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System Theory Implications of System Theory Applying System Theory to HRD Conclusions
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... System thinking is a prominent example of a cognitive strategy (Senge, 1993;Jacobs, 2014b). System thinking broadly enables individuals to view at once both the entire entity and the interconnected parts that comprise the entity, bound together through various processes. ...
... System thinking also helps organize what are the various inputs, processes, and outputs of a situation. In this sense, system thinking represents both a perspective on viewing real-life situations and a methodology for acting on the situations (Jacobs, 2014b). ...
... In an actual work setting, the employee might undertake an array of more focused workplace learning and development opportunities. Jacobs (2003Jacobs ( , 2014aJacobs ( , 2014b reports how the training approach of structured on-the-job training (S-OJT) has been shown to be effective for learning complex task information in a variety of work settings. Embedded in the S-OJT process is the necessity to practice what was learned. ...
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There is increasing awareness that most work is changing, and the predominant trend is toward greater complexity, becoming known as knowledge work. Two fundamental questions remain essentially unresolved about knowledge work, which have importance to the human resource development field. First, what are the characteristics of knowledge work that make it unique from other work behaviors? Second, how should organizations develop employees to perform knowledge work? To address these questions, this article has the following goals. First, the article reviews the definitions of knowledge work and discusses four key points that provide a better understanding of the topic. Second, the article proposes a definition of knowledge work using the term knowledge-based tasks to describe instances of knowledge work. Third, the article presents an employee development system that helps individuals learn to perform knowledge-based tasks. The article concludes with a brief discussion about knowledge work and the challenges and opportunities it presents to the human resource development field.
... There are three main components of HRD: training and development, organization development and career development. Training and development was counted in six definitions, by Watkins (1989), McLagan (1989), Smith (1990), Marsick and Watkins (1994), Swanson (1995) and Jacobs (2014). Organization development was counted 5 times, and career development 4 times. ...
... Organization development was counted 5 times, and career development 4 times. Among the definitions, those of Watkins (1989), McLagan (1989), Smith (1990), Marsick and Watkins (1994) and Jacobs (2014) contain all three components. For example, Jacobs' (2014) defined HRD as "the process of improving organizational performance and enhancing individual capacities through the accomplishments that result from employee development, organization development, and career development programs (p. ...
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the foundational theories in human resource development (HRD) by reviewing the literature from an HRD perspective. The following research questions guide the study: What are the core theories related to adult and professional education, organizational development and strategic HRD? What are the conceptual frameworks associated with adult and professional education, organizational development and strategic HRD? How have these theories and conceptual frameworks applied the research and practice of HRD? Design/methodology/approach This study reviewed the HRD definitions and core theories. The core theories and conceptual frameworks related to adult and professional education, organizational development and strategic human resource development were described. The application of these theories and conceptual frameworks to the research and practice of HRD was addressed. Findings The psychology theories that were explored were the adult learning theories, and that gestalt-psychology, behavioral psychology and cognitive psychology were illustrated. Systems theory was explored and explained in relation to organization development. Economic theory was explored and explained focusing on human capital theory; and it was demonstrated how economic theory is associated with strategic HRD. Originality/value The core-theory description and linking to adult and professional education, organizational development and strategic HRD may give understanding of the HRD foundations and ethical perspective that is essential for both scholars and professionals. The conceptual frameworks presented can be used to help facilitate discussions on developing or implementing HRD programs.
... These theories provided the basis for the significance of diversity climate in workforce diversity management. Based on general systems theory, Hofkirchner and Schafranek (2011) and Jacobs (2014), different human resource practices are considered under a system of human resource management and the training and development along with performance appraisal of a diverse workforce are drawn in this study as contributing factors of managing the diversity climate. Blau established the social exchange theory, stating that when companies embrace human resource practices, workers feel that their company cares about employees (Blau, 1964), so they acquire favorable attitudes toward the jobs, which leads to job satisfaction (Allen et al., 2003). ...
