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Human Resource Development Concept

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Everything you need to know about the concept of human resource development.

HRD means developing or trapping hidden qualities in people in order to make them accomplish new functions leading to organizational and individual goals.

Human resource development is concerned with the development and implementation of people strategies, which are integrated with corporate strategies, and ensures that the culture, values and structure of the organization, and the quality, motivation and commitment of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its goals.

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The concept of Human Resource Development (HRD) has been gaining prominence and focus in management during the last two decades.

Human resource being the most significant and active factor of production is considered to be the centre of all development processes of the economy.

Additionally, learn about the definitions, features and importance of Human Resource Development.


Concept of Human Resource Development as Defined by Eminent HRD Experts

Concept of Human Resource Development – At Macro and Micro Level

The concept of Human Resource Development (HRD) has been gaining prominence and focus in management during the last two decades. Human resource being the most significant and active factor of production is considered to be the centre of all development processes of the economy.

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While HRD has been known throughout the ages, its rediscovery as an essential element in development is necessitated by the deteriorating social conditions, increased competition and rapid technological advancements. With the proper use of mind capabilities, we hope the single inexhaustible resource of mankind will find solutions to our social and material problems.

The theme of development of human resources has .occurred during different periods at different places. Adam Smith, Karl Marx and a host of classical and modern economists have emphasised the importance of human resources and focused on labour, dexterity and skill development. World organisations, such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation, etc. apply some broad parameters to consider the quality of human resource in a country, even though controversies exist as regards the validity and acceptance of these parameters.

There have been three stages in human resource development in history. The first was the ancient, in which India was the leader. The second medieval stage, though recognized the concept of a welfare state could not make it a reality. It gave birth to feudalism and perpetrated traditionalism. During this period human development failed to cope with the faster development of material world. The third stage is modern and India has entered it with numerous problems due to foreign rule, over-population, poverty, etc.

Until India become free, human factor was neither recognised as a resource nor as a power for a long time. It was only after independence that our leaders talked of national development by building a cohesive human resource system. Some futurologists consider a change in industrial culture scenario of the twenty first century in favour of human resources rather than material resources.

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The emerging literature in the field of HRD indicates the multifaceted meaning of the term. HRD is a multi – disciplinary concept. Different authors have defined it from different angles; Economists have described it from economic angles of capital asset, labour, skill and wages. They view human resources as accumulation of capital and their effective investment. A psychologist considers HRD having psychological dimensions of attitudes, aptitude, values, intelligence, perceptions, aspirations and motivations.

Psychology provides an explanation for a variety of human behaviour and also several remedial functions through guidance, counseling etc. A sociologist’s perception of HRD moves around social relations with ingredients like family, groupies, crowds, mob, etc. An anthropologist looks at HRD keeping in view the history of humanity and focuses on several aspects of tradition, kinship, culture, myths and ceremonies. A solution is also sought for problems related to inter-racial amity and inter-cultural relationships.

From social and cultural angles the purpose of HRD is to help people to lead fuller and rich lives and to unlock the doors to modernisation. Political scientists explain HRD in the light of different political ideologies which govern different societies. The discipline of management which is the latest addition to the social sciences explains HRD from behavioural science viewpoint. Organisation behaviour theory throws light on critical behavioural problems of organisations. In management, the concept of HRD was formally introduced in 1969 by Prof. Len Nadler in America at American Society for Training and Development Conference.

The concept of HRD has its relevance at both the micro and the macro-levels in the context of improving the quality of human life. At the organisational level, it is considered to be concerned with improving the quality of workers so as to achieve the higher levels of productivity. A well accepted definition of the HRD concept at organisational level explains it as a continuous planned process by which the employees are helped to –

1. Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

2. Develop their general capabilities as individuals and discover and exploit their own inner potentials for their own and/or organisational development purposes and;

3. Develop an organisational culture in which supervisor – subordinate relationships, team work and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees.

