Strategic Human Resource Development Alignment: Conceptualization from the Employee's Perspective

Strategic Human Resource Development Alignment: Conceptualization from the Employee's Perspective

Ann Herd (University of Louisville, USA) and Meera Alagaraja (University of Louisville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch073
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Abstract

The critical role of human resource development (HRD) in helping organizations identify and meet their strategic objectives in today's competitive and ever-changing global marketplace is increasingly being recognized by both scholars and practitioners. While many HRD scholars have examined the importance of HRD alignment with the organization's strategic objectives, there exist few conceptualizations of this alignment from the employee's perspective. Drawing on strategic HRD and management “line of sight” literature, the purpose of this chapter is to explore the theoretical conceptualization and a proposed model of employee perceptions of the strategic alignment of HRD in their organizations. Strategic HRD alignment from the employee's perspective is explored, and future research directions are discussed, in relation to strategic HRD, organizational learning culture, perceived investment in employee development, and performance-related outcomes for which HRD scholar-practitioners strive in their quest to facilitate organizational strategic objectives.
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Background

The critical role of HRD in helping organizations identify and meet their strategic objectives in today’s competitive and ever-changing global marketplace is increasingly being recognized by both scholars and practitioners (Garavan & Carbery, 2012; Gilley & Gilley, 2000; Hughes & Byrd, 2015; Siikaniemi, 2009; Tseng & McLean, 2008). In line with this recognition, the role of SHRD has been evolving to include both strategy formulation and implementation foci (Brockbank, 1999; McCracken & Wallace, 2000; Ruona & Gibson, 2004). HR functions in organizations not only have a “seat at the table” but are also increasingly key drivers of organizational strategy (Alagaraja, 2013).

While many HRD scholars have examined the importance of alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives, there exist few conceptualizations of this alignment from the employee’s perspective. Employees’ perspectives of the strategic alignment of HRD opportunities in their organization are important to the extent that these perceptions are related to the learning culture, their perceptions of investment in their development, and performance-related outcomes for which organizations strive in their quest to attain and maintain a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace (Ruona, 2014; Ulrich, Younger, Brockbank, & Ulrich, 2013). Although the strategic alignment of HRD is crucial for firm performance, the ways in which management and HRD scholars and practitioners actually develop and utilize measures for this assessment, including multiple levels of the organization, are relatively unexplored.

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