Identify and apply the 5 steps of the Training for Performance System (TPS; Swanson, 1978) with an example of a specific training topic (i.e. Communication 101, Excel Basics, Compliance 1.0, etc.). Why is expertise important to the workplace, perhaps some roles require more than others – what do you think? How or why is compliance based training and/or individual development relevant to an organization’s mission? Provide an example.TPS information is on page 211 in the attached text[
Richard A. Swanson
Elwood F. Holton III
Foundations of Human Resource Development
Copyright © 2001 by Richard A. Swanson and Elwood F. Holton III
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,
or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording,
or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission
of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical
reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For
permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions
Coordinator,” at the address below.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, California 94104-2916
Tel: (415) 288-0260, Fax: (415) 362-2512
Ordering information for print editions
Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the “Special Sales
Department” at the Berrett-Koehler address above.
Individual sales. Berrett-Koehler publications are available through most bookstores. They can also be ordered directly from Berrett-Koehler: Tel: (800) 9292929; Fax: (802) 864-7626;
Orders for college textbook/course adoption use. Please contact BerrettKoehler: Tel: (800) 929-2929; Fax: (802) 864-7626.
Orders by U.S. trade bookstores and wholesalers. Please contact Ingram
Publisher Services, Tel: (800) 509-4887; Fax: (800) 838-1149; E-mail:; or visit www.ingrampublisher for details about electronic ordering.
Berrett-Koehler and the BK logo are registered trademarks of Berrett-Koehler
Publishers, Inc.
First Edition
Hardcover print edition ISBN 978-1-57675-075-9
PDF e-book ISBN 978-1-57675-803-8
Production management by Michael Bass Associates.
Cover design by Richard Adelson.
Dedicated to the
and its vision of leading the profession through research.
This page intentionally left blank
Brief Contents
Introduction to Human Resource Development 1
1 HRD as a Professional Field of Practice 3
2 Basics of HRD 14
3 History of HRD 27
Theory and Philosophy in Human Resource Development 63
4 Role of Theory and Philosophy in HRD 65
5 The Theory of HRD 86
Perspectives of Human Resource Development 125
6 Paradigms of HRD 127
7 Perspectives on Learning in HRD 149
8 Perspectives on Performance in HRD 178
Developing Human Expertise through Personnel Training
and Development 201
9 Overview of Personnel Training and Development 203
10 The Nature of Human Expertise 227
11 Personnel Training and Development Practices: From Individuals
to Organizations
Unleashing Human Expertise through Organization
Development 257
12 Overview of Organization Development 259
13 The Nature of the Change Process 284
14 Organization Development Practices: From Organizations to
Human Resource Development in the 21st Century 333
15 Strategies for Advancing HRD 335
16 Accountability in HRD 358
17 Globalization and Technology Challenges to HRD 379
Name Index 421
Subject Index 426
The Authors 437
List of Figures xii
Preface xv
Introduction to Human Resource Development 1
1 HRD as a Professional Field of Practice 3
Purpose of HRD 3
Definition of HRD 4
Origins of HRD 8
HRD Context 9
HRD Core Beliefs 9
HRD as a Discipline and a Professional Field of Practice 11
Conclusion 12
Reflection Questions 12
2 Basics of HRD 14
Points of Agreement 15
HRD Worldviews 18
HRD Process 22
Threats to a Systematic Approach 23
Ethics and Integrity Standards 24
Conclusion 26
Reflection Questions 26
3 History of HRD 27
The Beginnings: Survival Through Labor and Learning 29
100 B.C.-300 A.D.: The Influence of the Greek and Romans 30
300-1300 A.D.: The Middle Ages 32
1400-1800 A.D.: The Renaissance 35
Apprenticeship in Colonial America 38
The Industrial Era 40
Twentieth-Century Influences 44
Evolution of the Organization Development Component of HRD 47
Management and Leadership Development in the United States 52
Emergence of the HRD Research Community 57
Reflection Questions 62
Theory and Philosophy in Human Resource Development 63
4 Role of Theory and Philosophy in HRD 65
Importance of Theory 66
Recognizing the Theory-Building Journey as Scholarship 67
Requirements of a Sound Theory 69
Philosophy and Theory Underlying HRD 69
Philosophical Metaphors for HRD Theory and Practice 70
Conclusion 84
Reflection Questions 85
5 The Theory of HRD 86
The Discipline of Human Resource Development 88
Psychology and the Discipline of HRD—Contributions
and Limitations 100
Economics—Human Capital Theory and Human Resource
Development 106
System Theory as a Foundation for HRD 114
Conclusion 124
Reflection Questions 124
Perspectives of Human Resource Development 125
6 Paradigms of HRD 127
Overview of HRD Paradigms 128
Debates About Learning and Performance 130
Philosophical Views of Learning and Performance 131
Learning Paradigm of HRD 134
Performance Paradigm of HRD 137
Reconciling the Two Paradigms 145
Conclusion 147
Reflection Questions 147
7 Perspectives on Learning in HRD 149
Metatheories of Learning 150
Middle-Range Learning Models at the Individual Level 158
Middle-Range Learning Models at the Organizational Level 171
Conclusion 177
Reflection Questions 177
8 Perspectives on Performance in HRD 178
Disciplinary Perspectives on Performance 179
Individual-Level Performance Models 184
Multilevel Performance Models 188
Conclusion 200
Reflection Questions 200
Developing Human Expertise through Personnel Training and
Development 201
9 Overview of Personnel Training and Development 203
Views of T&D 204
Key T&D Terms 208
The General T&D Process 210
Instructional Systems Development (ISD) 211
Training for Performance System (TPS) 211
T&D Roles and Responsibilities 222
Comparison of Selected T&D Models 224
Conclusion 226
Reflection Questions 226
10 The Nature of Human Expertise 227
Operational Definitions of Expertise and Competence 228
The Rationale for an Operational Definition of Expertise 228
The Theoretical Perspectives of Expertise 230
The Formulation of an Operational Definition of Human Expertise 236
The Implications for HRD 239
Conclusion 241
Reflection Questions 241
11 Personnel Training and Development Practices: From Individuals
to Organizations 242
Variations in T&D Practices 243
Core T&D Practices 244
Individual-Focused T&D Practices 246
Group-Focused T&D Practices 248
Organization-Focused T&D Practices 252
Conclusion 254
Reflection Questions 255
Unleashing Human Expertise through
Organization Development 257
12 Overview of Organization Development 259
Views of OD 260
Key OD Terms 269
The General OD Process 272
Action Research (Problem-Solving Method) 273
Organization Development for Performance System 275
Comparison of Core OD Models 280
Conclusion 282
Reflection Questions 283
13 The Nature of the Change Process 284
Definitions of Change in HRD 285
Core Dimensions of Change 287
Change Outcomes 290
Overarching Perspectives on Change 291
Fundamental Steps of Change 296
Resistance to Change 297
Focused Theoretical Perspectives on Change 301
Stages of the Organizational Change Leadership Process 314
Conclusion 315
Reflection Questions 316
14 Organization Development Practices: From Organizations
to Individuals 317
Variations in OD Practices 318
Core OD Practices 320
Organization-Focused OD Practices 321
Work Process-Focused OD 324
Group-Focused OD 328
Individual-Focused OD 329
Conclusion 332
Reflection Questions 332
Human Resource Development in the 21st Century 333
15 Strategies for Advancing HRD 335
Schools of Strategic Thinking 336
The Strategic Roles of Human Resource Development 339
Adopting a Strategic HRD Perspective 346
Scenario Building Plus Strategic Planning 351
Conclusion 356
Reflection Questions 357
16 Accountability in HRD 358
The Program Evaluation Approach to Accountability 359
The Metrics Approach to Accountability 368
Meeting the Accountability Challenge 377
Reflection Questions 378
17 Globalization and Technology Challenges to HRD 379
Globalization Challenge to HRD 380
Technology Challenge to HRD 382
Conclusion 385
Reflection Questions 385
References 387
Name Index 421
Subject Index 426
The Authors 437
List of Figures
Basic Systems Model 17
HRD in Context of the Organization and Environment 19
Andragogy in Practice 20
Nine Performance Variables 21
The Psychological Life Span 71
Theory-Research-Development-Practice Cycle 84
Model of Human Resource Development within the Organization and
Environment 91
The Theoretical Foundations of Human Resource Development 93
Foundational Psychological Theories and Their Contribution
to HRD 102
Performance Domains and Metrics 107
A Model of Human Capital Theory 110
A Cross-section of the Systems Leg: Contributions of
System Theory 117
Current Limitations of System Theory as a Foundation for HRD 123
Comparison of the Learning and Performance Paradigms 129
Five Orientations to Learning 151
The Information-Processing Model 154
Process Elements of Andragogy 160
Andragogy in Practice Model 162
Individual Learner Differences 166
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model 167
Reconceptualized Informal and Incidental Learning Model 170
Watkins and Marsick’s Learning Organization Action Imperatives 175
Learning Organization Performance Model 176
Perspectives on Domain of Performance 179
Campbell’s Job Performance Components 185
Gilbert’s Behavior Engineering Model 187
Rummler and Brache’s (1995) Performance Model 189
Questions at Each Level of the Rummler an Brache Model 190
Swanson’s Performance Diagnosis Matrix 194
Cummings and Worley’s Organization Development Performance
Model 195
Holton’s Integrated Taxonomy of Performance Domains 196
Integrated View of Performance Domains, Outcomes, and Drivers 200
Swanson’s Taxonomy of Performance 205
Marsick and Watkins’s Informal and Incidental Learning Model 207
The Model of Interservice Procedures for Instructional Systems
Development 212
Training for Performance System 213
Steps within the Process Phases of the Training for Performance
System 214
Organizational Diagnosis Process 215
Documenting Workplace Expertise 215
Training Strategy Model 216
The Basic Components of Expertise 233
Competence of a Subset of Expertise 238
The Limitations of Competence 240
Analyzing Systems Tasks 251
Scrap and Rework Chart for a Fortune 100 Food-Processing Company
before and after Implementing the TPS 252
Process-Referenced Expertise 253
Performance Roundtable 255
Organization Development Definitions 261
Ten Key Dependent Variables from Definitions of Organizational
Development 267
Strategic Organizational Planning (SOP) 270
Definitions of Key OD Terms 270
Action Research Model 274
Organization Development for Performance System 277
Types of Organizational Change 290
Porras and Silvers’s Model of Change Outcomes 292
Process Theories of Organizational Development and Change 296
Three-Step Model Comparison 298
Possible Causes of Resistance to Change 299
Relationship Map for Computec, Inc. 303
The Rummler-Brache Process Improvement and Management
Methodology 304
13.8 Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change 305
13.9 Adopter Categories 306
13.10 The Three Universal Processes of Managing for Quality 308
13.11 Cummings and Worley’s Five Stages of Change 314
13.12 Kotter’s Eight Stages of Change 315
The OD Cube: A Scheme for Classifying OD Intervention 319
Shewart’s Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle 325
Process Improvement and Process Innovation 326
High-Level Depiction of the Process Innovation 326
The Five Phases of Benchmarking Process 327
Cultural Values and Organization Customs 330
Ten Schools of Strategic Thinking 336
Strategic Organizational Planning (SOP) 353
Human Resource Development’s Contribution in Supporting and
Shaping SOP 354
Percentage of Programs and Organizations Using Each Level of
Evaluation 362
ASTD Training Metrics 369
Skandia Corp. Development Metrics 373
Development Metrics from the Intangible Asset Monitor 373
Human Resource Development Metrics 375
Human resource development (HRD) is a very large field of practice and a relatively young academic discipline. Furthermore, HRD is deeply concerned about
the dynamic issues of individual and organizational change. Such a profession is
in need of a complete and thoughtful foundational text. That is the purpose of
this book.
