Highlight HRD practice: A comparison of European and US models

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Subject Introduction (Jim Stewart)
Outline Welcome to this the final substantive session of the conference and congratulations on staying the course. The session addresses the important and topical subject of variations in American and European models of HRD. This to some extent assumes that there can or might be such a thing as a single European model of HRD, and indeed the same assumption is being applied to the USA in the theme of the session. Whether we can talk sensibly about a single European model of HRD has provided a topic of research for many of the EC funded projects which provide a major focus for the EHRD Base project. Some of those have and are also addressing directly the comparison with alternative models such as what might be termed the American model of HRD. But, we don't know whether it is possible or sensible to talk of a single American model either! The session then is timely in addressing these difficult questions which, as well as being of interest to European researchers in their EC funded projects, are also of interest to members of both UFHRD and AHRD. 
    We are fortunate to have two very distinguished speakers with us to stimulate our discussions. I want to welcome and thank first Professor Gary Mclean from the University of Minnesota, who is also President of the AHRD. Gary is well known to HRD academics and practitioners across the world as one of the leading thinkers, researchers and writers in the field of HRD, and I am very grateful to him for agreeing to speak at this session. Second, I want to welcome Professor Joseph Kessels from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. A special thank you is due to Joseph as he has stepped in at the last minute to replace Professor Jim McGoldrick, who unfortunately had to withdraw from the conference because of urgent and unexpected circumstances. Professor Kessels too is well known across Europe and in the USA for his original thinking on HRD, and I know from personal experience that, whatever he has to say, it will be both thoughtful and thought provoking. 
    The session is intended to be participative and to stimulate discussion. The format therefore will be that Professor McLean will speak for about 15 minutes on US models of HRD. I will take questions at the end to amplify or clarify any of his points. We will then hear from Professor Kessels for the same amount of time on European models, again followed by a short time for questions. After hearing from both speakers, it will then be an open debate rather than a question and answer session. So, I would now like to invite Gary to begin the session.
Source Transcript of the author; recording of the session 'HRD Practice: A comparison of European and US models' held at the HRD conference in Edinburgh, January 2002 (see proceedings).
Descriptors D-HRD  EP00          
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