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Issue Changing role of HRD professionals
Outline [JaS:] Training in organisations is no longer an isolated activity for which training professionals alone are responsible. It has been given a strategic function. Training professionals are expected to be instrumental in setting up learning processes that are in line with the strategic policy and, moreover, ensuring that this is done in a cost conscious and effective manner. It is proving difficult for training professionals to strike a balance between the interests of the organisation on the one hand and the interests of individual employees on the other. Knowledge productivity and the distribution of knowledge have become important activities as knowledge has become to be the 'capital' of the organisation. Training is no longer the only way to make employees competent and keep them so. To an even greater extent training is being replaced by learning on the job. The responsibility for the learning process is increasingly being placed on the learning individual or on the team of which he is a part.
(Source: Jan Streumer, Jan N.; Wognum, A.A.N.; Heijden, B.I.J.M. van der; Kwakman, C.H.E.; Zolingen, S. van. HRD in the Netherlands: Participation and costs. Abstract in Conference Programme HRD Edinburgh Jan 02, p. 4)
Debate [XX:] What is the evidence about the changing role of HRD professionals?
[JaS:] In the paper we have discussed some of these topics. Most professionals in HRD departments are working on development and training programmes. Taking the results we really must conclude that they have changed their role, they build a new environment in which to develop their role (?).
[RP:] From some of the investigations I have done what keeps coming up is that all these developments that are wished for donít actually take place in practice, certainly not on a grand scale. I would suggest  that we should also go into the question: why is it that these theories are there and it is so hard to put them into practice; what keeps organisations and actually professionals and actors from living up to these expectations?
[JaS:] Maybe this also has to do something with the first question. Professionals are trained in a specific way and with specific competencies. They are used to work on the basis they have learned and they really need to rethink, not only by words, but they have to rethink the kind of changes that happen in practice in their training departments and in their own positions. The interviews show that a lot of people see the need to change but in one way or other they are not capable to make the change.
Event HRD Conf. Edinburgh Jan 02
Descriptors D-HRD  EP06          V16
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO