This chapter provides a context for understanding the field of human resource development (HRD), and presents a definition that is consistent with that context. There are at least three overriding perspectives of the field: the humanistic perspective, the learning perspective, and the performance perspective. In general, the performance perspective aligns best with work analysis since system ... [Show full abstract] theory provides an underpinning for that point of view. The chapter proposes that there are four major areas of HRD practice: employee development, organization development, career development, and performance support. Within the context of these areas of practice, HRD professionals make use of work analysis information more than any other profession does.