DEFINING HRD

Topics: Organizational studies and human resource management, Human resource management, Human Pages: 9 (2246 words) Published: August 19, 2014
Defining HRD

HRD is considered by scholars of Business Administration as a sub discipline of Human Resource Management (HRM), concerned with developing productive skills by imparting training. HRM scholars, Werner and DeSimone (2006 p.5) defined Human Resource Development (HRD) as:“A set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the opportunities to learn necessary skills to meet current and future job demands”. Haslinda-a (2009) expressed referring many studies that numerous attempts to define human resource development (HRD) by academics, researchers and practitioners have led to confusion in the literature, illustrating the elusive nature of this concept. The process of defining HRD is made still more difficult by the evolving nature of HRD; for example, the term HRD started out as simply “training”, and then evolved into “training and development” (T&D), and then into HRD. Confusion also arises over the “purpose”, the “location” and the “intended beneficiary” of HRD. This is further complicated by attempts to define HRD from an international or global perspective. The emerging field of national HRD (NHRD) have also been explored and debated and has had notable influence on the definition of HRD. Haslinda-a (2009) further narrated that a disagreement arises, with some authors arguing that it is not possible or feasible to provide a single definition of this concept. In reviewing the literature surrounding the meaning and understanding of HRD, a number of dimensions can be seen to be influencing the evolving and complicated nature of HRD. Haslinda-a reported, that Harbison and Myers offered the first definition of HRD in 1964. This definition is very broad in perspective, as it elaborates HRD in relation to culture, the economy and social and political contexts rather than individuals and organizations. They defined HRD as: “HRD is the process of increasing the knowledge, the skills, and the capacities of all the people, in a society. In economic terms, it could be described as the accumulation of human capital and its effective investment in the development of an economy. In political terms, HRD prepares people for adult participation in the political process, particularly as citizens in a democracy. From the social and cultural points of view, the development of human resources helps to people lead fuller and richer lives, less bound to tradition. In short, the processes of

HRD unlock the door to modernization”. According to Khan and Khan (2011) this definition, too much broadens and integrate the concept of HRD and makes it Integrated HRD. Haslinda-b (2009) also quoted definitions for HRD, proposed by other researchers and writers (i.e. Nadler & Nadler, 1970 and Werner & DeSimone, 2006). These definitions varied from the perspectives of an individual researcher or theorists to definitions of HRD by country. In addition, theorists have even tried to define HRD from a global and international perspective.

Definitions from organizational point of view are listed below.

“A series of organized activities conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioral change” (by Nadler and Nadler 1970)

“A set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the opportunities to learn necessary skills to meet current and future job demands” (Werner and DeSimone 2006)

(Swanson and Holton, n.d) has also quoted definitions of HRD offered by some authors (McLagan; Gilley & England and Smith) as:

“HRD is the integrated use of training and development, career development and organizational development to improve individual and organizational effectiveness” (McLagan).

“HRD is organized learning activities arranged within an organization to improve performance and personal growth for the purpose of improving the job, the individual, and the organization” (Gilley and England),

“HRD is the process of...
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