The intention is that this foundation book will serve the needs of both practitioners and academics for the purpose of adding clarity to their professional
journeys. While we have a personal preference as to the purpose and primary
means of doing HRD work, the attempt has been to provide a fair review of the
range of major views that exist in the profession.
This is not a principles-of-practice book. Many books in HRD outline their
version of “best practices” but do not probe more deeply to the underlying foundations of practice. This book does the opposite. For the most part, we define the
underlying foundations while providing an overview of practice. Readers who
seek a deeper understanding of core models that undergird best practice; who
seek to understand the history and philosophies in HRD; who want to think
more deeply about learning, performance, and change; and who prefer to be reflective about their practice rather than blindly follow the latest formulas will
find this book a refreshing and thoughtful explication of the field.
Because the discipline of HRD is so young, there has been little work to define the foundations of the field. Our struggle with this book has been to draw
boundaries without building walls. For us this book continues the conversation
about the foundations of the field. In a discipline as young as HRD, a consensus
about foundations will be a work in progress for many years.
This book is directed toward several audiences. First, it is designed for university courses in HRD. We argue that every HRD academic program needs a
course that teaches the foundations of the field. Second, HRD researchers will
find the book thought-provoking and useful as a guide to core research issues.
Third, it is written for reflective practitioners who actively seek to lead the field as
it grows and matures. Finally, almost every practitioner will find parts of the
book that will add depth to their practice.
The seventeen chapters of the book are organized into six parts. The first
part, “Introduction to Human Resource Development,” establishes a basic understanding as to what HRD is, the general HRD model and process it relies on to do
its work, and the history of HRD. Part Two, “Theory and Philosophy in Human
Resource Development,” provides the critical theoretical and philosophical foundations of HRD. Both of these perspectives have generally been missing among
HRD professionals and are believed to be essential for understanding and advancing the field. The third part is titled “Perspectives of Human Resource
Development,” and it explicates the learning and performance paradigms of
HRD and associated models within each. An attempt is made in this section to
clarify the learning-performance perspectives and their logical connection.
The next part, “Developing Human Expertise through Personnel Training and
Development,” captures the essence of the personnel training and development
component of HRD as well as the nature of human expertise. Illustrations of personnel training and development practice that exist in host organizations are presented along with variations in core thinking, processes, interventions, and tools.
Part Five, “Unleashing Human Expertise through Organization Development,”
describes the essence of the organization development component of HRD as
well as the nature of the change process. This section presents examples of organization development as well as variations in core thinking, processes, interventions, and tools.
The sixth and final part is titled “Human Resource Development in the
Twenty-first Century” and serves as a springboard into the future based on best
practices and identification of the twenty-first-century challenges to HRD. Major
issues for HRD—strategic roles of HRD, accountability in HRD, and the globalization and technology challenges to HRD—are carefully explained.
Our sincere thanks go to the many HRD scholars throughout the world and
their good work. They have made this book possible. We especially thank several
of our colleagues for allowing us to include portions of their work in this book as
well as for their critical review of the full manuscript: Richard W. Herling (chapter 10), Sharon S. Naquin (chapter 16), Wendy E. A. Ruona (chapter 5), Richard
J. Torraco (chapters 5 and 15), and Karen E. Watkins (chapter 4). Additional critical reviews were provided by K. Peter Kuchinke, Susan A. Lynham, and Michael
J. Marquardt. Our organizational partners also deserve recognition. We are grateful
for the support we receive from the Academy of Human Resource Development,
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Louisiana State University, and the University of
Richard A. Swanson
Elwood F. Holton III
Introduction to Human
Resource Development
This first section establishes a basic understanding as to what HRD
is, the basics of HRD that it relies on to do its work, and the history
of HRD.
1 HRD as a Professional Field of Practice
2 Basics of HRD
3 History of HRD
This page intentionally left blank
HRD as a Professional
Field of Practice
Purpose of HRD
Definition of HRD
Origins of HRD
HRD Context
HRD Core Beliefs
HRD as a Discipline and a Professional Field of Practice
Reflection Questions
Human resource development (HRD) is a relatively young academic discipline
but an old well-established field of practice. The idea of human beings purposefully developing, in anticipation of being able to improve conditions, seems almost part of human nature. HRD theory and practice are deeply rooted in this
developing and advancing perspective.
This first chapter serves to highlight briefly the purpose, definition, origins,
context, and core beliefs of HRD. These highlights are meant to provide an initial
understanding of HRD and an advanced organizer for the book. The chapters
that follow fully explore the depth and range of thinking within the theory and
practice of HRD.
HRD is about adult human beings functioning in productive systems. The purpose
of HRD is to focus on the resource that humans bring to the success equation—
both personal success and organizational success. The two core threads of HRD are
(1) individual and organizational learning and (2) individual and organizational
performance (Ruona, 2000; Watkins & Marsick, 1996; Swanson, 1996a). Some
view learning and performance as alternatives or rivals, while most see them as
partners in a formula for success. Thus, assessment of HRD successes or results
can be categorized into the domains of learning and performance. In all cases the
intent is improvement.
HRD has numerous definitions. Throughout the book, we will continue to reflect
on alternative views of HRD to allow readers an exposure to the range of thinking in the profession. The definition we choose to support is as follows:
HRD is a process for developing and unleashing human expertise through organization development and personnel training and development for the purpose of
improving performance.
It is useful to recognize that alternative definitions of HRD have been presented over the years. For example, a recent definition took an inclusive international perspective of HRD that finds HRD functioning as an agent of societal and
national development, not just focused on organizations. It reads as follows:
“Human Resource Development is any process or activity that, either initially or
over the long term, has the potential to develop adults’ work-based knowledge,
expertise, productivity, and satisfaction, whether for personal or group/team
gain, or for the benefit of an organization, community, nation, or, ultimately, the
whole of humanity” (McLean & McLean, 2000). Figure 1.1 provides a historical
summary of the HRD definitions found in the literature through 1998
(Weinberger, 1998).
Figure 1.1
Human Resource Development Definition Summary
“HRD is a series of
organized activities
conducted within a
specified time and
designed to produce
behavioral change”
(p. 3).
Behavioral change;
adult learning
“HRD focus is on the
central goal of developing
human potential in
every aspect of lifelong
Definition of HRD 5
and personal
“HRD is a systematic
expansion of people’s
work-related abilities,
focused on the attainment
of both organization and
personal goals” (p. 188).
“Training and development Training and
is identifying, assessing and— development
through planned learning—
helping develop the key
competencies which enable
individuals to perform current
or future jobs” (p. 25).
and Lincoln
Discipline of HRD is the
study of how individuals
and groups in organizations
change through learning.
and Wiggs
“HRD is a comprehensive
Formal and
learning system for the
informal adult
release of the organization’s learning;
human potentials—a
system that includes both
vicarious (classroom, mediated, simulated) learning
experiences and experiential,
on-the-job experiences that
are keyed to the organization’s
reason for survival” (p. 5).
