Advances in Developing Human Resources

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 1523-4223
Scholars and practitioners alike consistently note that although much is said about the learning organization, little is known about how to implement these abstract ideas across national or local cultures and in different kinds of organizations. In this issue we sum up this experience by bringing together examples of how we diagnosed the learning culture, how organizations have used our diagnostic instrument to guide change, and what we have learned that might influence theory, research, and practice. This issue brings together research and practice using the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) in different contexts. The DLOQ measures systems-level learning culture. As reported in this issue, we sum up years of research and offer illustrations of how to intervene with an organization using feedback results from our organizational learning culture survey (DLOQ). The purposes of this issue are to: identify how a validated organizational learning culture survey can be used to advance theory, research, and practice; highlight global examples of how the DLOQ has been used and what we have learned from these applications; and to invite further research and practice with the DLOQ by including the full validated instrument with self-scoring procedures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The Human Resource Development (HRD) field is in the process of discovery and transformation. The quest for the essence of HRD and how to deliver it is intensifying. The origin of the term HRD dates back to the 1960s and to Leonard Nadler at George Washington University, home of the first master's degree program in HRD. Nadler coined the term HRD and developed a modality that treats HRD as having three component parts: training, education, and development. HRD is expanding in scope and becoming more strategic in nature. Whereas there are many different views of what constitutes HRD, there is a growing realization that developing a competitive workforce has become the key differentiator of success in the global marketplace in the new millennium. There are other significant changes under way in the field of HRD. Technology is now becoming a core driver of learning systems and development of employees, as businesses become both global and virtual in many of their operations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The Problem Workforce development is a pressing challenge in today’s society, yet the discipline of HRD is not contributing toward research or practice solutions. This gap is a product of current paradigm undergirding HRD—the paradigm implicitly favors nonworkforce development issues, problems, and challenges. The Solution The article calls for a paradigm shift in HRD to focus the work of the discipline on enhancing the public good through workforce development. The article provides an in-depth description of how paradigms can change in the social sciences, so that stakeholders (HRD researchers and practitioners) can take intentional actions to facilitate and nurture the change. Finally, the article provides specific research and practice suggestions for expanding HRD’s role in the workforce development domain. The Stakeholders HRD researchers and practitioners; employees and employers.
The Problem When the global economy went into recession, many organizations needed to revisit their training investment. In this case study, one organization wanted to retain its emphasis on training without committing to the flight and hotel costs associated with in-person delivery for a globally distributed workforce. The training department therefore looked for a virtual training solution informed by research and theory that could host existing in-person training courses in a virtual environment while also providing a professional experience and high evaluation ratings.
The Problem: Persisting challenges of inequity in higher education often position Black women as outsiders within their academic environments, resulting in Black women employing strategies that reflect constant negotiation to achieve power, identity, and voice. Black women's status internationally "at the margins" remains an unexplored leadership style in human resource development (HRD). Being at the margins, domestically or internationally, likely means that Black women everywhere engage in strategies in order to achieve power, identity, and voice. The Solution: Examining the position, perspectives, and leadership strategies of this typically underserved population globally works to deconstruct lingering policies that limit their access to development in higher education institutions. The Stakeholders: The purpose of this article is to present Black women's unique social and cultural insights in leadership, increase the visibility of their experiences within their academic environments, and inform key educational leaders and HRD practitioners of the persistent barriers Black women encounter.
The problem and the solution. To be effective, workforce development systems need to be managed in a manner that ensures they are coordinated and integrated. In addition, they must have effective performance management systems in place that provide accountability for key outcomes. This chapter provides quality standards for effective workforce development systems in both these areas.
The Problem One of the most important emerging issues in the field of human resource development is how to effectively help organizations deal with the shifting demographics in the workforce. The largest generational cohort is nearing retirement, which will result in a loss of talent, experience, and expertise. The newest generation entering the workforce is substantively different. The next 20 years will likely see a shift to new ways of working, reflecting the values of the younger generation. The Solution Organizational cultures that will be able to retain employees across generations need to be developed. Each generation seems to be alike in one crucial area: their desire for workplace flexibility. Middle managers need to be incented and trained to accept a culture where they maintain accountability without power and control. The Stakeholders Human resource development practitioners and researchers have a role in developing interventions to change organizational culture to be more flexible, thereby potentially increasing retention of valued workers across the generations.