At the macro-level, HRD is described as the core of all development efforts, in view of improving quality of life of all the human beings. The purpose of all development activities in a nation remains to improve the living conditions of its subjects. Human beings become an end of all development efforts at national level, whereas at organisational level it remains a means or resource among other resources. Therefore, it seems proper to use the term human development (HD) at macro-level and HRD at micro-level. However, the relationship between HD and HRD is quite close and reciprocal.

In organisational context, HRD process involves certain mechanisms and techniques such as performance appraisal, counseling, training organisational development, etc. to facilitate the development of human resources. Since the process is continuous the mechanisms and techniques need to be examined periodically to see whether they are promoting the process or not. Some new dimensions may be added and those which fail to serve the cause may be excluded.

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The selection of the relevant dimensions of HRD in an organisation would much depend upon the requirements of the organisation for developing its human resources. In the fast changing environment, the organisations have to develop and maintain an enabling culture to become dynamic and growth-oriented. An enabling culture is one in which employees use their initiative, take risk, experiment, and innovate and make things happen.

The purpose of HRD is to facilitate the development of such a culture in the organisation. Similarly, at the national level, the dimensions of HRD need to be reviewed periodically and adjustments made according to the change in environment. HRD dimensions are always need-oriented.

Another significant factor relating to HRD which cannot be overlooked is that HRD systems are deeply interlinked with the social, economic and political systems. Since human beings cannot be isolated from the social, cultural, political and economic systems in which they live and work, therefore, any HRD programme to be adopted at macro or micro level, needs to be fully integrated with all these systems.

In the Indian context, for example, we know the society is deeply religious, caste conscious, the teachings of the Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Ramayana and those of modern spiritual men like Swami Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi are of seminal importance, therefore, no HRD programme can prove effective unless the same is formulated keeping in view the prevailing beliefs and culture in our society. No imported HRD programme can work in our society. We have to develop our own system to educate and train the people. There must be an Indian way to prosperity.

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How HRD Differs from the Earlier Views about Man:

Let us see how the concept of HRD differs from what the earlier management theorists have visualised about the man, his motives and his achievements.

Now, we find that the ‘man’ remains at the central point throughout the management literature. However, the concept of man has remained ‘floating’ all over the way. Taylor considered man as a rational economic man and therefore, he considered it pertinent to satisfy his material needs so as to increase his productivity. Human Religionists conceived man a social man as and therefore, they regarded it worth­while to satisfy his social needs in particular so as to bring about increase in his job satisfaction.

Human Resource advocates considered man as a self-actualising man actualising man who wanted to fulfill his ego or self-esteem or achievement needs in order to increase his job satisfaction, as well as increase in productivity. Now HRD profounder conceived man as a developmental man whose skills can be improved/ enhanced so as to seek attainment of organisational and personal goals. As the concept of man changes, perceptions about man’s motives also get changed.

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This is obvious. However, as regards attainment variable, leaving the HRD approach, all other approaches emphasise productivity directly or indirectly. It can be submitted here repition that HRD approach too should be emphatic on productivity because if productivity is increased, goals (organisational or personal) will take care for themselves.

To sum up, HRD should comprise the following characteristics:

1. Human beings as a class in singular sense of the term may be considered as human resources. Though, narrowly speaking only those human beings possessing some skill and capable of rendering future economic benefits should fall under the category of human resources.

2. It should not merely be confined to the development of existing skills and searching out of hidden skills but its scope should also extend to the maintenance and safeguarding of existing skills.

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3. There should be straightway emphasis on productivity of individuals as productivity in itself is an important organisational and personal goal.

So HRD means safeguarding/maintaining/improving existing skills as well as bringing into light the potential skills of human beings (i.e., human resources) so as to increase their productivity for ultimate well-being of organisations as well as their own.