System; economic;
HRD is a process of improv- Organizational
ing an organization’s perperformance
formance through the
capabilities of its personnel.
HRD includes activities dealing with work design, aptitude,
expertise, and motivation.
philosophical; system
Human performance
technology is the developand individual
ment of human performance performance
systems and the management of the resulting
systems, using a systems
approach to achieve organizational and individual goals.
Adult learning
Figure 1.1
“HRD consists of programs
and activities, direct and
indirect, instructional
and/or individual that
positively affect the development of the individual and
the productivity and profit
of the organization” (p. 1).
Training and
Economic; system;
“HRD is the integrated use
of training and development,
career development and
organizational development
to improve individual and
organizational effectiveness”
(p. 7).
Training and
system; economic
“HRD is the field of study
and practice responsible for
the fostering of a long-term,
work-related learning
capacity at the individual,
group and organizational
level of organizations. As
such, it includes—but is not
limited to—training, career
development and organizational development”
(p. 427).
Learning capacity
training and
development; career
system; economic;
Gilley and
“HRD is organized learning Learning activities;
activities arranged within
an organization to improve improvement
performance and/or personal
growth for the purpose of
improving the job, the
individual and/or the
organization” (p. 5).
system; economic;
Nadler and
“HRD is organized learning
experiences provided by
employees within a specified
period of time to bring
about the possibility of
performance improvement
and/or personal growth”
(p. 6).
R. Smith
Definition of HRD 7
D. Smith
“HRD is the process of
determining the optimum
methods of developing and
improving the human
resources of an organization
and the systematic improvement of the performance
and productivity of
employees through training,
education and development
and leadership for the mutual
attainment of organizational
and personal goals” (p. 16).
“HRD is the study and
practice of increasing the
learning capacity of individuals, groups, collectives and
organizations through the
development and application of learning-based
interventions for the purpose
of optimizing human and
organizational growth and
effectiveness” (p. 179).
and Engel
HRD skills include developing a learning climate,
designing training programs,
transmitting information
and experience, assessing
results, providing career
counseling, creating
organizational change, and
adapting learning materials.
and Watkins
“HRD as a combination
of training, career development, and organizational
development offers the
theoretical integration need
to envision a learning
organization, but it must
also be positioned to act
strategically throughout
the organization” (p. 355).
Training and
system; economic;
Figure 1.1
“HRD is a process of
developing and unleashing
human expertise through
organization development
and personnel training
and development for the
purpose of improving
performance” (p. 208).
Training and
development and
improvement at
the organization,
work process, and
individuals levels
Source: Weinberger (1998, pp. 77–79). Used with permission.
You can think of HRD in more than one way. Our preferred definition of
HRD describes HRD as a process. Using the process perspective, HRD can be
thought of as both a system and a journey. This perspective does not inform us as
to who does HRD or where it resides in the organization. At the definitional level,
it is useful to think about HRD as a process and specifically as a process open to
engaging different people at different times and to locating HRD in different
places inside and outside the host organization.
Another way to talk about HRD is to refer to it as a department, function,
and job. It can be thought of as an HRD department or division in a particular
organization with people working as HRD managers, HRD specialists, and so
forth. Furthermore, these people work in HRD spaces called HRD centers,
training rooms, retreat centers, and corporate universities. HRD can also be
identified in terms of the context and content it supports—for example, insurance sales training and insurance sales organization development. Even with
these department, function job, and physical space titles, HRD can also be defined as a process.
We have identified two major realms of focus within HRD. One is organization development (OD); the other is personnel training and development (T&D).
As implied by their names, OD primarily focuses at the organization level and
connects with individuals, while T&D primarily focuses on individuals and connects with the organization. The realms of career development, quality, and performance improvement are important extensions of HRD theory and practice.
It is easy to logically connect the origins of HRD to the history of humankind and
the training required to survive or advance. While HRD is a relatively new term,
training—the largest component of HRD—can be tracked back through evolu-
HRD Core Beliefs 9
tion of the human race. Chapter 3 on the field’s history provides the long-range
view of the profession. For now, it is important to recognize the massive development effort that took place in the United States during World War II as the origin
of contemporary HRD. Under the name of the “Training within Industry” project
(Dooley, 1945), this massive development effort gave birth to systematic (1) performance-based training, (2) improvement of work processes, and (3) the improvement of human relations in the workplace—contemporary HRD.
The context in which HRD functions is almost always within a host organization.
The organization can be a corporation, business, industry, government agency, or
a nonprofit organization—large or small. The host organization is a system having a mission with mission-driven goals and outputs. In an international context,
the host organization for HRD can be a nation. This strategic investment in HRD
at the nation level can range from maintaining high-level national workforce
competitiveness to fundamental elevation of a nation from poverty and disarray.
The host organization may also be a multinational or global organization with
operations in many continents and many nations. Such complex organizations can
both affect the structure of HRD and be the focus of HRD work. HRD has traditionally been sensitive to culture within an organization and between organizations. Making the transition to global issues has been relatively easy for HRD.
HRD can be thought of as a subsystem that functions within the larger host
system for the purpose of advancing, supporting, harmonizing, and, at times,
leading the host system. Take, for example, a company that produces and sells
cars to customers. Responsible HRD would be ever vigilant to this primary focus
of the company and see itself as supporting, shaping, or leading the various elements of the complex automobile organizational system in which it functions.
Much more will be said about this contextual reality of HRD in the following
chapters. For now, it is important to think about the great variations in how
HRD fits into any one organization as well as the variation among the many
types of organizations that exist in society. This complexity is compounded by
the cultural differences from region to region and nation to nation in which
HRD functions. It is an interesting and exciting profession!
HRD professionals, functioning as individuals or workgroups, rarely reveal their
core beliefs. This is not to say that they do not have core beliefs. The reality is that
most HRD professionals are busy, action-oriented people who have not taken the
time to articulate their beliefs. Yet, almost all decisions and actions on the part of
HRD professionals are fundamentally influenced by subconscious core beliefs.
The idea of core beliefs will be discussed in a number of places throughout
this book. We will reveal for now one set of HRD core beliefs and a brief interpretation of each for the purpose of providing an initial understanding of what
motivates and frames the HRD profession.
1. Organizations are human-made entities that rely on human expertise to establish and achieve their goals. This belief acknowledges that organizations are changeable and vulnerable. Organizations have been created by
humankind and can soar or crumble, and HRD is intricately connected
to the fate of any organization
2. Human expertise is developed and maximized through HRD processes and
should be done for the mutual long- and/or short-term benefits of the sponsoring organization and the individuals involved. HRD professionals have
powerful tools available to get others to think, accept, and act. The ethical concern is that these tools not been used for exploitation but rather
for the benefit of all.
3. HRD professionals are advocates of individual/group, work process, and organizational integrity. HRD professionals typically have a very privileged
position of accessing information that transcends the boundaries and
levels of individuals, groups, work processes, and the organization.
Getting rich information and seeing things that others may not have a
chance to see also carries a responsibility. At times harmony is required,
and at other times the blunt truth is required.
Gilley and Maycunich (2000, pp. 79–89) have set forth a set of principles that
guide the HRD. They contend that effective HRD practice

integrates eclectic theoretical disciplines;
is based on satisfying stakeholders’ needs and expectations;
is responsive but responsible;
uses evaluation as a continuous improvement process;
is designed to improve organization effectiveness;
relies on relationship mapping to enhance operational efficiency;
is linked to the organization’s strategic business goals and objectives;
is based on partnerships;
is results oriented;
assumes credibility as essential;
utilizes strategic planning to help the organization integrate vision, mission, strategy, and practice;
relies on the analysis process to identify priorities;
HRD as a Discipline and a Professional Field of Practice 11

is based on purposeful and meaningful measurement; and
promotes diversity and equity in the workplace.
Most sets of principles are based on core beliefs that may or may not be made explicit. The pressures for stating principles of practice are greater than for stating overarching core beliefs. Both have a place and deserve serious attention by the profession.
The HRD profession is large and widely recognized. As with any applied field
that exists in a large number and variety of organizations, HRD can take on a variety of names and roles. This can be confusing to those outside the profession
and even sometimes confusing to those in the profession. We take the position
that this variation is not always bad. We see this book, and HRD, embracing the
thinking underlying

training and development,
employee development,
technical training,
management development,
executive and leadership development,
human performance technology,
organization development, and
organizational learning.
Thus, practitioners who work in HRD may have varying titles such as manager of management development, organization development specialist, and director of technical training.
In addition, HRD roles can span the organization such as the chief learning officer, director of organizational effectiveness, or director of executive development.
They can also fit within a subunit such as manager of sales training, HRD coordinator (at a particular company location), or bank teller training specialist.
Furthermore, a very large contingent in organizations is doing HRD work as part
of their non-HRD jobs. For these people, HRD work is part of their larger job. It is
almost impossible to calculate the total organizational commitment to HRD.
Reports of chief executive officers leading executive development programs and
shipping clerks doing on-the-job training of new employees are commonplace.
