Survey Project results related to HRD in Europe

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Title HRD & LLL
The role of HRD within organisations in creating opportunities for life-long learning: Concepts and practices in seven European countries
Concept Trends Findings Practice Challenge
Synopsis The following selection of findings is related to the outlook on HRD in learning oriented organisations:

(1) Strategic issues: Improving client focus is an issue of major importance to the companies. Other key strategic issues are improving and innovating products, processes and services. Strategies with regard to developing human resources, since these are a key factor in improving organisational learning are relevant, but come in second place. They appear to be 'means to an end', instead of strategies with an inherent relevance. 

(2) Learning oriented organisations employ a rich variety of change strategies in order to stimulate their development toward a learning organisation. Creating a client oriented culture appears to be an often-used measure (more so than became apparent from the case studies). But initiatives in the field of changing organisational structures (such as implementing teams), attention to management development; changes in the strategy development process (e.g. sharing a mission statement); creating a learning culture and changes in HRD strategies and structure were also encountered. 

(3) The desire to become more client centered, among other things by continuous improvement and innovation, appears to be the main motivator for wanting to become a learning organisation. Though more people-oriented reasons (such as improving the quality of working life) seem to play a role as well. 

(4) With regard to the division of HRD tasks, it becomes clear that HRD professionals still carry the biggest share of responsibility for HRD (at least in their own estimation of the situation). Managers and employees are important active partners, and are expected to become more so in the future. Their role is predominantly one of identifying learning needs, stimulating and supporting informal learning, ensuring continuous learning (of oneself and others). HRD professionals provide support, among other things by organising training and supporting informal learning efforts (Tjepkema et al. 2000a, pp. v-vi). 

Reference Findings of the project are set out in the final project report (Tjepkema et al. 2000a),  particularly in chapter 3 on case study results and in chapter 4 on survey results. 
See also project info on HRD & LLL.
Descriptors D-HRD  D-LO  EP06  EP07  EP10    E04c
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO