Career Development Models and Human Resource Development Practice

Career Development Models and Human Resource Development Practice

Catherine N. Kyeyune (Jackson State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9998-4.ch004


Various career development models and concepts have been developed over the years to explain career trajectories of employees in the workplace. The new employer-employee relationship in the workplace has resulted in more dynamic careers; boundaryless, protean, kaleidoscope, hybrid and multiple level careers. However, the impact of these relatively new career theories on human resource development (HRD) is still unclear. In this chapter, the author discusses the role of career development in human resource development and different models of career development. In addition, various organizational activities that can support career development are presented. The author then proposes a framework that links career models to specific organizational career development activities. This provides direction to organizational efforts geared towards employee development.
Chapter Preview


In 2012, the Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly, The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) awarded Booz Allen Hamilton, the Excellence in Practice Award for Career Development. Below is an excerpt published on the ATD website that describes its multi-faceted mentoring program.

Several factors drove the need for an improved, cohesive, multi-faceted mentoring program to support career and professional development at the management and technology consultancy:

  • Significant Organizational Growth: For 15 years, the organization experienced double-digit growth, requiring accelerated methods to prepare staff for new roles.

  • Dispersed Workforce: The growing number of staff working at client and remote locations decreased employees’ sense of connection to the organization and made information sharing more difficult. Additionally, employee survey data indicated a lack of awareness about mentoring resources.

  • Staff Turnover: Attrition data identified high turnover among junior staff and those new to the company. This indicated a need for mentoring opportunities in the early stages of an employee’s career.

To address these issues, Booz Allen Hamilton concentrated its efforts on growing talent, engaging staff, and improving employees’ connection and affiliation with the company. The company moved away from a disparate set of mentoring services to a more integrated approach that supported three key business goals: reduce turnover, increase productivity and performance, and improve business development capability. The philosophy of the enhanced suite of mentoring tools, resources, and services is to empower employees to choose the appropriate mentoring solution(s)—from a variety of options for both group and one-on-one mentoring—to support their particular development needs at any given time in their careers. Through a development-focused suite of tailored resources and ongoing support, the revised mentoring program has enhanced employee connection and engagement and accelerated effective onboarding, staff development, and career management.


Booz Hamilton Allen developed an appropriate mentoring solution to address the career development needs of its employees. The company was able to achieve organizational growth through employee connection, engagement and career management. This example shows the impact appropriate career management solutions can have on employee productivity and company growth.

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the role of human resource development (HRD) in career development. The author describes career development in HRD, key career development models and demonstrates how they can be applied in organizations. The chapter seeks to address the following objectives: (a) to define career management and development; (b) to discuss career development models and HRD; (c) to highlight models of career development; and (d) to explain the role of HRD in career development efforts. A framework at the end of the chapter illustrates how career development models can be used to identify specific organization-supported career development strategies.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: