International Journal of Human Resources Development Practice Policy and Research
Volume 1, Number 2 2016
I’d like to cover three points in this editorial. Firstly, welcome to this, the second issue, of the new Journal. A glance through the contents page reveals its international credentials and I am delighted to welcome contributors from Australia, the USA, Ireland, the UAE, Greece, Poland and the UK. The themes are wide ranging, spanning research, practice and policy. The Editorial Board, together with a growing network of reviewers, have been keen to encourage contributors, whatever the type of article, to address implications for practice; the classic ‘so what’ question. This is still work in progress but I believe we are moving in the right direction. Catherine Lombardozzi addresses self-directed learning; Caitriona Hughes and Corina Sheerin report on their work looking at mentoring for females working in investment banking and Ruth Leggett and Joanne James explore the benefits of coach development … for the coach. Each offers a pertinent contribution on such key HRD practices. Steven Hodge, Erica Smith and Llandis Barratt-Pugh report on their search for a model of Learning & Development practice arising out of their work with the Australian Institute of Training & Development, whilst Alaa Garad contributes the first of a two-part article linking Investors in People with Business Excellence and its application to organisations in the United Arab Emirates.
Towards a Model of Learning and Development Practice | Steven Hodge, Griffith University, Australia and Erica Smith, Federation University, Australia and Llandis Barratt-Pugh, Edith Cowan University, Australia
It is widely acknowledged that learning and development (L&D) is key to well-being, innovation and success for individuals, organizations and societies (Delahaye, 2011). Learning and development practice involves application of distinctive knowledge, skills and techniques in distinctive contexts. The sheer range of contexts and kinds of expertise associated with this work produces a complex challenge to any attempt to model L&D practice. The Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) took up this challenge in the Australian setting. A team of researchers was engaged to produce a model of L&D practice that the organization could use to conceptualize the work of its members and refine organizational strategy in areas such as professional development services. Although there have been attempts to represent the work of L&D practitioners (e.g. the ASTD ‘Competency Model’), the research presented here focused on the Australian setting and was also guided by a commitment to recognizing the role of organizational contexts in shaping L&D practice. This focus on context distinguishes the model from others that are concerned with the expertise and attributes of individual L&D practitioners. The model presented here thus represents contexts of L&D practice as well as knowledge and skills applied within them. The article describes the research process used to develop the model, including analysis of existing models, interviews with senior L&D practitioners and a survey of practitioners. The result is a model that acknowledges the complexity of L&D practice in a contemporary environment.
Challenges of Learning in the Flow of Work: Scaffolding Self-Direction | Catherine Lombardozzi, Learning 4 Learning Professionals, USA
Modern talent development practitioners are confronted with opposing visions of how to support learning. Thought leaders advise them to make curated resources available rather than design formal training and education courses. Employees, however, seem to want and need guidance, and many are not prepared for self-directed learning. While the learning and development team (L&D) may be providing a richer array of resources than ever before, development efforts cannot achieve their goals when those resources are never accessed or are not well-utilized. To attempt to get at the root of this dilemma, this article reviews research-based factors that enable self-directed learning and explores the ways that the insights found in the literature can provide a foundation for scaffolding self-directed learning in the workplace. While the primary purpose of the article is to provide guidance on supporting self-direction in the workplace, the article also provides a reflective account of scholarly practice, wherein a practitioner consults the literature, defines guidelines on that base, implements them in practice, and refines them as needed.
Reflections on the Relationship Between Mentoring, Female Development and Career Progression: Investment Management Versus Human Resource Management | Caitriona Hughes, School of Business, National College of Ireland and Corina Sheerin, School of Business, National College of Ireland
This paper explores the effect of mentoring on women’s career progression in occupationally segregated sectors of employment. Specifically, it examines two professions which are polarized in their gender distribution, namely Human Resource Management (HRM), traditionally a female dominated profession and Investment Management, a male dominated profession. Utilizing an interpretative research approach and employing the use of semi-structured in-depth interviews as the research tool, thirty-two female participants were interviewed, twenty-one of whom were from HRM and eleven from Investment Management.
