Record European perspective of HRD

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Subject Defining HRD in an international context
Context Comparative analysis of HRD definitions 
Summary The most common US definitions of HRD have influenced definitions around the world, yet these definitions are also influenced by the context in which they have emerged. 

Differences in national culture are reflected in the definitions, including the influence of the economy and of government and legislation, and of professional organisations. Definitions of HRD from the following European countries have been analysed:

  • France: the term of 'developpement social' is often used as a synonym of HRD;
  • Germany: the field corresponding to HRD is marked by a training industry, consultants and personnel specialists;
  • Netherlands: HRD is related to all training and development interventions that are made to create and further develop human expertise within the context of an organisation;
  • Russia: HRD is associated with personnel staffing, selection and training, the focus being on managing the employee pool rather than helping individual employees to develop;
  • UK: key elements of HRD include activities and processes having an impact on organisational and individual learning.
Furthermore, there appears to be a difference in both the perception and practice of HRD in local companies compared with multinational companies, with the latter being much more likely to be influenced by their home countries.
Key terms HRD definition; context of national culture; local and multinational companies
Source McLean et al. 2001
Descriptors D-HRD EP00          R18
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO