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The Role of Human Resource Development Towards Macro and Micro-Level Performance

Autor:   •  April 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,477 Words (10 Pages)  •  3,857 Views

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The Role of Human Resource Development towards Macro and Micro-level Performance


Recent years have attested an incremental concern on human resource development. Even in 1989, did Keep assert that human resource development is often viewed as core part of "the meaning, nature and implementation of strategic human resource management". (Keep, 1989) As significant as HRD is, most of scholars have moved their focuses towards the functions or consequence of implementing HRD, furthermore, a major portion of them inclined to advocate that the functionalist activity of HRD is mainly concerned with improving organizational performance. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily the case. According to Wang, Dou, Li (2002), the functions of HRD can be widely categorized into two levels: macro and micro. The macro-level is used to describe the relationship between "training and national economic performance". (Wang, et al, 2002) That is, training enhances labor quality, which conversely treats as one of the most significant factors contributing to the development of economic. (Sturm, 1993) Meanwhile, some scholars like Swanson& Arnold argue that human capital is the key outcome of human resource development.(Swanson& Arnold, 1996) Overall, HRD has appeared to be a complicated "heterogeneous field serving many constituencies with diverse purposes".(Donnell, Mcguire& Cross, 2006) In other words, due to different purposes HRD is served, the outcome of HRD will be differentiating. The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the main functionalist activities of HRD, which will be concluded into two categories, that is, micro-level, which included organizational performance and human capital(individual performance), and macro-level, which is economic benefits and the reasons why and the importance of this category will be certified.

Human Resource Development

What is human resource development? Although a universal definition of HRD does not exist, most scholars have attempted to make a widely accepted definition of HRM.

To Mankin(2009), HRD involves a series of organizational practices that concentrate on learning: "training, learning and development". Swanson& Holton (2001) concluded along similar line: human resource development as a developed and/or expertise unleashed procedure which makes use of organization development and personnel training and development in order to improve performance. To McLagan and Suhadolink(1989), the mainly focus of HRD are "organization development, training and development, and career development". While according to Garavan, Gunnigle & Morley (2000), "capabilities, psychological contracts, and learning organization" are what HRM primarily involved. Furthermore, McLean and McLean


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