Efforts at analyzing the total financial commitment to HRD have been elusive.
Estimates in the United States have led enormous financial numbers spent annually
to conceptual comparisons. For example, it is estimated that the money spent on
HRD in the workplace each year exceeds all the money spent on public education—
kindergarten through universities—in the same time period. By any assessment,
HRD is a huge profession with a huge annual expenditure.
We also see HRD as overlapping with the theory and practice underlying
other closely linked domains, including the following:

Career development
Organizational and process effectiveness
Performance improvement
Strategic organizational planning
Human resource management (HRM)
Human resources (HR)
Probably the most apparent connection is with human resources (HR). HR
can be conceived of as having two major components—HRD and HRM. As an
umbrella term, HR is often confused with HRM. Thus, many HR departments
are actually limited to HRM goals and activities such as hiring, compensation,
and personnel compliance issues. Even when HRD and HRM are managed under
the HR title, their relative foci tend to be fairly discrete.
The practice of HRD is dominated by positive intentions for improving the expertise and performance of individuals, work groups, work processes, and the
overall organization. Most observers suggest that HRD evokes common sense
thinking and actions. This perspective has good and bad consequences. One
good consequence is the ease with which people are willing to contribute and
participate in HRD processes. One bad consequence is that many of the people
working in the field have little more than common sense to rely on.
The ultimate importance of this book is to reveal the underlying thinking
and supporting evidence that allow HRD professionals to accept and apply
sound theories and tools confidently. Such a foundation has the potential of ridding the profession of frivolous and invalid armchair theories and faddish practices. Foundational HRD theory and practices are the focus of this book.
1. Identify a definition of HRD presented in this chapter that makes the
most sense to you and explain why.
Reflection Questions 13
2. Identify a definition of HRD presented in this chapter that makes the
least sense to you and explain why.
3. What would you consider to be part of HRD and not part of HRD?
4. Of the three HRD core beliefs presented in this chapter, which one is
closest to your beliefs? Why?
5. Based on the ideas presented in this chapter, what is it about HRD that
interests you the most?
Basics of HRD
Points of Agreement
Goal of Improvement
Problem Orientation
Systems Thinking
HRD Worldview
HRD and Its Environment
Learner Perspective
Organizational Perspective
Global Context
HRD Process
Process Phases of HRD
Interplay between the Phases of the HRD Process
Threats to a Systematic Approach
Turning the HRD Process into an Event
The Rate of Change
Characteristics of the Key Players
Ethics and Integrity Standards
Reflection Questions
There is no one way to view HRD or to go about the work of HRD. In this chapter we will present some of the basic HRD underpinnings as a further orientation
to HRD. The selection of HRD basics in this chapter is meant to illustrate, not to
be exhaustive. Like chapter 1, this Chapter provides a basic framework for understanding HRD. You should be prepared to expand on the thoughts in this chapter as you progress through the book. For now these basics help to orient readers
Points of Agreement 15
who are new to HRD and serve to refresh the thinking of those already familiar
with the profession.
As with any field of theory and practice, there are rival views and intense debates
as to the importance of rival views or those differences. Pointing out differences
is important. Even more important is to point out the agreements. It is the agreements that provide the solid core of HRD theory and practice. In contrast, the
differences create the tension required for serious reflection and growth among
scholars and reflective practitioners.
HRD is an evolving discipline, which makes for exciting debates within
the profession. It is important for those engaging in and listening to these debates not to lose sight of their points of agreement. Three overriding points of
agreement include the goal of improvement, a problem orientation, and systems thinking.
Goal of Improvement
The idea of improvement overarches almost all HRD definitions, models, and
practices. To improve means “to raise to a more desirable or more excellent quality or condition; make better” (American Heritage Dictionary, 1993, p. 684). The
improvement ideas of making positive change, attaining expertise, developing excellent quality, and making things better are central to HRD. This core goal of
improvement is possibly the single most important idea in the profession and the
core motivator of HRD professionals.
The HRD profession is focused on making things better and creating an improved future state. Examples include everything from helping individuals learn
and master new content to helping organizations determine their strategic direction. There is a core debate among HRD professionals as to the purpose of HRD
being either learning or performance. For example, Krempl and Pace (2001) contend that HRD “goals should clearly link to business outcomes” (p. 55), while
Bierema (1996) states that “valuing development only if it contributes to productivity is a view point that has perpetuated the mechanistic model of the past three
hundred years” (p. 24). It is interesting to listen more closely to each side and to
discover that learning is seen as an avenue to performance and that performance
requires learning. In both cases there is the overarching concern for improvement.
Problem Orientation
HRD is problem oriented. A problem can be thought of as “a situation, matter, or
person that presents perplexity or difficulty” (American Heritage Dictionary,
1993, p. 1090). It is these perplexing or difficult situations, matters, and people
that justify HRD and ignite the HRD process. In that HRD professionals see
themselves as constructive and positive agents, some do not want to talk about
their work in the language of problems. Essentially, their view is that there is a
present state and a future desirable state, and the gap between is the opportunity
(or problem).
At times HRD professionals know more about the present state than the desired future state, and at other times they know more about the desired future
state than the actual present state. HRD critics often say that HRD practitioners
know more about what needs to be done than they know about either the present or desired states. Other critics would say that many HRD people are more interested in their programs and activities than in the requirements of their host
organization. These criticisms are summarized as “having a solution in search of
problem” and “a program with no evidence of results.”
With all the various tools and techniques reported in the HRD literature, each
having its own jargon, it is useful to think generally about HRD as a problemdefining and problem-solving process. HRD professionals have numerous strategies for defining the problem and even more strategies for going about solving
the problem (techniques for making things better). A core idea within HRD is to
think of it being focused on problems for the purpose of improvement. (More
positive terms to use would be opportunity or requirements—as in improvement
opportunities or improvement requirements.)
Systems Thinking
HRD professionals talk about systems views and systems thinking. They think
this way about themselves and the organizations they serve. Systems thinking is
basic to HRD theory and practice. It is described as “a conceptual framework, a
body of knowledge and tools that have been developed over the past fifty years to
make full patterns clearer, and to help us see how to change them effectively”
(Senge, 1990, p. 7). Systems thinking is an outgrowth of system theory. General
system theory was first described by Boulding (1956) and Bertalanffy (1962) with
a clear antimechanistic view of the world and the full acknowledgment that all
systems are ultimately open systems—not closed systems.
The basic system theory model includes the (1) inputs, (2) processes, and (3)
outputs of a system as well as a feedback loop. Furthermore, basic system theory
acknowledges that the system is influenced by its larger surrounding system or
environment (see Figure 2.1).
This is referred to as an open system or a system that is capable of being influenced by forces external to the system under focus. These systems ideas provide the basis for many practical HRD tools used for identifying improvement
problems (opportunities) and for taking action.
Systems thinking allows HRD to view itself as a system and to view its host
or sponsoring organizations as a system. When HRD professionals think of HRD
as a system, they generally talk about HRD being a subsystem within a larger or-
Points of Agreement 17
Figure 2.1
Basic Systems Model
ganizational system. Organizational analysis experts sometimes refer to subsystems as processes, and thus HRD is more often discussed as a process than a system. This is not meant to be confusing—most people simply see that a systems
view and a process view are almost the same. What can be said is that when people talk about a systems view, they are usually thinking more broadly and more
generally than when they talk about a process view. There is a point when system
and process views overlap.
Basic system theory—the root of systems thinking—informs us that there
are initial and fundamental requirements to engage in systems thinking and
analysis about systems (and processes). Just being able to respond to the following three questions in actual organizational and HRD work situations represents
a fundamental application of systems thinking in practice.
1. What is the name and purpose of the system? What systems are called and
their purposes are often points of great departure from one person to another. By naming the system, people can first agree as to what system
they are talking about. It is very interesting to have intelligent and experienced people in a room begin to talk about a situation only to find out
that the unnamed system some are talking about differs from the system
others are talking about. Furthermore, differing perspectives on the purpose of the system are almost always under contention until they are
made explicit.
2. What are the parts or elements of the system? This question throws another elementary but essential challenge to a systems thinker. We find
that people with a singular or limited worldview only see the world
through that lens. Examples we have seen are production people not seeing the customer; salespeople not seeing production; new-technology
people only seeing technology as the system rather than the larger system
of people, processes, and outputs; and legal people seeing the system as
conflictual in nature versus harmonious. With these limited views, indi-
viduals will be drawn to limited perceptions of the parts or elements of
the system that may not match reality.
3. What are the relationships between the parts? Here is the real magic of system theory—analyzing the relationships between the parts and the impact of those relationships. Even HRD experts wonder whether they ever
get it complete. Quite frankly, good analysts are the first to admit their
own shortcomings. Yet, their belief is that in the struggle to understand a
system, you end up with a better and more complete understanding of
that system. An analysis of the relationship between parts forces one to
dive deeper into understanding and explaining a system—why it works
and why it is not working. The simple analogy of putting enormous
pressure on an employee to find out whether he or she can, in fact, perform a task illustrates the point. If the person can then perform the task,
expertise is not the missing piece. Thus, the idea that people are not performing tasks well, and therefore training is needed, is unacceptable
until more is known. Workers may know how to perform the task well
but choose not to for many reasons. You probably could name several
from your own personal experience. There are numerous reasons in any
system why things happen and do not happen. Figuring these out requires more than superficial analysis or metaphoric analogy. System
theory is basic.