The findings from the study indicated that for women in HRM mentoring as a resource was seen as an enabler to career progression and a means of learning their role. Within Investment Management mentoring was considered a limited support unless it was informal and voluntary on the part of the mentor. To those who did cite it as important, it was seen from the perspective of its absence being a deterrent rather than its presence an enabler.
This study contributes to our understanding concerning the role and effectiveness of mentoring in such sectors and its use as a tool to aid the development and career progression of women. It is the first study of its kind within an Irish context.
Exploring the Benefits of a Coach Development Process … on the Coach | Ruth Leggett, Northumbria University, UK and Joanne James, Northumbria University, UK
This paper examines the extent to which a coach development programme benefits the coach beyond the boundaries of their coaching interventions. Much coaching research focuses on the impact of coaching on the coachee and the organization. This small research project considers the impact on the coach. Alumni from a higher education coach development programme were invited to share their perspectives on their post programme coaching and organizational experiences via focus groups. Our findings suggest that a learning process that encourages self-awareness, reflexive conversations and opportunities to reflect and consider one’s coaching identity, enable coaches to apply their learning across a range of organizational scenarios, beyond their role as an internal coach. Organizational coaches report greater levels of confidence in their generic leadership roles and being perceived differently by others in their organizations, as a result of the coach development process. This study will be of interest to HRD practitioners considering an investment in developing internal coaches and to those involved in designing and delivering coach development programmes as the importance of teaching beyond coaching models and theory is demonstrated from this study. It may also help inform potential coach trainees considering embarking on a coach development programme, as the benefits can permeate all aspects of organizational performance.
The Impact of the Economic Crisis upon Human Resource Development (HRD): Evidence from two Greek Banks | Fotios V. Mitsakis, Nottingham Trent University, UK and Dr Eleni Aravopoulou, School of Management and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, UK
This study investigates the nature and changes of Human Resource Development (HRD) in two Greek banks under the challenging context of the economic crisis. It examines the latter’s impact upon HRD as it was perceived from different stakeholders and through a pre and ongoing-crisis assessment approach.
The study draws upon qualitative research data from two case study banking organizations in Greece, reporting on 76 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (HR staff, Bank Managers, employees) undertaken in 2014, six years after the fall of Lehman Brothers.
The study contributes to academic knowledge as being the first empirical research offering a unique perspective through examining changes of HRD within a specific industry and national context (Greek banks) against a backdrop of an economic downturn. Its findings also raise important questions for HRD professionals, in both academia and practice, in relation to claims and aspirations which prevail in respect of HRD and organizational change and business transformation.
Investors in People and Business Excellence in the United Arab Emirates Part 1: Establishing the Link | Alaa Garad, Investors in People, United Arab Emirates
In the context of the United Arab Emirates, the paper explores an emerging synergy between models of business excellence (BE) and the people management framework Investors in People (IIP), within organizational HRD policy and practice. Since the 1990s, driven by the need to enhance international competitiveness, UAE organizations have been encouraged to adopt quality initiatives, often reinforced with prestigious awards. HRD policy and practice has responded accordingly. However, despite its introduction in the late 1980s IIP, an overtly people standard, it is only in recent years that it has begun to be adopted in the UAE. The paper argues that it is by establishing and consciously promoting the links between BE and IIP that provides the basis for the increasing adoption of IIP in the UAE. IIP has been used by UAE organizations to lever effective implementation of BE and lead them toward further learning and performance excellence. This, the first of a two-part article, establishes the strength of the relationship between BE and IIP. Part 2 draws on case study data to highlight the dynamics of the process in more detail.
McDonald’s: an HRD laboratory? | David Fairhurst, Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer for the McDonald’s Corporation, in interview with Rick Holden, Editor, IJHRDPP&R
David Fairhurst is McDonald’s Chief People Officer — a post he has held since October 2015 — with responsibility for leading the organization’s HR, Training, and Leadership Development functions in 120 countries worldwide. Based in Oak Brook, Illinois he reports directly to McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Easterbrook. In this interview we explore HRD practice within the business and the insights McDonald’s may be able to offer a wider community of HR/HRD professionals.
To begin our discussion, we explore the qualities that make McDonald’s an interesting ‘HRD laboratory’ (an HRD laboratory which, David adds with a smile, “also makes great hamburgers”!). This also provides a framework for four of the broader HRD themes David sees emerging globally — and the HRD practices that have been introduced by McDonald’s in these areas.