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As the world has turned into a global village, it has created many challenges for human resource departments regarding the management of a diverse workforce in satisfying the employees and creating a diverse yet safe environment for them that does not make them uncomfortable. The current study has investigated the effect of human resource practices on the diversity climate with the mediation of job satisfaction. The data has been collected from human resource personnel of multinationals in China with the help of 316 participants. The study deployed SEM analysis to analyze and measure the effect of training and development along with performance appraisal on the diversity climate. The findings of the study revealed that training and growth or development do not have an impact on the diversity climate, however, performance appraisal has a strong positive impact. Similarly, the mediating role of job satisfaction has been found to ensure the relationship of training and development and performance appraisal with the diversity climate. This study has provided certain implications for the HR managers of multinationals to ensure a secure diversity climate for a diverse workforce.
... A number of sophisticated organizational models exist to assess and develop organizations e.g., McKinsey's 7S Model (Gmelch & Buller, 2015b;Waterman et al., 1980), or system based Human Resources development (Jacobs, 2014). These frameworks for organizational effectiveness require that a number of factors internal to an organization (e.g., strategy, structure, systems, shared values, skills, style and staff) are aligned and mutually reinforcing in order for the framework to succeed, which makes implementation challenging. ...
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Universities, particularly those in the United States, administer their operations through a multitude of disparate, siloed initiatives and processes. Approaches toward academic administrative leadership deserve a more concentrated focus. We propose a simple framework to provide a structure for the evaluation and improvement of administrative processes within a university. Based on an analysis of the literature on academic administration, and input from participants in academic leadership programs at Ohio State University, the proposed framework seeks to create a structure to harmonize administrative work across the university, afford consistency while allowing for unit‐specific adjustments, and offer a basis for defining and measuring ongoing improvement. The framework is organized in six domains of competence, with their respective competencies, which enables administrators to talk about their work using a common language. The framework is contrasted with other approaches to the evaluation of academic administrative work and some general conclusions about it uses are drawn.
... It is made up of inputs, processes, and outputs as well as feedback or feedforward. Mapping out each component of the system ensures the inclusion of all critical components in the system (Jacobs, 2014). ...
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The Problem Journal pages are filled with articles that scarcely mention the assumptions behind the chosen statistical techniques and models. Based on questionable foundations, the ultimate conclusions are intended to shape academia and guide practitioners. Violations of the underlying assumptions can result in biased and misleading forecasts, confidence intervals, and scientific insights. The Solution The field of human resource development (HRD) is equipped to present these assumptions clearly and concisely to ensure the integrity of statistical analysis and subsequent conclusions. Testing the principle assumptions of regression analysis is a process. As such, the presentation of this process in a systems framework provides a comprehensive plan with step-by-step guidelines to help determine the optimal statistical model for a particular data set. The goal of this article is to provide practitioners a Regression Development System that can be adapted to organizational performance as well as information that can be used to evaluate the strength of journal articles. The Stakeholders Quantitative researchers, practitioners, instructors, and students.
... The current HRD models, theories, and strategies are based on full-time, stable employment and may not apply to contingent workers. As defined by Jacobs (2014), HRD is "the process of improving organizational performance and enhancing individual capacities through the accomplishments that result from employee development, organization development, and career development" (p. 34). ...
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The following article is an expanded version of the prepared remarks made by Ronald L. Jacobs at the time of his induction recently in the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Scholar Hall of Fame. Being inducted in the AHRD Scholar Hall of Fame is considered the highest level of recognition for individuals who have made significant and extended contributions to the human resource development field through their research. The induction ceremony is conducted during the Awards Ceremony at the AHRD Annual Conference; at that time, inductees offer brief comments of their own choosing. The remarks made by Jacobs were deemed of sufficient interest to the broader field that he was asked to expand them into the following article.
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Systems theory has been challenged in the recent literature due to its perceived disconnection from today’s research and practice demands. Moving away from the reductionist frameworks and the complicated domain predominated by known unknowns and order, a call is being made to the social sciences to begin adopting complexity theory and newer connectionist methods that better address complexity and open social systems. Scholars and scholar-practitioners will continue to find the need to apply complexity theory as wicked problems become more prevalent in the social sciences. This paper differentiates between general systems theory (GST) and complexity theory, as well as identifies advantages for the social sciences in incorporating complexity theory as a formal theory. Complexity theory is expanded upon and identified as providing a new perspective and a new method of theorizing that can be practiced by disciplines within the social sciences. These additions could better position the social sciences to address the complexity associated with advancing technology, globalization, intricate markets, cultural change, and the myriad of challenges and opportunities to come.
