$ and contributes to the advance of their professional status.

(any organi ations have been attracted by the idea of becoming a learning organi%ation (%&) (sometimes referred to as a learning company). Understand'n) learn'n) ) distinction is usually made between 0associative learning- or behavourism and 0cognitive learning- (see ;igure @.6). 8ome theories of learning contain elements of both associative and cognitive learning but most importantly emphasi e the process of learning and its continuity. This has resulted in a great deal of attraction to such theories in organi ations pursuing HRD policies (see figure @.F). There has been growing interest in how people learn on an everyday basis$ mostly with others on an informal basis$ through their participation in practice. There has been a growing influence from the wor# of Russian psychologist$ %ev >ygots#y and his socio" cultural theory of human development. Or)an'0at'on learn'n) &rgani%ation 'earning (&%) is an attempt to use the ideas of learning at an organi ational level. &% is also invo#ed as a response to cope with the challenges of global competition and technological change. The #ey idea is that if current ways of wor#ing (the organi ation-s routines) are insufficient$ then the organi ation must learn new ways of doing things. &ne view of &% that has gained popularity in recent years is the cultural view$ focusing attention on what groups practice and on the values$ beliefs and norms that are shared through tal#$ rituals$ myths and stories between members of a group. 1no2led)e mana)ement Differences between organi ations and nations will depend on the extent to which information can be obtained$ turned into #nowledge and applied to production. ) plethora of new concepts highlight the interest in kno(le"ge management ('() #nowledge wor#ers$ #nowledge"intensive organi ations$ #nowledge networ#s and #nowledge societies.

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'nowledge wor#ers are the owners of intellectual capital therefore human capital accumulation has become one of the new reasons for an investment in HRD and a contrast to previous narrow conceptions implied by human capital theory. ) #ey reason for the interest in '( has been the advances made in the application of Information and Bommunication Technology (IBT)$ especially in combination with the Internet. (any organi ations have attempted to introduce '($ including the appointment of managers as learning officers or #nowledge officers and installing networ#ed software to accentuate the process. 8ome organi ations are now see#ing to exploit social learning by becoming pro9ect" based. HR, 'n !ract'ce 9-3 A Pro)ect *ase" learning at '++C provides an example of one organisation that developed a pro9ect"based structure. E4learn'n) e learning is the use of networ#ed IBT and the Internet to deliver and support learning. /enefits of e"learning include* the ability to learn 09ust in time- at the learner-s pace the provision of updateable materials with reductions in delivery costs collaborative wor#ing with learners$ sometimes spread over large distances$ with tutor support.

8everal larger organi ations have attempted to use e"learning to recast central HRD provision through the creation of corporate universities. ENG G#NG #N CR#T#C ( TH#N1#NG RE5(ECT#"E 6UEST#ON7ESS 8 6UEST#ON

Is learning always a 0good thing- in organi ationsG

3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556

HE(!

This 2uestion invites you to challenge the 0obvious- message that emanates from governments$ organi ations and others that learning is virtuous. The learning movement suggested by 4old and 8mith (1557) depicts learning as a 0good thing- providing the resources to persuade others. !ose the 2uestion$ good for whomG This can then lead you to an examination of the ownership of the learning agenda and the dominance of a management ideology manifested in a concern for corporate values$ strategy and competencies. /ratton (155.) outlines some of the conditions where employees may be reluctant to learn. The community of practice perspective also shows how learning in practice may vary from learning in abstraction$ as re2uired by management (/rown H Duguid$ .@@.). Bonsider the move towards a more critical view of HRD (;enwic# 155D$ Turnbull H ,lliot 155E). CH !TER C SE STUD89 T1#NSON GENER T#ON The case illustrates the decision to respond to difficulties by ta#ing a more strategic approach to learning and development with a particular emphasis on managers ta#ing responsibility for supporting the process. Divide the responsibility for various aspects of the approach. ;irst$ there is the use of appraisal for identifying needs " lin# bac# to Bhapter F to review competencies and personal development plans. 8econd$ the s#ills of 0learning managers- can be approached by considering the coaching and mentoring. Bommunication s#ills can be considered by going to www.mapnp.org:library:comms#ls:cmmIface.htm. ;inally$ investigate some of the #ey features of government infrastructure to support learning and development such as Investors in !eople at http*::www.investorsinpeople.co.u#: and the 2ualifications framewor# at http*::www.2ca.org.u#:D@7.html.

3ohn /ratton and 3eff 4old 1556