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Literature review on contemporary HRD - Critically discuss and evaluate current perspectives on the changing role and nature of training and learning in organisations and human resource development.

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Introduction

DL: Literature review on contemporary HRD Critically discuss and evaluate current perspectives on the changing role and nature of training and learning in organisations and human resource development. This should include a critical appraisal of key theoretical perspectives on the strategic role of HRD within contemporary organisational contexts Within this submission, I have illustrated the changing role and nature of training and learning within context of a learning organisation. Training and learning in organisations. So what do we mean by training and learning within an organisation? One view is that it is about developing a learning organisation, an 'organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create its future. For such an organization, it is not enough merely to survive, 'Survival learning' what is more often termed 'adaptive learning' is important, indeed it is necessary. But for a learning organization, 'adaptive learning' must be joined by 'generative learning,' learning that enhances our capacity to create'. Senge (1999:14) Further support for this 'generative' view is seen in Wick and Westley (1996) who take the perspective that a learning organisation should be seen against the backdrop of its culture. Arguing values, beliefs, feelings, artefacts, myths, symbols, metaphors' form part of any approach taken by a learning organisation. It arguably impossible to clinically define what a learning organisation consists of in a generic form. By creating a learning organisation you create a learning climate, thus hopefully a training and learning culture. Senge takes the view that, what fundamentally will distinguish learning organizations from traditional authoritarian "controlling organizations" will be the 'mastery of certain basic disciplines. That is why the "disciplines of the learning organization" are vital'. ...read more.

Middle

that these three theories, more than any others, make up the modern view of HRD. Development of HRD Early incarnations of HRD concerned themselves with a personal management function, 'Personal management function at an administrative level, independent of commercial realities, into a concept that has become central to the strategic and commercial success of the organisation.' (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2001: 668) However, as organisations adapted to change and new ways of thinking so did its human resource function: 1964-70 - systematic approach to diagnosis of training 1968-75 - standardization training for job categories by industry. (Such as motor, construction and social work) Thorough off-job basic education for skilled occupations 1970-75 - systematic planning of training for all categories of employee 1974-80 - company contribution to training for young people and long-term unemployed to meet national needs 1979-90 - business-orientated training directed at improving organizational effectiveness (value added) 1988 - present - personal development with individualized plans for which each employee and their boss take responsibility. Sambrook & Stewart IDPM Paper (1999) The last of these observations highlights a move away from organisational directed learning, as it sees the individual start to take more control of their own development needs. Due to the differences in organisational needs, cultural context organisational structure and resources available, the concept of the individual taking more responsibility for their development is a significant shift away from earlier ideas. Additionally, there has been a shift in the last decade from organisations training to meet competence voids, towards a more learning environment that relies on experiential learning and self direction. It is argued, such an approached, does not limit itself to training, '...but stretched to facilitating and supporting learning processes within the organisation, with the aim to contribute to meaningful organisational learning processes. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clear in this scenario that anything other than a SHRD framework would be difficult to implement. An example of such a framework maybe, 'a successful learning climate' Walton (1999: 11) Conclusion Over the last decade, the role of HRD has both, found a niche and come under fire in organisations trying to compete in an ever changing political, economic and cultural environment. Add globalisation, demographic changes and the ever changing world of information technology (IT) and not surprisingly, HRD has had to both adapt and show direction in its approach and function in modern organisations. Balancing between both an art and a science it has had to prove its value to organisations in what ironically is the very environment it should be showing its main worth - managing the human resource in a world of constant change in compressed markets. The struggle of organisations to produce strategy in Tom Peters world of innovation and creativity, often results in the crisis, tactical, and short term approach taken by many organisations that often goes on to see HRD as the first enemy target of this struggle. The need for definition and justification for a HRD component remains more real today than at any time if it is not to been see as a luxury component in a volatile world that, arguably under pressure, relies more on economic stability than a humanistic resource development approach that often produces results beyond a strategic planning horizon. However, HRD is not a science, and as such will continue to change, develop and find new roles in the adapting, fast moving world of the modern working environment. (2859 All words) 1 ...read more.

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