Dr. Nadler, Carrol and Jones (2000) have used the team ‘HRD’ mainly to refer to Training, Education and Development. Human Resource Development in the organisational context as rightly defined by Prof. T.V. Rao (1996) is a process in which the employees of an organisation are continuously helped in a planned way to –

i. Acquire or sharpen their capabilities required to perform various obligations, tasks and functions;

ii. Develop their capabilities as individuals so that they may be able to discover their potentialities and exploit them to full for their own and/or organisational development purposes; and

iii. To develop an organisational culture where superior – subordinate relationships, team, work and collaboration among different sub-units are strong and contribute to organisational wealth, dynamism and pride of the employees.


Concept of Human Resource Development – Importance and Concept

HRD means developing or trapping hidden qualities in people in order to make them accomplish new functions leading to organizational and individual goals. Human resource development is concerned with the development and implementation of people strategies, which are integrated with corporate strategies, and ensures that the culture, values and structure of the organization, and the quality, motivation and commitment of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its goals.

HRD is a set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the necessary skills to meet current and future job demands.

HRD is the process of increasing knowledge, skills, capabilities and positive work attitude and value of all people working at all levels in an organization. It constitutes the logical outcome of the argument than an organization’s employees are its most valuable resource.

“The essence of Human Resource Management is that employees are valued assets and that their value should be increased by a systematic and coherent approach to investing in their training and development. Resourcing is about providing the skills base needed by the organization. Human Resource Development is about enhancing and widening these skills by training, by helping people to grow within the organization, and by enabling them to make better use of their skills and abilities”.

Why is Human Resource Development So Important Now?

Tom Senge (1997) claimed there were three major driving forces to which organizations now had to respond:

(i) Technology.

(ii) Globalization of business,

(iii) Systems breakdown and control.

In order for organizations to cope with the above challenges and ensure reliable organizational outcomes, their managers will have to invest in Human Resource Development. Senge was one of the main originators of the learning organization and continues to stress the need for organizations to share knowledge- “Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action- it is about creating learning processes”.


Concept of Human Resource Development – History, Concept and Definition

Twenty first century is said to be a century of challenges. In order to meet these challenges; employees are required to continuously update their knowledge, skills, and work habits, and organizations have to invest highly in the development of their human capital. This century’s innate challenges pose a threat to the survival of the companies and the companies now view investment in human resources as investment in human capital development. There is a shift in the perspective of how employees of the companies were viewed in the past and how they are viewed now.

This changed perspective is further based on the notion of human capital investment that enhances the realization of business strategies and contributes to the enterprises bottom line. It is further believed and proved that investment in human capital development enhance the competitiveness and contribute substantially to increasing the net worth of the enterprise. However, the management and strategy literature claims that organizational competitiveness in the longer run depends on the effective learning at both individual and organizational levels, but nonetheless it contributes to the increased productivity.

The recent interest in the HRD issues can be broken down into two broad areas – first is to redefine and develop a comprehensive definition of the term ‘human resource development’, and the other is to integrate concepts of human resource development. The traditional definition of HRD can be said to be a set of formal organizational and individual practices that are designed to enhance the potential contribution of human resources to the organization.

In addition, the dynamic external environments in which many businesses currently operate within; requires that they develop a capacity to learn more effectively and faster than competitors and to find methods and skills to resolve difficult problems. These definitions vie for that dependence on intellectual capital as a basis of sustainable competitive advantage and bring into focus the need to foster ‘learning rich’ organizational contexts, in the knowledge based economy.

The modern definition is based on the concepts of knowledge management and organizational learning claims that HRD is a complex notion with focus on the processes involved in learning from, at and through work, and that such individual and organizational learning processes are gradually replacing the traditional terms of ‘training’, ‘development’ and ‘workplace education’.

Whatever be the definition the concern of HRD is to transform organizations into learning organizations, to enhance competence and to manage the psychological contract. HRD seeks to embrace developments in workplace learning and focus on learning activities that are linked directly to goals at a work, individual and organizational level.

These definitions emphasize mainly on the following points:

1. The need for a variety of learning approaches, including those that are deliberate, tangible, educational, informal, pragmatic, job and non-task oriented, real time, continuous, and asynchronous in nature.

