Human resource development

Human resource development


Human resource development or HRD is often associated with training, education and development to enhance the effectiveness of human resources to achieve the objectives of the organisation. This is supported by McLagan and Suhadlnik (1989, p. 1): ‘HRD is the integrated use of training and development, career development, and organisation development to improve individual and organisational effectiveness'.

However, in recent years there have been pressures particularly arise in today's business environment that have contributed to the increasing importance of linking HRD with strategy. Wilson (2005) claimed that the only source to gain competitive advantage in today's environment is to learn more quickly than others relying on highly skilled employees by placing HRD at the top of the strategic agenda and maintained that: ‘HRD can only be strategic if it is incorporated into the overall corporate business strategy' (Wilson 2005, p. 11).

Grieves (2003), however argued that for HRD to be strategic it should comprise of four elements: ‘strategic HRD should be viewed as a source of competitive advantage and linked to strategic planning; the primary responsibility is pushed down to line managers; the main focus of HRD is broadened from training to individual learning and; individual learning is linked.'

One issue to be discussed here is whether strategic HRD is placed within the context of strategic HRM. First, let us consider what strategic HRM and discuss the roles of both strategic HRD and strategic HRM.


According to Fisher, Schoenfeldt & Shaw (1999) strategic HRM focus on how the organisation can enhance or improve performance by considering and utilising their human resource more effectively which this is also the main aim of SHRD. To further support that SHRD often placed within the context of SHRM is to consider their elements and their roles to the organisation. Two elements noted by Fisher, Schefeldt, Shaw (1999) are similar to elements proposed by Grieves (2003). The two elements are both SHRD and SHRM is about first integrating HR activities into the strategic planning process and secondly is linking HR practices to overall business strategy.

In terms of their roles, one could observe that there many over lapping areas between SHRD and SHRM.

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