HRD ‘Scholar-Practitioner': An Approach to Filling Theory, Practice and Research Gap

HRD ‘Scholar-Practitioner': An Approach to Filling Theory, Practice and Research Gap

Chandan Maheshkar (University of Indore, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9998-4.ch002
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The quality of human resource is a key driver in creating organizational performance. An HRD investigates human work patterns and abilities required to perform determined job roles and role-specific responsibilities in competent manner. The ‘HRD Scholar-Practitioner' opens the ways connecting the division between academics and real world of practice. This integration involves different scholastic efforts that make theory, practice and research mutually dependent; and promotes opportunity to engage simultaneously in the real time HRD practices and scholastic investigations. The ‘HRD Scholar-Practitioner' has ability to create organizational learning objectives, personal and professional cognitive meanings, integrative approaches, and to setup ‘participative learning-based competency culture' towards organizational performance and dynamic leadership. Thus, this can be considered as a significant mechanism to enhance organizational competitiveness and effectiveness of scholastic works via filling theory, practice and research gap(s).
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Human Resource Development is a massive concept for organizations as well as development of society. Primarily, HRD is dealing with the development of human competencies and their effective deployment. It is a system through which individuals acquire, sharpen or mold their capabilities required to perform associated present and/or future job roles.

Relatively, HRD is a young systematic organism to proactively deal with the issues such as–identification, assessment and development of skills and competencies of human resource according to their job roles and associated responsibilities towards fulfillment of organizations’ present goals and futuristic expectations for growth. HRD has multiple dimensions, covering educational attainment, workforce skills, population health and the set of employment policies that provide workers with appropriate skills and the ability to settle quickly in new challenges (OECD, 2012). In terms of workforce development, the key role of HRD is to perform associated job roles effectively and efficiently. An individual employee enters in the organization with some educational background and has some personal strengths and weaknesses. But an organizational work setting teaches him/her skills required to work effectively.

HRD refers the skills and training requirements to survive or advance (Swanson & Holton III, 2001). Nadler (1980) defines HRD as “an organized learning experience within a given period of time with the objective of producing the possibility of performance change” (p. 66). It is most commonly linked dimension of business wide theory and practices of every organization. McLean and McLean (2000) have propounded, “Human Resource Development is any process or activity that, either initially or over the long term, has the potential to develop adults’ work-based knowledge, expertise, productivity, and satisfaction, whether for personal or group/team gain, or for the benefit of an organization, community, nation, or, ultimately, the whole of humanity”. Subsequently, Desimone, Werner and Harris (2002) considered 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” (p.3).

These descriptions are varying from the perspectives of a scholar, a practitioner or an employee either by organization or country. As HRD functioning, it is the improvement of existing and acquirement of newer capabilities so that employees will be able to perform the existing job role effectively and carry out newer organizational functions and roles. Since, the descriptions of HRD roles have been leading practitioners’ competence requirements (Sambrook & Stewart, 2010). Development of core competencies, increasing participation of HRD practitioners in strategic decision making, and sustainment of the strategic planning process (Clardy, 2008) are three idiosyncratic HRD roles. The value of HRD can be seen in its ability to accept both – a production-centric role and a people-centric role. Production-centric role present HRD as critical to making and maintaining a pool of required competencies for economic development of an organization, whereas people-centric role refer HRD as a tool to address the needs of economic development and social elevation of individuals as well as organization.

Theoretical ambiguity, permeable boundaries and practice dilemmas (Garavan & Morley, 2006) are formative causes responsible for organization-wise or country-wise deviations in the HRD practices. Beyond the training and development, HRD include– a strong connection to corporate strategy, creating a learning environment, and being responsible for learning, developing and disseminating competencies, incorporation of career development, knowledge management, facilitation of internal consultancy, and nurturing organization’s intellectual capital.

On account of different literature reviewed and analyzed, HRD can be defined as follows:

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