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HRD as an activity

Based on Human Resource Management, 4th edition, by Alan Price

HRD as an activity

This final section examines HRD at the activity level, focusing on the training and experiential process which makes up development programmes. We examine the continuing role of training needs analysis and the value of formal training as opposed to experiential 'action learning', and consider similar issues in the context of leadership development. The chapter in the book concludes with a discussion of how training activities can be evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality.

Training methods

Training methods are presented with an ever-increasing range of learning methods. Traditionally they have been divided into two categories:

  • On-the-job training, including demonstrations of equipment and procedures, instruction manuals and PC-based training packages.
  • Off-the-job training, such as group briefings, projects and formal courses.

Off-the-job training can be in-house, taking place within the organization, or external, for example at a local college or university.

Revans (1972) argued that classroom-based management education is not adequate. He devised a systematic, experiential or Action Learning programme based on job exchanges which place managers in unfamiliar situations and ask them to take on challenging tasks. (...) Revan's ideas are consistent with the principles of the learning organization discussed earlier in this chapter. The emphasis lies with learning rather than training and with meeting the changing needs of an organization in a competitive world. His approach is also mirrored in many current programmes aimed at developing leaders.

eadership development

The skills of leadership have attracted management theorists and trainers alike. Whereas good leaders are comparatively easy to recognize when they are in positions of authority, developing people to achieve the necessary qualities is not so easy. Just as the nature of leadership is not fully understood, the appropriate methods of training and leadership are a matter of controversy. At the same time, leadership training is a lucrative area for training consultants, and management gurus have been ready to produce packaged methods. (...)

It is arguable that many supposed 'leadership' courses are actually teaching management skills rather than those of leadership. (...)

Management Development


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