The Problem Organizations strive to develop their employees to a level that meets current and future needs at a time when those needs are great and resources scarce. Human resource developers are charged with finding solutions; yet many of the changes essential to doing this are in the culture, and, senior leaders have greater impact on the culture. Effective ways to alert senior individuals to the cultural imperatives are needed. Unfortunately, human resource and organization development (HROD) scholars have had few valid organizational measures with which to demonstrate the status of learning and the impact of learning on the organization. In 2003, we shared the Dimensions of a Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) in this journal. It behooves us to examine what has occurred using this instrument since that time. The Solution One approach is to build a self-sustaining learning architecture that is so embedded in the culture and even the work itself that it evolves and grows with the organization. A valid and reliable diagnostic enables HROD practitioners to assess where the learning culture is at the time of its administration, and signals organization members to critical changes needed to develop a more effective learning infrastructure. Armed with this information, they can make the business case and guide proposed interventions. Scholars can demonstrate key relationships between a learning culture and knowledge, financial, and mission performance. This article and others in this special issue examine what has been learned in the last decade using the DLOQ. The Stakeholders HROD developers and senior leaders are significant stakeholders for this information. In addition, HROD scholars who hope to document the nature of the learning culture in a variety of contexts and to demonstrate the importance of having a strong learning culture to valued organizational outcomes will find a resource in the DLOQ.
This article describes findings from a causal comparative study of the characteristics of employers against whom allegations of discrimination related to unlawful discharge were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). People with disabilities filed these allegations under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) between 1992 and 2008. Employer characteristics derived from 140,581 closed discharge-related allegations were compared to and contrasted with 165,447 closed allegations aggregated from four other prevalent forms of discrimination including reasonable accommodations, hiring, disability harassment and intimidation, and terms and conditions of employment. Tests of Proportion were used to examine comparisons of employer characteristics along a variety of factors, including size of workforce, location, and industrial classification. As compared to nondischarge allegations, discharge allegations were more likely to be filed against employers (a) with 15 to 200 employees; (b) in the South U.S. Census Tract Region; and (c) in the Manufacturing, Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail, Administrative Support, Waste Management and Remediation, Finance and Insurance, Professional/Scientific/Technical, Accommodation and Food Service, Wholesale, Construction, Real Estate, and Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing/ Hunting industries. Additional research is needed to specify the mechanisms by which different employer characteristics influence patterns in allegations of discrimination pertaining to discharge, and human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD) practices regarding ADA responsibilities must be developed with the aforementioned characteristics in mind.
It is crucial that employees and students become astute adult learners. Due to rapidly changing technology in both the workplace and instructional venues, organizations are challenged to find new and useful tools for adapting to these advances in both content and processes of work. Therefore, understanding how virtual worlds function as sites of adult learning (including enablers and barriers to successful adult learning experiences) becomes an important task for developing the construct of virtual human resource development (VHRD). In this empirical exploratory study, adult learning was conducted within the virtual world of Second Life (SL), both for its popularity and afforded opportunities for collaboration. The findings in this study indicate there are important enablers and barriers for adult learning in this virtual world that may prove useful for HRD professionals when designing learning experiences in virtual environments.
Interacting components of HRD praxis. Source: Lynham and McDonald (2011). Reprinted with permission.
The Problem. Though there is growing interest in the nature of scholarly practice in Human Resource Development (HRD) there is little understanding of how the everyday activities of HRD practitioners are mediated by HRD theories and research. The Solution. This preface provides the framework for this special issue on HRD scholar-practitioners. Each article in this issue, with the exception of the final article by Lombardozzi, presents a real-world case on how HRD scholar-practitioners used HRD theory and research to navigate an intractable problem in their practice. This issue explores the wide and varying ways in which scholar-practitioners approach their work, how research and theory were both applied and extended in practice, and the implications for HRD theory, research, and practice. The Stakeholders. HRD scholars, researchers, and practitioners who are members of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD), as well managers, educators, and higher education administrators who have a stake in effective organizations may gain insight into the nature of HRD scholarly practice and the role of the HRD scholar-practitioner.
