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Human Resource Management in a Business Context
2nd edition

Human Resource Management in a Business Context 
Human Resource Management in a Business Context
by Alan Price
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Learning in Organizations

Chapter 21 of Human Resource Management in a Business Context (2nd Edition) by Alan Price - published by Thomson Learning



The purpose of this chapter is to:
- Distinguish between learning in organizations and the 'learning organization'.
- Discuss the relationship between empowerment, self-development and learning.
- Debate the role of the trainer in the context of proactive learning methods.
- Evaluate the state of evaluation.

HRD and the organization

From training to development

The learning organization

Empowerment and HRD


HRD as an activity


Learning methods

- Action Learning

Action learning

Leadership development


A much-publicized modern approach places development within the learning organization which contrasts with older notions of learning within organizations. HRD focuses strongly on management development. Career plans, performance objective-setting and training programmes are more often directed at managers than lower-level employees. With the integration of training activities into human resource development programmes trainers are particularly concerned with cost-effectiveness, quality and the merits of formal as opposed to experiential training. A widening range of learning methods allows employees to acquire information and skills in an active, self-directed manner.

Further reading

Telling Ain't Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps (published by ASTD, 2002) is an engaging book written by two training professionals but useful for a wider audience. New Directions in Career Planning and the Workplace: Practical Strategies for Career Management Professionals edited by Jean M. Kummerow (Davies-Black Publishing, 2000) includes exercises and examples. The Action Learning Guidebook by William J. Rothwell (published by Jossey-Bass, 1999) covers the action learning process. The ASTD e-Learning Handbook : Best Practices, Strategies, and Case Studies for an Emerging Field, edited by Allison Rossett (published by McGraw-Hill, 2001). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels, 2nd edition by Donald L. Kirkpatrick (published by Berrett-Koehler, 1998). How to Measure Training Success by Jack Phillips and Ron D. Stone (published by McGraw-Hill, 2002) extends Kirkpatrick's methodology to include Return on Investment (ROI).

Review questions

Problem for discussion and analysis - Change in Japan

Chapter 20   >  Chapter 22

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