Within the broad context of human resource management (HRM), the professional growth and improvement of employees, particularly managers, through human resource development (HRD) persists as a widely recognized means of enhancing an organization’s competitive advantage (Olivas-Luján, Ramírez, & Zapata-Cantu, 2007; Taylor & Furnham, 2005). It is clear that the exponential growth of information technology and communication (ITC) applications enhances possibilities to transform how management development may be approached and this falls clearly within the responsibility remit of HRM departments and emergent e-HRM capabilities. In the face of the relentless global technological innovative context Benson, Johnson, and Kuchinke (2002, p.395) have stressed that workplace related ITC can be grouped, grosso modo, into three strands: “learning mediated by technology, performance enhancement, and organizational development and change” and these capture and portray well spheres of interest that embrace and interrelate with the HRM-HRD spectrum especially with regard to the emergence and development of e-HRM.
Since its emergence as a label and term of reference in the late 1970s and 1980s, management development has remained a key part of the lingua franca in HRM communities (Mumford, 1994; Tyson, 2007; Wilson, 2005). The term management development, which can be seated within the broader church of human resource development, has produced many disparate commentaries and definitions. We can define it by analyzing its composite terms. If, taking Clegg, Kornberger, and Pitsis’ (2005) definition of “management”:
The process of communicating, coordinating and accomplishing action in the pursuit of organizational objectives while managing relationships with stakeholders, technologies and other artefacts, both within as well as between organizations. (Clegg et al., 2005, p. 500)
Key Terms in this Chapter
Simulation: Simulation involves the reproduction or emulation of a given type of situation or experience. A simulation usually offers some form of ‘“safety net’” for the experience rather then being subjected to the full consequences of a ‘“live’” or real situation.
Constructivism: Here processes of ITC/e-HRM design are non-linear and tend to be driven by the way people see or make (“construct”) their view and make sense of the work setting.
Andragogical: Here the design of ITC/e-HRM system processes is conducted in an objective, linear and dispassionate, manner. Systems may well not take due account of peoples opinions and the system may appear to fit poorly to employees’ needs.