The Problem An uncertain economy with a highly mobile workforce compels employers to rely heavily on HRD research for empirically based selection criteria and proven predictors of job performance. One of those predictors is the ability to think analytically and critically. Evidence is mounting that heavy use of electronic media may impact the ability to think critically because of increased distractibility and inattention to work related tasks. The Solution Collaborative research with medical and educational communities is needed to correlate impacts of heavy electronic media usage to critical thinking and, if confirmed, develop critical thinking measures and curricula that strengthen critical thinking skills in children and young adults entering the workforce. The Stakeholders Confirming the effects of heavy electronic media on critical thinking will increase the body of research for medical professionals about brain functioning, inform education researchers about trends in student populations experiencing lower test scores, and provide HRD researchers information about developing engaged and productive employees.
The Problem Human resource development (HRD) research and theories often do not adequately capture the holistic and self-directed nature of human beings at work. Likewise, HRD practice can fall short when applying an instrumental stance toward individuals as resources instead of building on the innate strengths and intrinsic areas of interest. The Solution The concept of human agency is explored in this article in contrast to narrow and instrumental understandings of the person to propose an ethically and pragmatically more adequate notion for HRD research and practice. Exploring essential elements of human and moral agency affords a view of how individuals might understand themselves in the context of work and opens up the opportunity to build HRD theory and practice based on a holistic understanding of persons. The Stakeholders This article has relevance for future practitioners and researchers in university-based HRD programs, for HRD scholars seeking to advance the art and science of the field, and for HRD managers and professionals responsible for the learning and education system and processes in organizations and other work settings.
The Problem Leadership Development research and practice has consistently focused on specific methods and interventions to the degree that our understanding of what good leadership development looks like is much clearer. The problem however, with current thinking on leadership development and the evaluation of leadership development is that we are not exploring the extent to which the individual leader and the organization they work for are connected and aligned. For evaluators of leadership development this exploration is a key aspect in measuring the systemic nature of leadership development and not merely the intervention. How do individual leaders navigate their personal leadership development journey and how do the organizations for which they work interface with them to provide effective development opportunities and practice? The Solution This article makes the case that we need to evaluate and articulate the leadership development process differently; to move away from isolated methods and toward an interconnected process of personal and organizational discovery and learning. When leaders and organizations activate the interconnectedness of leadership development, learning may become more reciprocal and aligned which could drive better development outcomes and value. The Leadership Development Interface Model, developed through research and literature data, provides an interconnected perspective of leadership development and explores a “whole system” view so both leaders and organizations can engage, plan, and evaluate their development effort in an aligned and supported way. The Stakeholders Leaders and their direct managers in organizations, HR and development specialists
The problem and the solution. Emotions, such as excitement, boredom, frustration, joy, and anger, are frequently present in the training room and are likely to influence the training process and the effectiveness of individual and group learning. How, then, can human resource development professionals use empirical and theoretical literature on emotions to understand the impact of emotions on training? This article summarizes the relevant literature and uses two short scenarios to illustrate its application to the training context.
The Problem.Employee engagement is an emerging concept in the HRD literature, with demonstrated organizational benefits; yet little is known about its antecedents. The purpose of this article is to explore conceptual and empirically driven antecedents as well as differentiate the two perspectives.The Solution.As a result of a structured literature review method, 42 antecedents were grouped by application at the individual and organizational level.The Stakeholders.HRD researchers seeking to conduct original research in organizations, and practitioners interested in creating greater levels of engagement in their organizations will find the discussion and implications sections and the index tool valuable.