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Human resource development is known to encapsulate a collection of social science disciplines including communications, psychology, and economics. Since these and other similar areas are the cornerstones of HRD, the changing nature of HRD demands constant reflections on the value and building blocks of contemporary HRD inquiries. This article presents a citation analysis of articles published in Human Resource Development Quarterly from 2007 to 2013 to provide an overview of the various disciplines contributed to contemporary HRD research. A total of 5,807 citations were reviewed. An analysis of the citations was conducted to identify the most frequently cited articles, major themes, and contributing fields to HRD. Psychology remains to be a prominent building block to current HRD research while the presence of other major disciplines such as economics and systems theory was not evident. Further details of key findings, implications of this study for research and practice, and limitation of this study are discussed. Human resource development is known to encapsulate a collection of social science disciplines including communications, psychology, and economics. Since these and other similar areas are the cornerstones of HRD, the changing nature of HRD demands constant reflections on the value and building blocks of contemporary HRD inquiries. This article presents a citation analysis of articles published in Human Resource Development Quarterly from 2007 to 2013 to provide an overview of the various disciplines contributed to contemporary HRD research. A total of 5,807 citations were reviewed. An analysis of the citations was conducted to identify the most frequently cited articles, major themes, and contributing fields to HRD. Psychology remains to be a prominent building block to current HRD research while the presence of other major disciplines such as economics and systems theory was not evident. Further details of key findings, implications of this study for research and practice, and limitation of this study are discussed.
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While globalization is often framed as a positive force for change and development, particularly in the field of Human Resource Development (HRD), some argue that globalization has created an environment in which many have been left behind by the elimination or evolution of certain types of work and economic inequality. Such attitudes, we argue, have given way to the recent rise of populism globally, evidenced by both ‘Brexit’ and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The purpose of this essay is to recentre the future of international HRD research and practice around the critical global challenges of poverty, conflict, and human rights. The consequences of failing to address these challenges, we argue, outweigh the forces of the current era of opposition rooted in populism and antiglobalization. We believe that a conversation about recentring the future of international HRD is vital to a peaceful, prosperous world.
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This study reviews systems theory and thinking (ST&T) as a foundational discipline or theory in human resource development (HRD) research and practice. Using systematic evidence review (SER) of the literature and mapping analysis of HRD curricula across some leading U.S. universities, disconnect between theory and practice of ST&T is discussed. The use of SER of the literature in HRD research is an important aspect of this study. The study recommended the incorporation of more ST&T courses into the HRD undergraduate and graduate curricula. Recommendations of how systems thinking can become more relevant to HRD research and practice are offered.
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Research identified six areas of organization change that will have significant effects on development-oriented practices in and around the workplace. By the end of the century, the workplace will be different. The changes will be successful only if people change, develop, and grow. (JOW)
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The purpose of the study was to compare the practices used by human resource development (HRD) professionals to evaluate web-based and classroom-based training (CBT) programmes within seven Korean companies. This study used four components of evaluation and three factors of evaluation barriers to compare the differences between these two training approaches. This study also explored the key decision factors for determining how HRD professionals evaluated their web-based and CBT programmes. Two data sets were used for the study; one set of data was gathered from a survey questionnaire distributed to HRD professionals and the other was gathered from interviews with HR/HRD directors within the seven companies. The results showed that web-based and CBT programmes were not meaningfully different on the most components of evaluation and evaluation barriers. The results also found six key decision factors determining evaluation for web-based and CBT programmes.
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This article asserts the importance of clearly specifying the underlying theory of HRD, and challenges those who do not see this as essential to the profession. The central argument is that HRD must continue to mature as a discipline and that the integration of selected psychological, economic and systems theories serve as the unique theoretical foundation of HRD.
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Theory building and theory-building research are starting to draw increased attention from HRD scholars. There is a growing recognition of the importance of theory building in maturing thought and practice in HRD. This article examines what is meant by good theory and theory-building research in HRD through a synthesis of the existing literature and a discussion of the core concepts, issues, and challenges associated with theory building in an applied field. It also highlights the importance of embracing multiparadigm research perspectives for stepping up to the task of theory building in the HRD profession. © 2000 by Jossey-Bass, A Publishing Unit of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.