The good news is that HRD professionals almost always have a view of the world.
The bad news is that they rarely articulate it and systematically operationalize it
for themselves, their colleagues, and their clients. Years ago, Zemke and Kerlinger
(1982, pp. 17–25) implored HRD professionals to have general mental models for
the purpose of being able to figure out the complexity and context surrounding
HRD work.
HRD and Its Environment
Figure 2.2 contains a worldview of HRD in context of the organization and environment. This holistic model positions HRD as a five-phase system or process
paralleling the other processes in the organization. The organizational system
and the processes within each have their inputs, work processes, and outputs. The
environment in which organizational system functions is also identified and illustrated. The organizational system is seen to have its unique mission and strategy, organization structure, technology, and human resources. The larger
environment is characterized by its economic, political, and cultural forces. As
expected, this is an open system where the influence of any component can slide
up and down the levels of this model—from the global economy down to the na-
HRD Worldviews 19
• Economic Forces • Political Forces • Cultural Forces
Strategy • Organization Structure • Technology • Human Resources
• Mission
Propose Create Implement
Figure 2.2
HRD in Context of the Organization and Environment
ture of an executive development program sponsored by a particular HRD department in a specific company.
Learner Perspective
Other worldviews that gain support in HRD include a view of the organization as
a productive enterprise and individuals as learners and contributors. Figure 2.3
stems from the original work of Malcolm Knowles, who is considered to be the
father of adult learning or andragogy. This worldview of andragogy in practice
places adult learning principles into the context of adult life through the perspectives of (1) individual–situation differences and (2) the goals-purposes for learning. In Figure 2.3 you see the six adult learning principles enveloped by these
contextual issues that impact learning. The worldview related to the adult learner
is concerned with the learning process within the context of the learning purpose
and situation (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 1998).
Organizational Perspective
The organizational worldview perspective is represented here by the work of
Rummler and Brache (1995). In their matrix of Nine Performance Variables, the
dominance of the organization and its need to perform are acknowledged (see
Figure 2.4). Included are three performance levels: organization, work process,
and individual performance. This worldview argues for the organization that
Goals and Purposes for Learning
Individual and Situational Differences
Core Adult Learning Principles
Subject-Matter Differences
3. Prior Experience of the Learner
• resource
• mental models
4. Readiness to Learn
• life related
• developmental task
Societal Growth
2. Self-Concept of the Learner
• autonomous
• self-directing
Situational Differences
Institutional Growth
1. Learner’s Need to Know
• why
• what
• how
5. Orientation to Learning
• problem centered
• contextual
6. Motivation to Learn
• intrinsic value
• personal payoff
Individual Learner Differences
Individual Growth
Figure 2.3
Andragogy in Practice (Source: Knowles, Swanson, & Holton, 1998.)
reaches to the individual, while the learner perspective has the individual dominating and reaching to the organization. The organization performance view
takes the general stance that good people are working in bad systems. For example, the quality improvement expert, W. Edwards Deming, estimated that 90 percent of the problems that might be blamed on individuals in the workplace were
a result of having them working in bad processes or systems. He fundamentally
believed in human beings and their capacity to learn and perform. His goal was
to focus on the system structure and processes that got in the way of learning
and performance.
HRD Worldviews 21
Figure 2.4
Nine Performance Variables (Source: Rummler & Brache, 1995. Used with
Global Context
The global context in which we all function has fundamentally changed. Political,
economic, and cultural forces have shifted in the last decade and continue to
shift. The outer rim of concerns for most HRD professionals—those things that
happened far away in other nations—are now part of standard considerations.
HRD fortunately has had a tradition of cultural sensitivity as it has worked from
region to region and from one work group to another, resulting in a demand for
HRD expertise in the globalization process.
McLean and McLean (2001) have hypothesized that HRD is an important
factor in the inevitable move to globalization. They note that while globalization is not new, its present demands are so intense that it fundamentally
changes the way and rate at which change occurs. Globalization “enables the
world to reach into individuals, corporations, and nation-states farther, faster,
deeper, and cheaper than ever before” (Freidman, 2000, p. 9). One framework
for HRD to use in dealing with globalization is to adopt the following new
mindsets (Rhinesmith, 1995):
1. Gather global trends on learning, related technology, training, and organization development to improve the competitive edge.
2. Think and work through contradictory needs resulting from paradoxes
and confrontations in a complex global world.
3. View the organization as a process rather than a structure.
4. Increase ability to work with people having various abilities, experiences,
and cultures.
5. Manage continuous change and uncertainty.
6. Seek lifelong learning and organizational improvement on numerous
Our overall message in presenting these several worldviews is that every
HRD professional should have a worldview that allows him or her to think
through situations time and time again. Conceptual worldview models help
HRD professionals gain clarity from the complex situations they face.
Thus far we have discussed basic ideas that influence HRD. Each of these
basic ideas assists in understanding the challenges HRD faces and the strategies it
takes in facing those challenges. The ideas include

improvement as a goal of HRD,
problem orientation of HRD,
systems thinking in HRD,
worldviews for HRD, and
global context.
Based on the basic ideas in the prior section, it is rational to think of HRD as a
purposeful process or system. Thus, the general consensus regards HRD as a
process. In addition to being thought of as a process, HRD is viewed as an organizational function, a department, and a job.
Our position is that the dominant view should be of HRD as a process.
Moreover, the views of HRD as a function, department, and job are less important contextual variations.
When HRD is viewed as a process and is thought of in terms of inputs,
processes, outputs, and feedback, potential contributors and partners are not excluded. In that HRD needs to engage others in the organization to support and
carry out portions of HRD work, it is best to have the process view as the dominant view.
Most often, HRD is talked about as a process and not a system. Within HRD
there are specialized terms to describe its process elements. These elements are
most commonly called phases.
Process Phases of HRD
We have defined HRD as a process that is essentially a problem-defining and
problem-solving method. HRD and its subsets of personnel training and development (T&D) and organization development (OD) can be portrayed as
five-phase processes. Variations in the wording for the HRD, T&D, and OD
process phases capture the common thread and varying terminology. Here are all
three variations:
Threats to a Systematic Approach 23
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Phase 4
Phase 5
Interplay between the Phases of the HRD Process
The process phase view suggests that they are major stages in the HRD process and
that each phase has an important relationship crucial to achieving the desired outcomes. One of the biggest professional problems facing HRD practitioners is in honoring all phases. Studies of HRD practice reveal shortcomings at the analysis and
assessment/evaluation phases. These are the two most strategic phases of the HRD
process. The disturbing shortcomings are compounded because relationships between the phases rely on the analysis phase for direction and substance. Furthermore,
organizational commitment to HRD is dependent on positive performance results
reported at the assessment/evaluation phase (Kusy, 1984; Mattson, 2001).
Davis and Davis (1998) tell us that “the HRD movement, on its way to becoming
a serious profession, can no longer afford an atheoretical approach” (p. 41). Even
so, there are serious threats to theoretically sound and systematic HRD. Three of
the threats are discussed here briefly.
Turning the HRD Process into an Event
This is an ever-present threat to a systematic approach to HRD. The actual time
that people get together within the HRD process can become the focal point,
with the real reason for getting together being lost. Obsessions with fun-filled
training and hearing everybody’s full opinion on a matter can become an end
unto itself rather than a means to an end. An irrational concern for participant
satisfaction can also fuel the possibility of undermining the process.
The Rate of Change
The familiar saying “The faster I go, the behinder I get” haunts most HRD practitioners. The intensity of the rate of change requires more from HRD, which then
can threaten to undermine a systematic HRD process. Not enough time? It is
very tempting to eliminate the assessment or cut back on the up-front analysis
and go with your off-the-head analysis or to bypass the final assessment phase.
Characteristics of the Key Players
Sleezer (1991) informs us of the strengths and liabilities of the critical characteristics of the HRD professional, the client/decision maker, and the host organization in impacting the HRD process. These characteristics influence the
thoroughness and integrity of the overall process—for the good or detriment.
For example, an analyst overly focused on human relationships may ignore hard
organizational performance data. When the characteristics of the key players are
ignored and not managed properly, the integrity of the HRD process will likely
erode. Responsibly engaging multiple stakeholders and multiple sources of data
in the HRD process is essential to good practice and requires careful attention.
Being in the business of defining and solving problems associated with people in
dynamic organizations is challenging work. While opportunities exist for improvements, HRD as a discipline calls upon multiple theories in a manner unique to its
own purposes. HRD is focused on personnel training and development and organization development to improve processes and enhance the learning and performance of individuals, organizations, communities, and society.
HRD professionals are individuals engaged in HRD-related practice, research,
consulting, and instruction/facilitation/teaching. They strive to create a body of
research-based knowledge and to apply that knowledge to HRD in various organizational, community, and societal settings while functioning as professors, researchers, organization development consultants, trainers, managers, and leaders.
The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) has produced
Standards on Ethics and Integrity (AHRD, 1999) to provide guidance for HRD professionals engaged in practice, research, consulting, teaching, and facilitation.