2. A strong focus on delineating the roles of key actors in the workplace learning context, in particular training specialists and line managers.

3. An increased focus on utilizing new technology to deliver learning, in particular e-learning;

4. The importance of team learning activities within the concept of workplace learning.

5. To emphasize on the process of learning and integrate individual, team and organizational learning to develop capacities for learning.

6. Enforce formal learning which emphasizes learning as a self-conscious, deliberate, goal-driven set of activities, and informal learning to complement formal learning through social interactions.

The ultimate purpose of HRD activities is “to make a difference” in the real world of costs, quality, quantity, accuracy and relevance. HRD activities directly do not improve productivity, quality or quantity, or benefit the enterprise in any way. It is the on-the job applications of learning that ultimately can reduce costs, improve quality, and so forth.

Let us now look at some definitions of HRD given by the pioneers in this area:

“HRD is the process of increasing knowledge skills, capabilities and positive work attitude and value of all people working at all levels in a business undertaking.”

“Human Resource Development is a series of organized activities, conducted within a specified time and designed to produce behavioral change.”

HRD is a process by which people in various groups are helped to acquire new competence continuously so as to make them more self-reliant and which leads to developing a sense of pride in them. HRD is an approach to the systematic expansion of people’s work – related abilities, focused on the attainment of both organizational and personal goals.

According to Nadler “HRD means an organized learning experience, within a time frame, with an objective of producing the possibility of performance change”.

According to T.V.Rao; “HRD in the organizational context is a process in which the employees of an organization are continuously helped in a planned manner to –

1. Acquire or sharpen their capabilities that are required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles;

2. Develop their general capabilities as individuals, so as to discover and exploit their inner potentials for their own or organizational development purposes;

3. Develop organization culture in which superior subordinate relationships, team work and, collaboration among sub-units is strong and contributes to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees.”

Further, Rao defines human resource development (HRD) as essentially consisting of these three Cs – competencies, commitment, and culture and all three are needed to make an organization function well. Without competencies many tasks of the organization may not be completed productively, and lack of commitment may not provide necessary motivation to start the task let own complete it.

And if at all is done, it is not done with dedication and thus the entire results are negatively affected. Organizations devoid of an appropriate culture cannot last long because culture provides the sustaining force and spirit that endures the aging of the organization. Culture provides the oxygen needed for them to survive.

Thus we find that the basic premise on which HRD is based are:

i. Recognition of Human potential by analysis of strengths and weaknesses;

ii. Development of potential through various learning programs;

iii. Optimum utilization of the potentials thus developed by human resources.

In addition, a synchronization and proper alignment of business strategy and HRD strategy is needed to carry out Human Resources development processes in Organizations.

Billimoria & Singh has rightly opined that “each human being is born as something new, something that never existed before. Each is born with the capacity to win in life; each has his own unique potentials, capabilities and limitations.” Therefore, HRD is a means to enhance an employee’s skill, maturity, competence, self-awareness, adjustment to the environment, and confidence. HRQ is a vehicle by which people acquire competencies. It is an approach founded on the belief that people are capable of growth- given an environment that facilitates individual growth.

In an organizational context HRD is a process by which the employees of an organization are helped in a continuous and planned way to acquire and hone capabilities essential to execute various functions related to their expected future roles.

This can be achieved by:

i. Determining and utilizing the intrinsic capability of employees for the organizational development purposes by expanding the scope of potential as individuals.

ii. Developing and maintaining an organizational environment in which supervisor-subordinate relationship; team work; and cooperation among sub-units are resilient and contribute to professional well-being, motivation and satisfaction of employees.

iii. Introducing systems like performance appraisal, Organization Development, career development, potential development, job rotation, job enlargement so that the employee gets to know their present status and can ascertain their future plan and direction for development.

iv. By continuously helping employees acquire new skills through a process of performance planning, feedback, training, periodic review of performance, assessment of the developmental needs, and creation of development opportunities through training, job rotation, responsibility definition and other mechanisms.

