People, Technology and Human Resource Development (HRD) Philosophy

People, Technology and Human Resource Development (HRD) Philosophy

Claretha Hughes (University of Arkansas, USA) and Matthew W. Gosney (University of Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1601-1.ch065


Technology and people are present in all organizations. How they are managed and developed is essential to the competitive advantage of organizations. Understanding the dynamics of this relationship is an area that needs to be better understood within the Human Resource Development (HRD) field. This chapter will explore the extent that HRD philosophy addresses the relationship of people and technology. Comparing people and technology has been a debate since the industrial revolution occurred in America (Swanson, 1982; Swanson, & Torraco, 1994). Man and machine are as essential to organizational prosperity as air and water is to living; yet, it is not often researched and published in HRD literature (Githens, Dirani, Gitonga, and Teng, 2008). Could this be why HRD professionals do not have a seat at the proverbial table in corporate America? Are HRD professionals and researchers denying that there is a relationship between people and technology in organizations? Are HRD professionals and researchers limited by their beliefs concerning the comparison of people to technology?
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The field of HRD has made its way from sociology, to business, to education and is still looking for a place of its own (McLean et al., 2008). HRD has rich history that is not well known or explained in the HRD research literature. Without an explanation and chronicling of its history, HRD’s search for a clear philosophy of HRD is ongoing, and remains under debate amongst HRD researchers and professionals.

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