The Problem Today’s organizations compete for top talent in a global marketplace. Employees seek work that is interesting and meaningful, where they can be engaged and continuously learning. While much is written about employee engagement, leaders need a model for structuring workplaces where employees can be passionate about their work and where there are opportunities for employees to learn and grow. The Solution This article contends that the time is right for developing workplaces that are humane, positive, and challenging. Drawing on the Organizational Intimacy (OI) framework and incorporating ideas from positive psychology, leaders can create positive environments by promoting a nurturing workplace, encouraging meaningful work, and fostering environments where employees love their work. The Stakeholders The primary stakeholders for this article are senior leaders and Human Resource and Organizational Development practitioners seeking to build humane and positive workplaces. In addition, HRD scholars studying frameworks that incorporate ideas from positive psychology will also find this article of interest.
The problem and the solution. An organization that does not have a history of being a learning organization but has experienced generally confrontational industrial relations began to change its learning culture. This study suggests that even without a systematic approach, some of the features of a learning organization can develop through efforts at the individual and the systemic levels but that the issue of power relationships in the organization is highly significant. Yes Yes
The Problem The spirituality of work movement placed emphasis on the importance of meaning and purpose in work and the workplace. However, the spiritual dimensions of work-related learning remained largely undeveloped. Given recent economic developments that threaten to undo any gains achieved by this movement, it is important that human resource development (HRD) help individuals and organizations learn to engage in the inner learning that creates deep meaning and purpose in our work. The Solution This article locates work-related learning within the spirituality of work context. Using Jungian and post-Jungian psychology, the article provides a theoretical perspective for thinking about meaning and purpose in work-related learning and the key features of educational and organizational environments that foster such learning and development. The Stakeholders The perspective developed in this article will be helpful to teachers, trainers, and HRD practitioners involved in formal work-related learning programs, as well as coaches and developmental managers who seek to foster learning and development among their workers.
The Problem Individuals, organizations, and government are the primary forces studied in a work–life scenario. Too often these forces are studied independently of one another when they should instead be examined as a system. The most frequently discussed piece of the work–life system is work–life balance. Understanding how concepts of work–life balance are intertwined with meaningful work is important to individual and organizational development in human resource development (HRD). The Solution This article introduces the work–life system as a means to examine the three forces, individuals, organizations, and government, and the three work–life dimensions, balance, initiatives, and policy. The first force and the first dimension, individuals and work–life balance, are discussed to demonstrate connections between work–life balance, meaningful work, and organizational culture. Using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce, a preliminary ordinary least squares regression analysis illustrates these relationships and provides insight for future research. The Stakeholders Work–life balance is increasingly relevant to HRD researchers and practitioners. This discussion seeks to illuminate key facets of the work–life dialogue and their impact on meaningful work to encourage further integration of the work–life system within HRD research and practice in the United States.
HRD is no longer “training and development,” instead it is played out in the boundaries between individuals and amongst communities and societies. Lee 2007 established a case for the adoption of a holistic perspective of HRD and argued that we are moving into a world of shifting boundaries, conflict, and change This article extends the argument to examine more closely the nature of HRD in relation to the challenges that are faced; question what it is about the nature of HRD that might lend itself to mediating the future; and outlines some examples and dilemmas that are exposed by this.
The Problem Incivility, also referred to as bullying, emotional abuse, and mobbing, has increasingly become an issue in today’s workplace. It is widely recognized that workplace incivility has significant negative impact on both individuals and organizations. Nevertheless, there is a lack of general research attention to this topic within the human resource development (HRD) community. Such lack of essential understanding may hinder HRD practitioners’ capability of recognizing uncivil behaviors at work and designing effective HRD interventions to address them. Further, within the HRD practitioner community, there is a dearth of knowledge of how to use findings of research on workplace incivility to inform practice and help creating a civil work environment.
The problem and the solution. This chapter presents theory building from a social constructionist perspective. It asks what constitutes theory for a social constructionist and compares the assumptions made within this paradigm with those embedded in quantitative research. The chapter then offers an eightstep approach to theory building, at the same time as illustrating this approach with an example taken from the author’s own research. Finally, the chapter offers a discussion of the legitimacy and a critique of this approach.