At this stage it is vital for us to know what HRD is not! HRD is not the regular Training that is provided in the Organizations. If training is imparted to an employee to meet his current job requirements, it is Training and not development. Development relates to training that is given in order to outgrow the current job requirements. Training is designed to provide learners with knowledge and skills needed for their present jobs whereas development involves learning that go beyond today’s job; it has more long-term focus.

HRD can be said to be a process by which wider knowledge, skills and attitudes are acquired for assuming higher responsibilities in a growing Organization. Therefore there are many companies which are now readily using career development as a vehicle for organization development.

Career development is a formal approach used by business to ensure that people with proper credentials and experiences are available when needed. Career development is the need of the hour since development of the organization is intricately intertwined with the employees’ careers. Since, Organization development is a planned process of improving organization by developing its structures, systems, and processes to improve effectiveness and achieving desired goals.

The challenge for most of the companies operating in this era is to have a pool of expertise at hand so that any threat posed by the competitive environment can be readily handled. It is as if you either face competition or perish. Stagnancy of any kind is not acceptable. Therefore, HRD has become the need of the hour as it aids in extenuating some of the evil consequences of industrialization. The need to bring about system-wide changes in response to changes in the competitive, environment has become the order of the day.

Development of a proper culture and climate in the organization is needed for providing the needed successful restructuring. Work force empowerment and emphasis on development of core competency by means of career development program et al leads to greater employee retention and commitment as it is a vehicle for motivation and increasing shareholders value. All this is facilitated by HRD practices.


Concept of Human Resource Development – HRD as a Positive Concept of HRM

HRD is mainly concerned with overall development of human resources in order to contribute to the well-being of the employees, organization and the society at large. It includes development of skills, knowledge and competencies of people. It is people oriented concept. HRD consider People are the real assets of an organization and organizations depend on people for their survival and growth.

HRD is a positive concept in human resource management. It is based on the belief that an investment in human beings is necessary and will invariably bring in substantial benefits to the organization in the long run. HRD aims at helping people to acquire competencies required to perform their functions effectively thereby making organizations do well.

The concept of HRD was formally introduced by Leonard Nadler in 1969 in conference organized by ASTD. Leonard Nadler- “HRD as those learning experiences which are organized for a specific time and designed to bring about the possibility of behavioral changes.”

T.V. Rao- “HRD is a process by which the employees of an organisation are helped in a continuous and planned way to- (i) acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles. (ii) Develop their journal capabilities as individual and discover and exploit their own inner potential for their own and /or organisational development purposes. (iii) Develop an organisational culture in which superior-subordinate relationship, team work and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional wellbeing, motivation and pride of employees.”

T. V. Rao is considered as a Father of Indian HRD. M.M. Khan- “Human resource development is across of increasing knowledge, capabilities and positive work attitudes of all people working at all levels in a business undertaking.”

According to Udai Pareek and T. V. Rao; the attributes of HRD Manager are:

a) Technical

b) Managerial and

c) Personality


Concept of Human Resource Development – As Given by the Best Known Indian HRD Expert: Prof. T.V. Rao

The organisational concept of human resource development may be defined as a continuous process to ensure the development of employee competencies, dynamism, motivation and effectiveness in a systematic and planned way.

It can also be defined as development of people by providing the right environment where each individual may grow to his fullest potential. HRD involves ways to better adjust the individual to his job and environment, the greatest involvement of an employee in various aspects of work, and the greatest concern for enhancing the capabilities of individuals.

In simple words, HRD is an organized learning experience aimed at marching the organizational need for human resource with the individual need for career growth and development. It is a system and proves involving organized series of learning activities designed to produce behavioral changes in human resources in such a way that they acquire desired level of competence for present or future role.

Concept of Human Resource Development Helps in Achieving:

i. Integration of individual development (ID), career development (CD), and organizational development (OD) roles.

ii. Achieve maximum productivity, quality, and opportunity and organization member fulfilment.

iii. Accomplish organization goals.

iv. Planned continuous management effort.

v. Improve employee competency and organizational performance levels.

vi. Through training, education and developmental programmes.

vii. Set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization.

viii. Provide its members with opportunities to learn necessary skills.

ix. Meet current and future job demands.