Although these principles are aspirational in nature, they provide standards of conduct and set forth a common set of values. Adherence to these standards builds further definition and clarification of HRD as a profession. The primary goal of the
AHRD standards is to define more clearly a holistic balance among individuals,
groups, organizations, communities, and societies whenever conflicting needs
arise. Case studies connected to the ethics and integrity standards have also been
produced to assist in the interpretation of the standards (Aragon & Hatcher, 2001).
To ensure this balance, these standards identify a common set of values upon
which HRD professionals build their professional and research work. In addition,
the standards clarify both the general principles and the decision rules that cover
most situations encountered by HRD professionals. They have as their primary
Ethics and Integrity Standards 25
goal the welfare and protection of the individuals, groups, and organizations with
whom HRD professionals work.
In providing both the universal principles and limited decision rules to cover
many situations encountered by HRD professionals, this document is intended to be
generic and not a comprehensive, problem-solving, or procedural document. Specific
statements and solutions for special HRD-related situations will emerge from the development of case studies appended to this standard. Each professional’s personal experience as well as his or her individual and cultural values should be used to
interpret, apply, and supplement the principles and rules set forth in these pages.
The content outline for the standards follow. A full standards document is available on the AHRD Web site (
General Principles
Competence, Integrity, Professional Responsibility
Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity
Concern for Others’ Welfare
Social Responsibility
General Standards
Boundaries of Competence; Maintenance of Expertise; Basis for Research and Professional
Judgments; Description of HRD Professionals’ Work; Respecting Others; Nondiscrimination;
Exploitative Relationships; Misuse of HRD Professionals’ Work; Multiple Relationships;
Consultations and Referrals; Third Party Request for Services; Delegation to and
Supervision of Subordinates; Documentation of Professional and Research Work; Records
and Data; Fees and Financial Arrangements; Accuracy in Reports to Payers and Funding
Sources; Referrals and Fees
Research and Evaluation
Research and Evaluation in Professional Context; Data Collection Responsibility;
Compliance with Law and Standards; Institutional Approval; Informed Consent;
Incentives to Participants; Deception in Research; Interpretation and Explanation of
Research and Evaluation Results.
Advertising and Other Public Statements
Definition of Public Statements by Others; Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements;
Media Presentations
Publication of Work
Reporting of Research and Evaluation of Results; Plagiarism; Publication Credit;
Duplicate Publication of Data; Release of Data; Professional Reviewers; Ownership of
Intellectual Property
Privacy and Confidentiality
Discussions of the Limits of Confidentiality; Protection of Confidentiality; Maintenance
and Ownership of Records; Disclosures; Consultations; Confidential Information in
Databases; Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes
Teaching and Facilitating
Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Programs; Descriptions of
Programs; Accuracy, Objectivity, and Professionalism in Programs; Limitation on Training
and Instruction; Assessment of Performance
Resolution of Ethical Issues and Violations
Familiarity with Ethics; Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations; Conflicting Pressure
with Organizational Demands; Improper Complaints
To be effective over time, it is essential to have a worldview model for thinking
about how HRD fits into the milieu of an organization and society. It is also essential to have a process view of how HRD works and connects with other processes.
Taking the five-phase process view of HRD, the HRD profession has traditionally
been stronger in its middle creation and implementation phases and has been
working hard at mastering the analysis and assessment phases at each end of the
process. In pursuit of problems, improvements, and systematic practice, HRD professionals struggle to maintain high standards of ethics and integrity.
1. What is the relationship among the improvement, problem orientation,
and systems thinking within the HRD profession?
2. Identify and explain something about systems thinking in the chapter
that is new to you.
3. What, if any, is the logical connection between the figures presented in
this chapter?
4. Explain how your own general worldview(s) fits with the HRD in the
context of the organization and environment worldview.
5. Why are integrity and ethics important to HRD?
History of Human Resource
The Beginnings: Survival through Labor and Learning
The Use of Tools and Mutual Cooperation
100 B.C.–300 A.D.: The Influence of the Greeks and Romans
The Greek Disdain for Menial Work
The Pragmatic View of the Romans
300–1300 A.D.: The Middle Ages
Monastic School Influence
The Apprenticeship Method
Organization of Merchant and Craft Guilds
1400–1800 A.D.: The Renaissance
Secular Education for Girls and Boys
Sensory Learning
Experience, the Best Teacher
Manual Training
Apprenticeship in Colonial America
European Influence
Early Leaders
The Industrial Era
The Decline of Apprenticeship
Training and Corporation Schools
Public Education and Training
The Chautauqua Movement
The Role of Government in Training
Twentieth-Century Influences
The Early 1900s
The World Wars
Evolution of the Organization Development Component
of HRD
Shift to the Human Resources School of Thought
Laboratory Training
Survey Research and Feedback
Action Research (Problem-Solving) Techniques
Tavistock Sociotechnical Systems and Quality of
Work Life
Strategic Change
Transformation of Contemporary Work Organizations
The Evolving Nature of Work
Management and Leadership Development in the
United States
Setting the Stage: American Business in the 1800s
The Struggle for Professionalization of Management:
The Depression Era: 1929–1939
The Management Development Boom: 1940–1953
The Management Reform Movement: 1953–1970
The Modern Management Era: 1970–2000
Emergence of the HRD Research Community
Early University Programs
Academy of Human Resource Development
HRD History Time Line
The history of human resource development reveals that education, training, and
organization development of all sorts are largely the products of social and economic conditions. Scott’s (1914) early characterization of education is still meaningful: “education is the attempt of a civilization to perpetuate what it believes to
be most vital in itself ” (p. 73).
Personnel training and development has a unique role in the history of the
human resource development (HRD) profession. As you will read in this chapter,
training—in the form of parent–child, master–apprentice workplace learning
models—has existed throughout all recorded history of the human race. The history of HRD helps the reader understand (1) the origins of the HRD profession,
The Beginnings: Survival through Labor and Learning 29
(2) the major developments and events, and (3) the reason why the profession is
as it now exists.
Human experience and the nature of human resource development have passed
through many stages since the beginning of the human journey. Training in its
most simple form was found among our most primitive ancestors. The development of humans was driven exclusively by the need to survive. When learning
first involved the making of simple tools from wood, stone, and fibers, primitive
humans knew still nothing about the productive use of fire and of metals.
Harnessing these elements would become critical to further development of the
human race
The context of primitive education was limited to the family or tribe, and education was a science, such as it was known at the time—informal and oftenchaotic activity. It occurred through unconscious imitation of the head of a
family or group, usually the father. Even as recently as the early twentieth century,
Monroe (1907) points out, “the father, then, becomes the one who trains the
younger generation in the formal conduct of life—in the proper way of doing
things” (p. 8). Yet despite its informality, an essential feature of education was apparent even in this most primitive form—“the fitting of the child to his physical
and social environment through the appropriation of the experience of previous
generations” (Monroe, 1907, p. 1).
The Use of Tools and Mutual Cooperation
Eventually humans gained the ability to control fire for the cooking of food, the
smelting of metals, and the making of simple mechanical and agricultural tools.
This allowed people to engage in crafts and undertake domestic activities that
were previously impossible without basic tools. It also led to a true division of
labor wherein some pursued weaving, others became carpenters, still others became stone masons, and so on.
For the first time, people began to rely on tools and on each other to meet
their needs. Indeed, humankind’s progress through the ages has been inextricably linked to the development of practical tools and securing the bonds of mutual cooperation necessary for survival. With the development of tools and bonds
of mutual cooperation came a new form of education—one characterized by
conscious imitation rather than the unconscious imitation of earlier education
(Bennett, 1926). The transfer of skill from one person to another now became a
conscious process. Learning occurred through deliberate imitation of examples
provided by one who had achieved mastery of a particular skill. Yet, education
followed no theory or system and had not yet become a rational process. Those
seeking a skill simply copied a model over and over until it could be precisely reproduced. Despite some advancement, the training of one person by another was
still a quite primitive process.
Especially during humankind’s early history, we are reminded that modest
intellectual development came almost exclusively through efforts to adapt to a
harsh physical and social environment. As Davidson (1900) states, “Human culture advances in proportion as men husband their powers by the use of implements, and by union for mutual help. Such husbandry requires higher and higher
education” (p. 25). As the history written here reveals, the education and training
needed for human progress was painfully slow in developing.
The key Roman legacy has been their ingenuity in creating the institutions
needed to carry out political and social agendas. Although Roman education
did not have the persistent influence of Greek contributions to education (e.g.,
the Socratic method of inquiry), the Roman educational infrastructure and
organization of schools continued well after the conquest and fall of the
Roman Empire.
The Greek Disdain for Menial Work
The legacy of “the golden age of Greece” has been a philosophy of education that,
unlike any culture since that of ancient Greece, is most consistent with the present notion of a liberal education. Indeed, the Greeks were the first to see education as providing an opportunity for individual development (Moore, 1936).
The Greek conception of education included many dimensions vital to individual development that are still valued today. Human inquiry into all phases of
life—nature, man, the supernatural—was an important dimension of Greek education that is today often considered the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.
The moral dimension of education, which emphasized the ethical rights and responsibilities of individuals, first found expression during the Greek era. In addition, aesthetic education and education’s role as an agent of culturation and
citizenship were first proposed by the Greeks. Above all, the Greeks viewed education as a vehicle for individual development and personal achievement.
