national systems of HRD (Peter Kuchinke)
differences in the preparation of HRD professionals in the US and the UK
research is part of a larger agenda, that is to describe what I call national
systems of HRD, with the assumption that nations differ in those system
areas in which HRD is conducted. Structural differences in the countries
would be worth while investigating as we are building what we call international
or perhaps comparative HRD research.
spent a few days in Germany. One of the lead articles in the national newspapers
talked about the lack of innovativeness and creativity in Germany. The
statement was made that German workers are among the best skilled and most
highly motivated in the world, and yet the structural barriers are preventing
innovation. This is to show that the institutional factors do matter. My
assessment is that in the literature we have not taken account of these
institutional forces to the degree we should have as a profession.
purpose of the HRD master's level or postgraduate programmes comes from
the realisation that universities are an important part of subsistence
of HRD. It's there that practitioners get their training and future leaders
are being trained. The following points are raised in the system comparison
of postgraduate degree programmes in the UK and US:
does this lead us? Two countries with a similar economic tradition and
comparable system have very different types of academic preparation of
HRD practitioners. These differences matter if we begin to describe international
differences in HRD. Similar research needs to happen at practitioner level,
about the scope, the role and the impact of HRD in different countries
– not so much to find out one best way, but to describe and circumscribe
the range of variation towards a better understanding of the choices we
at the economic history it seems that the two streams of development of
the two countries are characterised by movements between nationalisation
and privatisation of major industries, regulation and deregulation, and
the impact of competition in technology. The US certainly has been much
more decentralised and deregulated and laissez-fair than what appears to
be the UK context.
to appear in the US scene as a major public policy debate, with a massive
level of criticism of the public school sector saying that the public schools
are poor in preparing young children for a productive and competitive economic
life in the workforce. The US does not have a system of educational qualifications
to the degree that is present in the UK.
difference between the two countries is the role and extent to which the
accreditation is concerned. The impact the CAT is to have in the UK, both
on academic programmes and on professionals, is far greater than what exists
in the US.
fundamental difference is the role and function of professional associations.
The Academy of HRD has a personal-level membership, while the University
Forum of HRD has an institutional membership. This plays a great role in
the impact that each organisation is to have. Where we have a personal-level
membership there is no coordination at least at institutional level, there
is no mechanism in place to compare curricula and areas of research to
a degree that we have with institutional membership.
look at how the field is defined, in prominent literature and textbooks,
the emphasis of HRD definition in the UK tends to be more strategic, long-term
organic and focused on change, than in the US.
in the UK are primarily about HRM, with a minority having HRD in the title;
the programmes are provided almost without exception in schools of business.
In the US HRD programmes are defined in terms of education; more is happening
in schools of education.
at the curriculum there are interesting findings. The most critically taught
subject areas in the US HRD programmes are structure and design, programme
development and delivery, programme evaluation, adult learning theories,
needs and policy analysis, history and philosophy of HRD. So there is a
focus on education, training and development among US programmes. In the
UK virtually all programmes are for subject matter in HRM, in particular
courses on organisational behaviour, strategic HRD, organisational development
and change, international and comparative HRM. The absence in both countries
are post-modern courses in HRD, critical approaches, critical theories
of HRD, at least from a view of titles and course curricula. Also absent
is a focus on population, corporate stake holders, disadvantaged population,
professionals; postgraduate degree programmes in the UK and US; professional
associations; HRM and HRD;
of the presentation by Peter Kuchinke on 'Comparing national systems of
human resource development: Content and structure of postgraduate HRD courses
of study in the UK and US' at the HRD Conference in Edinburgh, 2002. Further
reading: Kuchinke 2000; Kuchinke