According to Prof. T.V. Rao the best known Indian HRD expert, “HRD is a process in which the employees of an organization are continually helped in a planned way to:

1. Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles.

2. Develop their general capabilities so that they may be able to discover their own inner potentialities and exploit them to full for their own and organizational development purpose, and

3. To develop an organizational culture where superior subordinate relationships, teamwork and collaboration among different sub-units are strong and contribute to organizational wealth (or professional well-being) and motivation and pride of the employees.”

HRD may be defined as a continuous process to ensure the development of employee competencies dynamism motivation and effectiveness in a systematic and planned way.


Concept of Human Resource Development – As Defined by HRD Expert Rao

Human resource development (HRD) is a process of developing the competencies of individual employees, dyadic groups, teams, and the total organization in a continuous and planned way to achieve organizational objectives. It attempts at the maximization of congruence between individuals and organization and develops the organizational culture in which superior- subordinate relationships, teamwork, and collaboration among various organizational units become strong.

Rao has defined HRD concept as follows:

“HRD is a process in which the employees of an organization are continuously helped in a planned way to- (1) acquire or sharpen their capabilities required to perform various tasks and functions associated with their present and future expected roles; (2) develop their general enabling capabilities as individuals so that they are able to discover and exploit their own inner potential for their own and/or organizational development purposes; and develop an organizational culture where superior-subordinate relationships, teamwork and collaboration among different sub-units are strong, and contribute to the organizational health, dynamism, and pride of employees.”

If the main objective of HRM is to manage the human resource effectively, then the main purpose of HRD is to develop the same human resource.

We all know that the active resource of an organization is human resource. Other resources remain inactive unless there are competent people to utilize the available resources for the production of goods and services. Human brain has a limitless energy to think and act in a productive way. Hence, competent and qualified human resource is a key factor of organizational success. The emergence of human resource development (HRD) plays a vital role in enhancing the entrepreneurial skill of people.

“Human Resource Development (HRD) is a process of developing skills, competencies, knowledge and attitudes of people in an organization.”

The people become human resource only when they are competent to perform organizational activities. Therefore, HRD ensures that the organization has such competent human resource to achieve its desired goals and objectives. HRD imparts the required knowledge and skill in them through effective arrangement of training and development programs.

HRD is an integral part of Human Resource Management (HRM) which is more concerned with training and development, career planning and development and the organization development. The organization has to understand the dynamics of HR and attempt to cope with changing situation in order to deploy its HR effectively and efficiently. And HRD helps to reach this target.

Hence, HRD is a conscious and proactive approach applied by employers which seeks to capacitate employees through training and development to give their maximum to the organization and to fully use their potential to develop themselves.


Concept of Human Resource Development – Defined by Various Human Resource Management Experts

With increasing global competition, it has become difficult for organisations to start, survive, grow, stabilize and excel their performance in business. They are under tremendous pressure to improve their performance quantitatively and qualitatively with cost effectiveness. The business environment is rapidly changing.

It has become necessity to keep pace with the changing environment otherwise they will be thrown out of business by market forces. In the modern times, management has grown very complex and it has acquired new dimensions. The new challenges are faced by the management.

The challenges faced by business organisations are how to improve profitability, tune products and services as per changing need of customers and organisational development to stay in competitive race of business. To tackle this situation the different experts suggested different activities and management has recognized the development of competency of people, coordination between people at different levels, minimizing production cost and improving productivity.

The priority in personnel management has changed vastly. Now the tasks of framing rules, regulations and standing orders have been changed to promote the motivation generating factors and minimize the demotivating factors for maximum capacity utilization. All these activities were clubbed together under umbrella of Human Resource Development.