The Problem and the Solution. For decades, capital has been considered the scarcest resource in an organization, and numerous financial techniques were developed to ensure maximum returns on the organization's capital The problem is that now the scarcest resource is recognized to be human capital, and using the traditional measurement systems for ensuring maximum returns on this form of capital results only in the misallocation of resources This chapter suggests an alternative to the traditional financial techniques that incorporates the strategic positioning of organization's human capital
The Problem Strategic HRD contributes to creating an environment in which objectives and improved performance can be realized through leadership development (LD). Despite considerable investment in LD by public and private sector organizations in North America and Europe, these efforts often fail to produce significant changes in leaders’ behaviors, organizational culture, or organizational performance. As a result, too often leadership development programs (LDPs) are “one size fits all” or a prepackaged competency model without paying attention to individual and contextual differences. A more collaborative approach in the design and delivery of LD has been advocated; however, to date little research has documented or evaluated this at the pre-LDP or needs assessment stage. The Solution This research argues that LD should be a collaborative process involving all stakeholders and that such a partnership approach starts at the needs assessment phase. The research documents and evaluates a three-phase LD needs assessment process in a health care setting. Adopting a case study methodology, it draws primarily upon qualitative data collected from focus groups, written submissions, and interviews with senior and middle managers employed in a provincial health authority, Horizon Health Network, located in Atlantic Canada. The Stakeholders HRD researchers and practitioners in health care responsible for designing, delivering, and evaluating LDPs will find the approach described here insightful and practical. Middle and senior managers working in health care settings who seek to find practical and effective means of addressing leadership gaps and building and sustaining leadership competence across organizations under the pressures of persistent and complex change will also find this research relevant and valuable.
The problem and the solution. Career development (CD), long considered a primary function of HRD, has been eclipsed in recent years by changing employer—employee loyalties, increasing interest in portable careers, and the growing importance of subjective career goals. Instead of abandoning CD in the wake of such significant changes, HRD needs to review the evolving career landscape and respond to the diverse needs of individuals and systems. It is a new era for CD and HRD.
The problem and the solution. This exploratory qualitative study investigated young professionals' definitions of career success and the strategies they employ to achieve that success. There were three over-arching themes that emerged from the data. Two reflect how young professionals perceive career success.They see it as individualistic and as a multidimensional concept that is likely to change throughout their work lives.The third theme, attaining work—life balance, is integral to their definition of career success as well as to their strategies for attaining success. Implications for human resource development are provided.
A Conceptual Framework for Career-Conducive Organizations
Variables Measured By Two Stress Audit-Organizational Climate
The problem and the solution. This article introduces the concept of career-conducive organizations and suggests ways human resource development (HRD) professionals can help to create them. A healthy psychosocial environment is proposed to be the foundation of career conduciveness. A case is made for making healthy psychosocial environments one of an organizations' primary goals and for HRD playing a significant role in achieving this goal. Methods for improving the workplace psychosocial environment are discussed, including stress audits, work environment monitoring, person— environment matching, and participatory action research. It is argued that creating career-conducive organizations is not only an important strategic HRD contribution but also an important quality-of-life contribution and an ethical duty.
The problem and the solution. Although the field of human resource development (HRD) has begun to focus on career development (CD) theories, there is a paucity of exploration of the particular and unique career considerations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.This article explores issues uniquely related to LGBT career development. This article provides some insights about LGBT career development, analyzing the factors that distinguish LGBT career development from heterosexual career development, to sensitize HRD practitioners and to help them understand the career development considerations of LGBT people. By becoming aware of and sensitive to the issues faced by LGBT people, HRD practitioners can address their needs and help create inclusive and welcoming environments for them.Additionally, sensitive and educated HRD practitioners can help organizations identify the ways in which their practices reinforce LGBT invisibility, and disrupt heterosexist career development practices.
The Problem Despite increasing attention in business, talent management in global contexts has not been explored adequately in HRD. Most studies related to global talent management explain only part of it and do not provide an integrative understanding of what is going on globally in talent management in an HRD perspective. The Solution This article proposed an integrative conceptual framework for global talent management that involves the necessity, challenges, and roles of HRD. Considering cross-cultural viewpoints and multinational enterprise issues in HRD, the study analyzed why talent management is necessary and the challenges of developing talent. Finally, proposals were made for developing global talent and roles for HRD researchers and practitioners. The Stakeholders The results of this study will provide insights or guides for researchers interested in talent management/development and HR practitioners involved in a multinational enterprise.
