Hrd in India

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HRD in Indian Organizations: Current Perspectives and Future Issues* Ishwar Dayal

In this article Ishwar Dayal discusses the patterns of HRD management and identifies three different HRD approaches as practised in Indian organizations. These are: ManCentered, Reciprocal, and Selective. Underlying each approach is a set of beliefs shared by top management. Policy formulation and HRD programmes in these organizations emanate from these philosophies. The author also analyses the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. According to Dayal, HRD is a shared belief by management in the development of individuals and involves a strategy of linking organization development with individual growth. The author also raises some relevant issues concerning the future of HRD in Indian organizations. Ishwar Dayal, currently a management consultant at New Delhi, has earlier served as Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Indian Institutes of Management, Ahmedabad, and Calcutta. Till recently, he was Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

In recent years, Human Resource Development (HRD) has emerged as a distinct area of concern in organizations. This paper presents an overview of HRD practices in a variety of Indian organizations and identifies areas that need attention of HRD managers and academicians. There are three distinctly identifiable approaches among Indian organizations that have formal HRD programmes: (a) Man-Centered Approach, (b) Reciprocal Approach, and (c) Selective Approach. Although in practice there are overlaps among these approaches, this classification is useful for discussing the various patterns of HRD management.

Man-Centered Approach
Based on humanistic considerations, HRD, according to this approach, is a philosophy shared by managements that believe development of people to be their primary responsibility. This belief governs personnel, welfare, and other organizational policies and practices concerning its employees. Factors like promoting trust, open communication, authenticity in interpersonal relationships, and welfare of employees and their families are given top priority. Development of people thus becomes an end in itself in such organizations. The assumption underlying this approach is that improving an employee's capability and developing him/her is solely the responsibility of the employer and, therefore, should be pursued as a programme. This style of management favours personalized relationships. It is more likely to be found in family-managed organizations than in those managed by paid chief executives. Such organizations have progressive welfare practices for employees and their families and a managerial orientation which can be described as paternal. They follow practices that are way beyond what is required by law with respect to matters like health, education, housing, retirement benefits, and canteen facilities. J N Tata, Shri Ram, Walchand Hirachand, T V Sundaram lyengar and a few other industrialists started welfare practices much before legislations on these matters were even framed. This approach emphasizes the salience of extrinsic job factors. Management-employee relationships are generally informal. The senior 9

*Based on a paper presented at the HRD Network Conference, New Delhi, February 1989.

Vol. 14, No 4, October-December 1989

management staff attend to the well-being of employees at all levels. Trust and confidence between employees and the employer is built through personalized relationships. This often enables managers to practise openness in their relationships. The most important feature in such organizations is the confidence the employees have in the chief executive. He is a father figure and is respected by employees at all levels. Some typical examples from companies that have followed this style of management are given in Box 1. Organizational Characteristics

Box l Examples of Man-Centered Approach
• After prolonged...
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