Human resource development can be defined as a set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organisation to provide its members with the opportunities and facilities to learn necessary skills and develop competencies to perform the current jobs and prepare them for further jobs also. Learning process is main for development activities.

HRD activities is a continuous process. It should start with the entry into organisation and continue throughout the career of employees. It is required for all people working at different levels and performing different tasks. HRD programmes must meet the changing requirement of jobs and must be aligned with the long-term strategies of the company to ensure effective utilization of resources.

Human resource development concept has been defined by different human resource management experts as follows:

In the opinion of Nadler and Wiggs the ultimate purpose of HRD activities is “to make a difference” in the real world of costs, quality, quantity, accuracy and timeliness. HRD activities, as such, do not reduce costs, improve quality or quantity, or benefit the enterprise in anyway. It is the on-the-job applications of learning that ultimately can reduce costs, improve quality, and so forth.

It has been rightly observed by Billimoria and Singh that, “each human being is born as something new, something that never existed before. Each is born with the capacity to win in his life, has his own unique potentials, capabilities and limitations.”

According to Ishwar Dayal, “HRD is an approach founded on the belief that people are capable of growth given an environment that facilitates individual growth. Growth is, therefore, important for organisational growth. It is to make a person, a total person in terms of skill, maturity, competence, self- awareness, adjustment to the environment, and confidence. HRD can be seen as a philosophy rather than as a programme. HRD is for both which prevents growth and which leads to growth”.

In opinion of Khan, “HRD is the process of increasing knowledge, skills, capabilities and positive work attitude and value of all people working at all levels in a business undertaking.”

According to Rao, Yerma, Khandelwal and Abraham, “HRD is a process by which people in various groups are helped to acquire new competence continuously so as to make them more self-reliant and simultaneously developing a sense of pride in them. HRD is an approach to the systematic expansion of people’s work related abilities, focused on the attainment of both organisational and personal goals.”

Nadler defined, “HRD means an organised learning experience, within a timeframe, with an objective of producing the possibility of performance change”.

According to Rao, in the organisational context, HRD is a process in which the employees of an organisation are continuously helped in a planned manner to –

(a) Acquire or sharpen their capabilities that are required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles.

(b) Develop their general capabilities as individuals, so as to discover and exploit their inner potentials for their own or organisational development purposes;

(c) Develop organisational culture in which superior-subordinate relationships, teamwork and, collaboration among sub-units is strong and contributes to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees.

Further, Rao defined human resource development (HRD) as essentially consisting of these three C’s – competencies, commitment, and culture. All three are needed to make an organisation function well. Without competencies many tasks of the organisation may not be completed cost effectively or with maximum efficiency. Without commitment, they may not be done at all or are done at such a slow pace that they lose relevance. Without an appropriate culture, organisations cannot last long.

From the study of above mentioned definitions given by experts it can be said that that HRD is the process of helping people to acquire competencies. In an organisational context, HRD is a process by which the employees of an organisation are helped in a continuous and systematic way to –

(a) Acquire or develop capabilities required to perform various functions relating to their present and future roles.

(b) Improve their general capabilities as individuals, discover and exploit their available potential for their own and organisational development purpose.

(c) Improve supervisor-subordinate relationship, teamwork and collaboration among different departments in an organisational culture and to contribute to the welfare, motivation and pride of employees. Human resource development therefore is defined as the total knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents and aptitudes of an organisation’s workforce as well as the values, attitudes and beliefs of the individuals involved.

Human resource development process is facilitated by mechanisms or sub-systems like performance appraisal, training, organisational development, potential development, job rotation, welfare and reward. People are helped to acquire new competencies through the various systems continuously.

Personnel management has to deal with the interactive policies, techniques and procedures which together can help to develop the human resource of an organisation. In present time personnel managers are designated as HRD managers or along with routine functions they take care to HRD functions too.

Line managers and staff personnel can cooperate to make sure that all these activities are planned and administered with the aim of development in mind. Since every achievement in every activity is related to human resource, it is important that a department is created within the organisation to serve continuously the areas of human resource development.


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