The chief executive officer (CEO) holds one of the most important and influential roles in an organization, yet research on the role remains ambiguous, conflicted, and outdated. The purpose of this study was to address the gap between what is reported in the literature and what is known in current practice on the role of CEO. A major goal of this research was to use the insights provided by CEOs to improve our general understanding of the major roles played by CEOs and how they generally allocate their time in various critical functions. This research was also intended to serve those responsible for identifying CEO candidates, recruiting CEOs, coaching CEOs, sustaining an organization’s leadership system, and developing performance matrices for boards of directors who are ultimately responsible for making sure the CEO is effective and efficient.
The Problem. A large, academically affiliated pediatric institution experienced a period of dramatic change leading to concerns of cultural fragmentation and a loss of shared cultural values. The Solution. An intervention was crafted using theories of action learning, appreciative inquiry (AI), and Scharmer's (2009) Theory U to reformulate organizational values. A project team representing different departments and organizational levels was created to develop a new values statement. The team facilitated staff listening sessions, distilled perspectives into themes, and synthesized the themes. A traditional values statement was replaced with a unique and original credo. The intervention demonstrates a unique approach to applying multiple theories to an organizational culture change effort. The Stakeholders. Human resource development (HRD) practitioners and scholars who are interested in the application of theory to interventions in an organizational context.
The problem and the solution. The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 has fundamentally reshaped workforce development funding in the United States. Although the WIA has much to say about the process used to build the system, more guidance is still needed as to what the workforce development system should look like. This chapter presents core principles that should guide development of every workforce development system, as well as an assessment framework.
The problem and the solution. Information technologies have had an enormous impact on today’s world of work, and in particular, in the ways that individuals and groups communicate and collaborate,as well as learn and perform. This chapter looks at the theoretical constructs that aid in understanding these new realities. Second, it explores the extent of the impact the technologies have had. Next, it looks at the types of simple and complex communications that are currently being used throughout the world of work. Finally, it explores the unanticipated results of the wide adoption of these communication tools.
The Problem. With sales models evolving in response to the changing marketplace, knowing the skills required for sales effectiveness is key to organizational competitive advantage. Frontline sales managers are the most critical role in a productive sales force; however, empirical research focusing on sales manager competence is limited. The Solution. Understanding the knowledge and skills necessary for success as a frontline sales manager can assist in improving individual, team, and organizational sales performance. This article adds to the knowledge base by providing a frontline sales manager competency model that can serve as a guide for human resources initiatives to increase sales force effectiveness and help bridge the gap between theory and practice. The Stakeholders. Competency models are valuable across industries, and human resources professionals, senior leaders, sales organizations, and researchers can learn from the findings of this study and adapt them to their context.
Summarizing this issue reinforces the need to continue the discourse on diversity in the HRD curriculum. For example, one area not covered in this collection, but important to the dialogue is evaluation of diversity education. These articles represent a thoughtful beginning, providing ideas to prompt additional conversations, action plans, and next steps in the process.
The problem and the solution. There continues to be strong interest regarding the emotional intelligence construct,primarily because of the construct's potential as a predictor of workplace behavior in organizations. Little research has been conducted, however, that considers the implications of emotional intelligence for organizational change and human resource development in organizations.The study outlined in this article explores the connection between emotional intelligence and preferred styles of conflict resolution and examines the implications for human resource development and micro level organizational change specifically. One hundred and thirty-nine respondents were administered the Workgroup Emotional Intelligence Profile, a measure of group members' emotional intelligence when working in teams, as well as the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Model Instrument. The results consistently showed that individuals with high emotional intelligence preferred to seek collaborative solutions when confronted with conflict. Implications for human resource development and organizational change are also discussed. Yes Yes
The Problem Determining “what” and “how” people are satisfied personally and with work has become an ongoing stream of research for both academics and practitioners. Yet research has contributed to confusing the issue and has not been able to provide any distinct answers to this problem. The Solution This study goes beyond current research by examining how problem-focused coping resources are used to ameliorate the negative relationship between work/life conflict and life satisfaction. Based on a sample of 491 executives, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the mediational ability of problem-solving coping. Problem-solving coping was found to partially mediate the negative relationship between work/life conflict and life satisfaction. The Stakeholders Human resource development (HRD) scholars and practitioners interested in researching and reducing work/life conflict. A discussion of the importance of HRD interventions targeting problem-focused coping skills is included.
