Objectives and Challenges for Employers to Adopt and Implement the Strategic Approach to Hrd

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As David Mankin mentioned in his book, “Inevitably globalization is having a huge impact on the role, nature, and purpose of HRD in organizations of all sizes and sectors across the world” (2009). Obviously, facing the economical globalization, development of technology, the coming of information age and lowering of trade barriers, as a result firms have to think of new and effective ideas to compete with other competitors. Human capital is the most special asset of a company. It is special because people cannot be separated from their knowledge, skills, health, or values in the way they can be separated from their financial and physical assets (Becker, 2008). The result, organizations’ aim is to make their own human capital special that other organizations cannot copy. Competitive advantage is secured when organizations have skills and capabilities that are unique, difficult to replicate and imitate by competitors (Rainbird, 1995). HRD is a process of developing and unleashing human expertise through organization development, personnel training and development for the purpose of improving performance (Swanson & Holton, 2001). McCracken and Wallace have mentioned in their article that, organizations should ensure any investment which is made in human capital with the promotion of HRD strategy is clearly linked to the wider corporate strategy (2000). Strategic approach to HRD is a relative new concept in HRD and training and development fields. It is not a traditional training and developing view of interventions in response to specific problems of organizations (Beer & Spector, 1998). A strategic approach to HRD is a multi-level concept whose contribution to the organization is to enhance its performance in the long-term (Garavan, 2007). It suggests that the HRD activities should integrate with the strategies, aims and goals of the organization. This paper mainly talks about the objectives for organizations to choose strategic approach to human resource management and what the challenges when implement this vision.

Although SHRD is a relative new concept, there are still many organizations would like to choose it as a main means of competition. Following are some possible objectives organizations may take into consideration. Firstly, take SHRD can cater to the development and changing of the global market. The impact created by changing environment of organizations, fuelled by globalization, liberalization, technological changes and market changes forces organizations to make various strategic responses (Kandula, 2004). For example, with the economic globalization, organizations may create many new business strategies to cope with this phenomenon. HRD professional will expand on some traditional roles to enhance organizations’ globalization effort (Sims, 2006). Like preparing employees for cross-cultural training such as cross-cultural communication skills, working in global teams and foreign language, and some capabilities to use new technology system. The second objective is to support and shape the business strategies of the organization. It is also the main characteristic of Strategic HRD. HRD takes a role of supporting strategies to make organizations achieve business goals and missions. HRD is seen as a strategic lever in organizations because it is seen as a means of helping the organization to implement its business strategies (Garavan, Heraty & Morley, 1998). SHRD also can shape and form business strategies in order to help organizations to achieve the final goal. HRD is assuming a more influential role at the point of strategy formulation and is becoming one of the key determinants of business strategy (Torraco & Swanson, 1995). The third objective is utilizing SHRD to get competitive advantage for organization. Organizations in the new economy have come to realize that employee expertise is a vital and dynamic living treasure (Torraco & Swanson, 1995). Human resources are ultimately the only business...
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