The paper "Important Issues for Human Resource Development" is a perfect example of human resources coursework. Contemporary HRD greatly influences the way human relations are being handled in the workplace while Workplace Learning is increasingly being recognised as a way to improve organisational performance. For this reason, along with a number of articles written about the concept, several new models of HRD were developed supporting the idea of a learning organisation. The following section discusses and issues raised by two recent articles concerning contemporary HRD and workplace learning and its implications to practice.
The first article is about the role of HRD in enhancing strategic management and the second discusses the role of HRD and the different issues involved in workplace learning. Important Issues for HRD Raised by Contemporary HRD and Workplace Learning Articles There is definitely no easy way to resolve performance issues in organisations but regardless of position or function, traditional practices are in most situations no longer applicable in today’ s business environment. For instance, flexibility and adaptability are now a common requirement for employees in most organisations where employees must be able to learn and work in another discipline (Wilson, 2005).
Similarly, although considered a necessity, operational effectiveness alone does not guarantee the success of an organisational strategy (Kozami, 2002). This is because the traditional emphasis on performance prevents individuals from realising their full potential (Swanson & Holton, 2009). According to Vince (2004), traditional HRD practices often limits strategic learning and ignores the impact of social, emotional, and political events surrounding employees (p. 26). Similarly, although it is a concern with learning, current practices are focusing on individual learning rather than giving more emphasis on the organisation as learners (Woodall et al. , 2004).
Moreover, individuals are being treated and developed as mere resources for the organisation rather than seeing them as people with inherent worth (Swanson & Holton, 2009). For this reason, several behavioural and social sciences based HRD theory has been developed and one of them is contemporary HRD that is focused on making HRD as a strategic tool to advance the business objectives of the organisation. In ‘ strategic’ HRD, employees working together and sharing their knowledge can be a source of strong competitive advantage that others cannot duplicate (Chapter 2& 3). Although the application of strategic HRD appears advantageous in many ways, there are some implications concerning how people are actually being managed in most organisations and the claim that employees shared knowledge can bring great benefit to the organisation.
Clearly, knowledge comes from learning thus learning must be involved in all levels of the organizational structure. The development of employees’ capability for strategic thinking and opportunities for strategic discussion can be a great contribution from HRD thus it must be involved in all levels of learning in the organisation.
The author of the article ‘ Strategy Making as Learning: Positioning the Role of HRD in Strategic Management’ divided actions needed to achieve this in three levels – strategic, tactical, and operational which is similar to integrating learning at the level of corporate strategy, business units objectives, and at the operational level as identified by Harrison (2002) as cited in (Smith & Smith, 2006). Normally, as far as HRD is a concern, their involvement in organisational learning often occurs in the operation level where basic skills and competency training, management development, and operational improvement are being implemented recurrently.
However, given that the aim of the strategy is to position the organisation in a secure and competitive business environment, employees must not only rely on their operational effectiveness but have to act accordingly in compliance with the organisational strategy learned from HRD. Since most HRD functions at the operational level and monitoring operational effectiveness, developing strategic thinkers at the strategic level may not be that easy. This is because unlike learning from experience at the tactical level and developing basic skills at the operational level is much convenient than identifying the strategic pattern of internal and external events.
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