Through education, the Greeks sought to gain the capabilities of using and even
profiting by their talents.
Despite this perspective, the Greeks did not hold the same generous view of
training in the trades and mechanical arts (Bennett, 1926). They felt disdain toward what were seen as menial occupations such as farming, cattle raising, shoemaking, smithing, and tool making. Socrates is credited with providing some
reasons for this contempt for handwork. He wrote of these trades as ruining the
100 B.C.–300 A.D.: The Influence of the Greeks and Romans 31
bodies of those who work at them, having gloomy and distasteful working conditions, allowing little time for leisure, and providing no development of the
mind or soul (Moore, 1936). With this attitude toward manual labor, it is not
surprising that training in manual arts had no place in the education of Greek
youth of the upper classes. Yet training in manual arts was not completely
shunned by the Greeks, for it was through an enduring system of apprenticeship
among the lower classes that skills were developed in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and other areas that were instrumental in the historic accomplishments of Greek civilization. Although not held in high esteem by the Greek
upper classes, apprenticeship training clearly had an important role in the development of ancient Greece.
It is difficult to overstate the influence of the Greek era on the subsequent
development of the philosophy and methods of education. It is remarkable that
the present notion of education as a means for personal and intellectual development had its roots so long ago.
In light of this rich legacy, it seems almost trivial to note that the Greeks
could not develop the infrastructure or institutions to allow a majority of their
citizens to become educated. Most ancient Greeks did not have their freedom,
and only the small minority of Greeks who were free could participate in education. A belief in the importance of education and personal development ironically coexisted with the reality of slavery.
The Pragmatic View of the Romans
The Romans adopted Greek ideals but went further by integrating them into
Roman life through the establishment of laws and institutions. Unlike the standards of excellence and harmony held by the Greeks, the Romans were a more
practical people whose judgments were based on usefulness and effectiveness.
Although their influence on education was not nearly as profound as that of the
Greeks, the Romans provide an example of how laws and political infrastructure
can be used to achieve long-term social, economic, and cultural change.
The great Roman achievements in public works, architecture, and the construction of roads and aqueducts is well known, yet there is little evidence that
the handwork and mechanical arts required for these accomplishments were valued by the Romans. Like the Greeks, the Romans relied on laborers and tradesmen to develop the infrastructure of their empire, despite the fact that manual
skills were never held in high esteem. Romans acquired these skills through family apprenticeship. An important duty of Roman fathers was the development of
practical skills and trades in their children.
The Roman Empire, like others that reached a period of great success, eventually began to decline. Roman life became more corrupt as lethargy and materialism replaced the virility and strength of character associated with early Rome.
Roman education became artificial and drained of the vitality it once had. Even
before the invasion of Rome by barbarians from the north, education provided
by the early Christian Church was gradually replacing Roman education in both
substance and spirit. The influence of Christianity on the purposes and methods
of education was to continue to grow throughout the Middle Ages.
300–1300 A.D.: THE MIDDLE AGES
The goals and methods of training continued to be influenced by the many developments that occurred during an extended period in history known as the
Middle Ages. Barlow (1967) characterizes the period spanned by the Middle Ages
in the following way: “The so-called Middle Ages account for approximately a
thousand years of history between ancient and modern. Beginning in the early
300’s and extending into the early 1300’s, the period is divided into two nearly
equal parts. The turning point between the early and later Middle Ages is marked
at 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor” (p. 18).
The influence of Christianity permeated medieval life. Although successive
imperial decrees during the fourth century made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, for all practical purposes institutional control of the
people had already passed to the Church. In the wake of the decadent Romans
and barbarous Goths and Vandals, there was a great need for the structure and
moral discipline that Christianity offered. The Church also embraced the lower
classes, which had been neglected by the pagan society of Rome and the elitist
culture of Greece.
Greco-Roman culture and education were methodically displaced by the
training and rituals of Christianity: Training in Church dogma and spiritual consciousness replaced Greek aesthetic and intellectual ideals and rigid moral training and discipline were substituted for Roman materialism. Under the
dominance of Christianity, the education of that era received a completely new
Monastic School Influence
An important element of Christian discipline and teaching is the spiritual value
of one’s own labor. This view was exemplified by the fervor and discipline of
early Christian monastic life. As the intellectual landscape became more barren
in the Middle Ages, the burden of academic learning and preserving the classics
fell almost completely to Christian monasteries.
The Christian value of labor and the role of the monastery as guardian of academic learning combined to provide an environment conducive to the advancement of manual labor and training in manual and mechanical arts. As monasteries
were intended to be separate from the secular world and as self-sufficient as possible, they operated many small-scale agricultural and industrial functions
needed to maintain an independent existence such as gardens, mills, bakeries,
and various shops for construction and maintenance. Monks and prelates skilled
300–1300 A.D.: The Middle Ages 33
in these trades directed monastery operations and provided the necessary training in agriculture, practical arts and crafts, and various building and mechanical
skills (Bennett, 1926). Practical learning, such as it was at that time, was a central
part of monastic life.
Monasteries were also the center of intellectual life and preserver of literature
and art throughout the Middle Ages. All who participated in monastic life were
taught basic reading and writing skills. In addition, monks worked tirelessly at
writing manuscripts, producing and preserving books, and developing their skills
in the arts of painting, music, and sculpture. As the skills of writing and bookmaking were held in high esteem, academic and artistic training were also an important part of monastic life.
Outside the monasteries participation in skilled labor was also the principal
means of learning new skills and improving one’s economic position. As crafts
and trades became more differentiated and specialized, apprenticeship continued
to emerge as the dominant mode of transmitting practical and technical expertise from one person to another.
The Apprenticeship Method
Apprenticeship has been a basic and persistent influence on the development of
workplace and is probably the most important nonschool institution around
which training has grown. With roots in the very beginning of recorded history,
apprenticeship training from parent to child and master to apprentice has been
the enduring of all methods for transferring knowledge and skill. Bennett (1926)
observes that up until the nineteenth century a great majority of people, even
those from the more progressive nations, received no formal schooling, and what
education they acquired was through some form of apprenticeship. This also included the professions such as law and medicine.
Davis (1978) characterizes apprenticeship as a system for preparing the young
to become expert workers. The three stages of apprenticeship—apprentice, journeyman, and master—varied in length and in sophistication of expertise developed. One began training as an apprentice for a period of about seven years
under direction of a master, one who had achieved the highest level of expertise
at a particular vocation. The master was expected to provide apprentices not only
with occupational training but also with the same moral, religious, and civic instruction that he would give his own child. The master gradually would impart
all of the “mysteries” of his craft—the generally not-so-mysterious rules, recipes,
and methods of applying basic arts and sciences to the craft—to apprentices over
the course of their apprenticeship. As a journeyman who had achieved the basic
skills and understandings of his craft, one could begin working as a day laborer,
start to earn a fixed wage, and, if mutually agreeable, work with other masters of
the craft. After another period of several years developing his skills as a journeyman, one may have mastered the competencies expected of the craft or present a
masterpiece to demonstrate his skills and achieve the level of master. A master
craftsman could set up his own business, take on apprentices, and provide instruction in the vocation.
Organization of Merchant and Craft Guilds
One of the most characteristic features of medieval life in the latter half of the
Middle Ages was the organization of merchant and craft guilds. These associations were formed among those with common interests for mutual protection
and benefit. Craftsmen and artisans organized themselves by occupation to protect themselves from substandard workmanship and low wages and selling prices.
Working hours were strictly regulated, and quality standards for products and
workmanship were established. Some guilds even prescribed the tools and methods a guild member must use to perform their trade.
By the fourteenth century, most guilds had begun offering education to
members and their children in addition to the apprenticeships by which one initially earned membership in the guild. Guild-sponsored educational activities
were of two kinds: elementary education provided by clergymen for the children
of guild members, and an apprenticeship indenture system for the sons of guild
journeymen. These were provided both as benefits to members and to further the
interests and influence of the guilds. The first craft guild for which a written
record exists is the Candlemakers’ guild of Paris in 1061 (Barlow, 1967).
As guilds maintained strict standards for the skills needed to gain membership, they were forerunners of the craft unions of today that still require a prescribed level of competence for membership. Like the guilds, today’s craft unions
also regulate the quantity and quality of work, restrict the number of new apprentices, and closely monitor wages and prices.
By the close of the thirteenth century, a restless individualism was awakening
the intellectual dormancy of the Middle Ages. The unity of medieval thought was
broken by rebellion against medieval discipline, the revival of classical learning,
and revolt against the Catholic Church known as the Protestant Reformation. In
addition, two developments facilitated the intellectual revival of the Renaissance
and eventually brought education within the reach of more than just the rich: the
use of the vernacular in writing and the invention of printing. Latin had long
been the dominant language of learning and religion, even though the great
masses of people did not understand it. Even minor progress in bringing reading
and writing skills to more people could not take place until this language barrier
had been penetrated. In the fourteenth century, books began to appear in languages more people could understand with the appearance of works such as
Dante’s The Divine Comedy and Bocaccio’s Decameron. Shortly thereafter, in
about 1450, the printing of books from type was invented. Prior to this, books
had to be meticulously copied by hand from manuscripts, a process that inhibited the widespread availability of books and other printed materials. Yet despite
these advances, the Renaissance was a great revival of learning for the few with
wealth and education. It would still be centuries before more people could begin
1400–1800 A.D.: The Renaissance 35
to enjoy the benefits of education and personal development. The most common
type of training at this time continued in roughly the same form it had always
been—the father–son or master–apprentice system.