The Problem The learning organization is a term frequently used to reflect a set of ideas that have been around for some time—that is, successful adaptation to change and uncertainty is more likely to occur through the learning efforts of both individuals, and the organization as a whole. The term, however, has become a common phrase for describing a host of approaches to organizational development and activity occurring within organizations; however little space has been dedicated to the application of learning organization ideas and practices within military institutions. Given the diversity that exists within many large organizations, it is surprising how little attention has been given to the significance of learning in terms of hierarchy and rank within the learning organization discourse. The Solution Drawing on data collected from 1,061 respondents, this article compares and contrasts the learning cultures of a selection of headquarters and brigades within the Australian Army, and considers the extent to which their respective learning cultures align with those described as learning organizations. Results suggest that headquarter and brigade elements express similar learning behaviors to those found in learning organizations. However, respective learning cultures differ according to a variety of organizational factors including functional roles, leadership styles, and rank. The Stakeholders Human resource and organization developers working in military contexts will find this information particularly useful as well as scholars interested in investigating the learning culture.
The Problem Leaders who develop high levels of employee engagement within their organizations enjoy increased levels of competitive advantage. Consequently, organizations understandably desire higher levels of engagement. However, present research and perspectives on employee engagement have focused primarily on leveraging outcomes toward performance rather than the conditions that nurture performance. Such a unidimensional focus presents a gap in understanding how engagement emerges in practice and what strategies human resource development (HRD) practitioners can utilize to cultivate positive conditions for employee engagement. The Solution Reframing engagement within the context of meaning and purpose provides a unique lens from which to view the conditions that cultivate the development of engagement. In this article, we present an alternative, yet complementary view of employee engagement that focuses on how performance can be sustained within the context of meaning and purpose. Emerging implications for the field of HRD are explored. The Stakeholders The intended audience for this article includes HRD scholars, scholar-practitioners, practitioners, and students interested in the development and use of employee engagement, meaningful work, and the operationalization of meaning and purpose within an HRD context.
The Problem Current thinking around the evaluation of leadership development programs pays insufficient attention to the way that learning to lead becomes embedded and affected by the cultural context within which leaders and leadership operate. The Solution We propose an enhanced appreciation of cultural factors, organizationally, regionally, and nationally, when evaluating leadership development programs. We go on to suggest a cultural approach to the evaluation of such programs. This more cultural view enables a greater appreciation of current and contemporary accounts of leadership in the literature that are of a more distributed and cultural nature. This view also enables a more significant appreciation of shifting cultures, contexts, and situations within the process of learning that is a central element of leadership development. The Stakeholders This article will appeal to researchers in the area of leadership and leadership development, as well as those engaged in the design, delivery, and evaluation of leadership development in a professional capacity.
The problem and the solution. To design effective organizational change interventions, HRD professionals must first understand the history and culture of the organization. They must also understand how existing paradigms influence how employees define problems and design solutions,and the difference between employees’ espoused theories and theories-in-action. Can metaphors be used to analyze and describe cultures and to highlight employees’ paradigms,espoused theories, and theories-in-action? This chapter answers this question and illustrates the application of metaphor in organizational change using the case study of a university business school.
The Problem The dimensions of the learning organization (LO) culture have been accorded attention and have been assessed quantitatively in different contexts. Using a measurement instrument focusing on these dimensions is important. But qualitative scrutiny of the LO concept provides human resource practitioners a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of particular dimensions relevant in the Lebanese context. This can derive value added insights to the applicability of the LO. The Solution This article draws attention to the applicability of the LO concept in an international context. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of using the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) as a LO framework with special focus on particular dimensions most relevant in the Lebanese culture. The article provides suggestions for integrating LO best practices into local organizations, both at the individual and organizational levels. The Stakeholders Intended audience for this article includes human resource development (HRD) scholars, practitioners, and scholar-practitioners interested in the concept of the LO and in increasing the levels of learning climates in the workplace as a strategic leverage point within organizations.
