Strategic human resource development
The organization and focus of the traditional training and development function has been challenged by the emergence of the knowledge economy and the desire of many organizations to become a learning organization (see Chapter 2). This challenge has mainly been expressed through the need for training and development to become more strategic. But what does this mean? This chapter addresses the debate on strategic HRD, asking first what an organizational strategy is. Both process and product paradigms of strategy (Harrison and Kessels, 2004) will be discussed here. We will then look in particular at the links between human resource strategy and organizational strategy, and explore in more detail whether a best-fit or best-practice approach is more suitable (Purcell, 1999; Marchington and Wilkinson, 2002; Boxall and Purcell, 2003). These building blocks will then enable us to discuss the nature of the HRD strategy.