The Renaissance heralded a new era of scientific and philosophical thinking. A
continuous stream of social, political, and scientific advances began to appear as
great minds struggled with the practical and philosophical problems of the day.
Several figures had a profound impact on historical developments, including
advancements in education and training, during and after the Renaissance. Four
such influential figures were Martin Luther, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau,
and Johan Pestalozzi. The influences of these men are examined in this history
because each has made an important and uniquely different contribution to the
development of technical training. In addition, each of these figures comes from
a somewhat different time during the period of the thirteenth through eighteenth centuries. This allows us to trace a rough chronology of educational developments as they affected technical training during this period.
Secular Education for Girls and Boys
In addition to the criticism Martin Luther (1483–1546) directed at the Roman
Catholic Church that catalyzed the Protestant Reformation, he was also critical of
the education given in monastic and ecclesiastical schools. Luther, an
Augustinian monk and professor of theology at the University of Wittenburg, abhorred the rigid discipline and harsh restrictions of church education, which he
described as “monkish tyranny.” Consequently, he proposed that religion and the
church should no longer dominate education. He felt that education should embrace both religious and secular domains and that educational reform should
come through the power of the state, although existing institutional structures
for delivering education developed through the centuries by the church should
continue to be used.
Luther’s vision of education included a remarkable notion for that period—
that education be given all people, not just the rich, and be available to girls as
well as boys! His view of education was much broader than what could be provided by the schools of his time. Education should go beyond religious training
and emphasize the classics, mathematics, logic, music, and history and science.
Sensory Learning
John Locke (1632–1704) possessed a broad range of intellectual interests and
wrote a number of important works on the many subjects in which he had expertise. He studied philosophy at Oxford and later received a degree in medicine,
which he practiced for a short time. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of
London and eventually developed a theory of education that combined practical
and moral training with intellectual training. He also produced some of the most
influential works on political thought ever written (Ebenstein, 1969). Yet it is his
two works on the philosophy and methods of education that have had a lasting
effect on the development of technical training.
In his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” Locke formulated his theory of knowledge, emphasizing experience and the perception of the senses as
important bases of knowledge. Later known as empiricism, this epistemology
shaped Locke’s ideas on what should constitute an ideal education. Locke’s Some
Thoughts on Education was written as a series of letters to a friend who had requested Locke’s advice on the education of his son. This important series of writings specifically laid out the purposes of education, how problems in educating
the young should be overcome, and, of significance to the development of technical training, what components of education should provided. Locke firmly believed that education should address the development of logical thinking and
preparation for practical life. Consequently, he wrote that an education should
include the learning of one or more manual trades, as well as physical, moral, and
intellectual training. In addition to learning the skill of drawing, Locke particularly approved of woodworking and gardening as ways in which the young could
benefit from a broader, experiential education than could be gained from books
alone. Although these were novel ideas at the time, Locke’s generous view of the
philosophy and substance of education can still be seen in the educational methods of Western nations.
Experience, the Best Teacher
The visionary ideas about education of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) appear to have grown out of his own life. In his earlier years, the restless, self-indulgent Rousseau moved from one work experience to another far more than was
acceptable for the time. He was an engraver’s apprentice, a lackey, a musician, a
seminary student, a clerk, a private tutor, a music copier, and the author of a
prize-winning thesis written for the Academy of Dijon on “Whether the progress
of the sciences and of letters has tended to corrupt or elevate morals.” The later
experience demonstrated his brilliant yet quite controversial ideas on the failures
of contemporary social progress. His ideas on the values and moral principles
that should guide the state and its obligations to the people found full expression
in the Social Contract, Rousseau’s major political treatise that was the ideological
basis for the French Revolution and an important influence on our own
Declaration of Independence.
Quite possibly through the circumstances of his own life, Rousseau firmly
believed that experience is the best teacher and that education must be formed
around the active experience of the young. Rousseau’s ideas for how education
should evolve from a rigid, book-bound process to a more natural, spontaneous
experience are found in his delightful and eloquent Emile, named for the child of
1400–1800 A.D.: The Renaissance 37
Rousseau’s imagination whose education and development Rousseau traces from
birth to marriage. In explaining Emile’s adolescent development in a section of
the work entitled “The Choice of a Trade,” Rousseau states:
[S]how him the mutual dependence of men, avoid the moral aspects and direct his attention to industry and the mechanical arts that make themselves
useful to each other. As you take him from one workshop to another, never
let him see any kind of work without putting his hands to it, and never let
him leave till he knows perfectly the reason for all that he has observed. With
that in view, set him an example by working yourself in the different occupations. To make him a master, become an apprentice. You can be sure that he
will learn more by one hour of manual labor than he will retain from a
whole day’s verbal instructions. (Boyd, 1962, p. 86)
Rousseau clearly valued handwork and the mechanical arts as a central component of the education of the young. Yet it is significant to note that as the passage cited indicates, Rousseau would have Emile learn a trade not so much for its
practical use as for its value in acquiring a broader and more meaningful education. Rousseau’s recognition of the value of technical training in educating youth
marked the beginning of a new era in education and an important contribution
to the development of technical training.
Manual Training
With the contributions to education of Johan Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827)
came further movement from the old education of the simple acquisition of
knowledge to the evolving notion of education as organic development. For the
spirit and energy of his work, and the importance of the educational principles
he proposed, Pestalozzi has been called the “father of manual training.” Pestalozzi
came from a family of modest means and self-admittedly was of no more than
average intellectual ability. Yet his contributions not only set a new course for education and technical training in Europe but were among the strongest influences on the development of education and training in the emerging American
colonies as well.
Pestalozzi concerned himself with the nature of education as a whole, and
his ideas spanned the conceptual spectrum from educational theory and philosophy, to institutional settings best suited to education to techniques for teaching
skills. According to Bennett (1926), Pestalozzi’s broad conception of education
and training grew naturally out of a number of factors: (1) his intense desire to
improve the conditions of the poor and of children in his native Switzerland; (2)
his firm belief that such improvement must come through education if it was to
be permanent; (3) his opinion that school should be closely connected with, and
prepare one for life in the home, rather than leading one away from it; (4) his interest in the natural, experiential education of Rousseau; (5) his successful use of
manual labor, tools, and objects as means for teaching traditional school subjects;
and (6) his belief that engaging children in manual labor for the primary purpose
of their development might also be used to pay for their education. Through
practices in the schools he established, Pestalozzi demonstrated that the subject
matter of education should be part of the immediate environment of the learner
and used to develop their sense perceptions and formation of judgments.
Pestalozzi’s methods demanded the analysis of subject matter into its component
parts and the use of inductive learning methods by proceeding from simple to
complex elements as the way of achieving mastery of the whole.
In his writing, Pestalozzi (1898) states, “There are two ways of instructing; either we go from words to things or from things to words. Mine is the second
method.” This simple yet powerful truth is at the core of Pestalozzi’s work, which
has had such an important effect on the development of technical training.
Pestalozzi’s important contributions to education and training were carried forward by other influential figures such as von Fellenberg, Herbart, and Froebel.
As the United States developed, apprenticeship training served a critical role in
advancing individuals and the economy.
European Influence
The Europeans who came to settle North America were people of piety and culture who had reaped the fruits of the Renaissance and Reformation and who respected the importance of education. As apprenticeship was the dominant
educational institution of the time, as it had been for centuries, the early
colonists in America brought apprenticeship with them in much the same form
as it existed in the mother country of England. But, as Seybolt (1917) points out,
because there were no guild or craft organizations in the colonies through which
apprenticeships could be established, the scope of apprenticeships became
broader and were administered by municipal authorities. Although apprenticeships were eventually to become displaced by a system of schooling in the wake
of the industrial revolution, early Americans expanded the role of apprenticeship
as the dominant method of culturation and training of those who would build
the new nation.
The English laws that provided for the apprenticeship of poor children were
primarily enacted to insure the safety and physical welfare of the poor and only
secondarily as a means of instruction. As early as 1641 colonial authorities broadened the scope of apprenticeship to emphasize its educational purpose. The
colonists wished to make apprenticeship available to all children whose education might be neglected, not just the poor. This reliance of the colonists on apprenticeship was particularly important because of the strong value placed by the
Apprenticeship in Colonial America 39
colonists on the merits of “one’s own labor.” Not only did they feel that teaching
young people practical skills and trades would be profitable to the community;
they also held Puritan beliefs in the virtue of industry and the “sin of idleness.”
The Massachusetts Bay Colony consequently enacted a comprehensive apprenticeship law for all children that required training in skills needed for a “calling”
and the development of the “ability to read and underst…
Purchase answer to see full

Why Choose Us

  • 100% non-plagiarized Papers
  • 24/7 /365 Service Available
  • Affordable Prices
  • Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
  • Will complete your papers in 6 hours
  • On-time Delivery
  • Money-back and Privacy guarantees
  • Unlimited Amendments upon request
  • Satisfaction guarantee

How it Works

  • Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
  • Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
  • Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
  • Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
  • From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.