The problem and the solution. Although human resource development (HRD) programs frequently place value on embracing diversity and contributing to social change, seldom do curricula contain course work focused on issues of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) communities. Thus, HRD practitioners may not have skills or insights needed to support LGBT inclusion in the workplace. The authors look to HRD literature and their experiences to explore the implications of self-disclosure for instructors and students in HRD courses and the benefits of incorporating LGBT issues in the curriculum as an HRD intervention. Implications concerning identity management, marginalization, community building, and visibility are discussed.The article concludes with practical insights for HRD faculty on how queering the curriculum can be accomplished. Keywords:
The Problem Forces influencing organizations in the past decade profile the central role of organizational learning in ensuring sustainability and competitive advantage. The Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) was developed in the 1990s to assess organizational learning culture. The DLOQ has since been used for organizational research in many countries, languages, and settings. This volume addresses questions about what research using the DLOQ says about diagnosing and/or improving organizational learning culture in different cultures and settings. The Solution This preface article overviews the development of the DLOQ in response to organizational changes and previews what is measured through the DLOQ. A brief overview of each contributing article is provided. The Stakeholders Scholars and practitioners focused on organizational learning culture will be interested in how research using the DLOQ has been used across cultures to intervene in organizations over the past decade in relation to selected measures of organizational efficiency or effectiveness.
The Problem and the Solution(s). HRD is marked by considerable effort to identify the "one right answer" in defining H RD and its foundational theories I prefer multiple answers to questions, affirming the importance of ambiguity and recognizing the multiplicity of theories, constructs, missions, beliefs, values, and ideals that affect HRD The dialogue itself is important
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues represent an emergent sub-topic within the broader framework of diversity. The field of HRD has begun to include broader discussions and explorations in topics of diversity, beginning with the first explicitly “critical” AHRD Symposium in 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii. There has been an increase in the number of innovative sessions and papers dealing with LGBT issues presented at the AHRD annual Symposium. LGBT scholars have made some inroads with respect to heightening awareness and getting a “place at the table” within the Academy, as evidenced by the recent Advances in Developing Human Resources journal entitled “Sexual Minority Issues in HRD: Raising Awareness” (Rocco, Gedro, & Kormanik, 2009). LGBT issues remain, however, contested terrain in the larger sociopolitical context, as evidenced by the recent decision of President Obama’s administration to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies equal treatment to married same-sex couples. LGBT people remain a marginalized, stigmatized, and unequally protected segment of the population in the United States and around the world.
The Problem. Human resource development (HRD) in developing countries has scopes and applications beyond economic interests; it often involves addressing social issues.Furthermore, the continuing trend of population growth in the developing world, coupled with limited or unavailable resources and infrastructure, has created additional challenges. As a result, HRD practitioners in the developing world must become more innovative change agents. The Solution. This article introduces the concept of "social entrepreneurship" into HRD and urges HRD practitioners to partner with social entrepreneurs in their mission of promoting communit and national development. Specifically, I draw details from four well-known case examples in two emerging economics-India and China-to demonstrate how social entrepreneurs have used HRD and organization development strategies to address societal problems in these two countries. The Stakeholders. Findings of this research will not only benefit HRD professionals and social entrepreneurs but also other stakeholders including central and local government agencies, policy makers, local communities, local business organizations, and the individuals directly affected by societal change.
The problem and the solution. Structured on-the-job training (structured OJT), adapted to a developing nation environment, can significantly improve, at low cost, the performance capability of workers. The chapter presents the rationale for structured OJT in this setting;describes an adapted model to fit the context of a specific developing nation, Cameroun;and presents an application of structured OJT complete with results.
Top-cited authors
Victoria Marsick
  • Columbia University
Thomas N. Garavan
Susan Alma Lynham
  • Colorado State University
Brad Shuck
  • University of Louisville
Elwood F. Holton
  • Louisiana State University