Firstly, there is global scale. McDonald’s and its franchise partners operate over 36,000 restaurants employing over 1.9m people, making McDonald’s the world’s largest private sector employer.
The use of HR Analytics is radically changing the way that many companies go about People Management and Development. This is because the provision of analytical capacity gives HR the opportunity to move beyond the past and the present (producing metrics like headcount, retention rate, time to hire, turnover, absence rate, etc.) to a position where predictive analytics will provide valuable workforce intelligence about what may happen at some time in the future.
In multinationals such as Morgan Stanley, Starwoods, Shell, Google and Nestle the use of HR Analytics appears well established; whilst the US Space Agency, NASA is seeking to create a culture of data-driven decision-making in their HR processes. At Maersk Group, the analysis of people related information incorporates descriptive statistics, linkage based information, and analytics to predict the outcomes of a particular set of measures or actions. (Hartmann, 2015). Examples include identifying by how much employee engagement could be increased and the effect this would have on the business; the likely impact of training on future performance and how people related actions could affect operational performance and customer satisfaction.
This is a review of A Guide to Professional Doctorates in Business and Management by Lisa Anderson, Jeff Gold, Jim Stewart and Richard Thorpe1. For such an unassuming-looking volume, I found this book to be provoking and enjoyable. As a result, my review took longer to write than anticipated. The book has a helpful and quite comprehensive overview in the preface for those who are interested only in its contents. Therefore, rather than structuring the review chronologically, it is written in a more impressionistic and metaphorical style, one more in keeping with the action modes of research championed in the book.
The International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy & Research is a new journal. It is a new journal in a fairly crowded market place. Although a long time in gestation (see Morton and Stewart’s short paper in Issue 1) the collaborative efforts of the journal’s two ‘sponsors’, IFTDO and UFHRD, finally realised aspirations to create a journal which could focus more directly on promoting contributions from HRD professionals, wherever they are based, on their practice. As we said at its launch IJHRDPP&R is seeking to create synergies between practice and theory to offer today’s HRD professionals insight, ideas and understanding on the contemporary issues and challenges facing HRD. As was noted in the Editorial of Issue 1 the shaping of the Journal vis these aims and aspirations must be viewed as ‘work in progress’. But it is now opportune to pause for a moment and take on board feedback from readers and users of the journal.
We contemplated a survey type set of questions but in the end decided to leave it open. Remember the time when people used to send postcards when on holiday? Food great but weather awful! The local markets are amazing … biggest tomatoes I’ve ever seen! In other words, just tell us what you think. It might relate to the title, the content, the coverage, the format, the frequency, the delivery system (print and online – for the time being, anyway). Anything that you think might be useful moving forward. Two words, two lines, two pages – whatever.
On the basis that you do tell us something we will try and summarise this in the Journal’s HRD Forum in the next issue.
Ways to send
The easiest way is probably to use the feedback box here.
The IFTDO Global HRD Awards Program, recognizes the achievements of organizations and their people. It also provides a valuable database of success stories to inspire and guide others.
There are two award categories:
1. Best HRD Practice
2. Research Excellence Award
Submissions are evaluated, by a respected panel of judges, against the criteria outlined for the award category. Winners of the Awards receive a cash sum and a plaque.
Deadline for receipt of submission for the 2017 Awards closes on 30 November. For more details see: www.iftdo.net/global-hrd-awards
The Alan Moon Memorial Prize
This prize commemorates the contribution (in founding and establishing the Forum) of Alan Moon to both the UFHRD and to HRD more widely. The prize is offered at each annual UFHRD/AHRD conference for the best HRD paper submitted to the Conference.
Nominations for the Award are made from submissions to the various streams of each annual Conference. Winners of the Award receive a cash sum and a plaque.
Best Teaching and Learning Resource
A prize for the best contribution to the UFHRD’s Teaching & Learning Resource Bank. The Teaching & Learning Resource Bank is a web-based facility which exists to support UFHRD members and to promote excellence in the teaching of HRD. Winners of the Award receive a cash sum.
The deadline for receipt of submissions for this award will be in Spring 2017.