59 Slices
Medium 9781576754962

5 Theory of Human Resource Development

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

INTRODUCTION

Models of HRD have been developed and disseminated through books, seminars, and consulting projects. Many models are based on extensive practical experience with development and improvement (Brache, 2002; Nadler, Gerstein, and Shaw,

1992; Rummler and Brache, 1995; Schwartz, 1996; Weisbord, 1987). Other models have been embraced as ways to solve problems then casually called “multidisciplinary” to demand that the user apply multidimensional thinking.

Armed with a flowchart and a description of its components, HRD professionals often find that while their personal models may be powerful enough to create change, those models and their explanations are almost always too superficial to explain the complex dynamics of HRD and its connection to results. In short, a model derived from logic is no substitute for sound theory. Such models can guide improvement efforts through hypothesized relationships without having those relationships ever tested. You can have a model and no theory and you can have a theory with no model. Yet, most theories are accompanied by a model.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576754962

10 Overview of Training and Development

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

INTRODUCTION

Training and development constitutes the largest realm of HRD activity. Training and development (T&D) is defined as a process of systematically developing work-related knowledge and expertise for the purpose of improving performance. Training is not education-light—it is more than knowledge. People experiencing T&D should end up with new knowledge and be able to do things well after they complete a training program (Zemke, 1990). New knowledge by itself generally is not enough.

Within T&D, more effort is focused on training than on development. Also, training is more likely focused on new employees and those entering new job roles in contrast to long-term development. To be clear, the development portion of training and development is seen as “the planned growth and expansion of knowledge and expertise of people beyond the present job requirements” (Swanson,

2002, p. 6). In the majority of instances, development opportunities are provided to people who have a strong potential to contribute to the organization. Indeed, development often comes under the banner of management development and leadership development. In every case, people at all levels in all organizations need to know how to do their work (expertise) and generally need help with their learning.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781609947132

5 Operationalize Phase

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

TO OPERATIONALIZE A THEORY, the theory must be expressed in terms of its functional use for the purpose of acceptance or rejection. The Operationalize phase becomes a logical bridge between the Conceptualize and Confirm phases, but it also interplays with the Apply and Refine phases (Figure 5.1).

The purpose of this chapter is to describe specific approaches to operationalization that serve as an instructive guide. This chapter will

• define the Operationalize phase,

• describe the general inputs to this phase,

• provide a practical summary of Operationalize phase activity,

• describe the outputs of the Operationalize phase, and

• propose a set of quality indicators for Operationalize phase effort.

An applied discipline theory needs to be confirmed or tested in its real-world context so as to establish its utility (Lynham, 2002a). The explanation that the new theorizing creates must be examined and assessed in the world in which it occurs. To confirm a theory, the ideas and relationships must be converted to observable and confirmable components or elements (Lynham, 2002a). Operationalizing theories commonly results in hypotheses, empirical indicators and other claims (Cohen, 1989), which are investigated in the confirm phase. Ultimately, operationalizing requires that the theorist develop strategies for judging the accuracy and fit of the new theory in the world in which it is expected to function.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576753149

1 The Challenge of Research in Organizations

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

The title of this book, Research in Organizations, was purposeful. It is not simply about research on organizations. The context of the organization is fundamentally interesting to most people. Without any obvious initiation, organizational questions arise about leaders, purposes, strategies, processes, effectiveness, trends, workers, customers, and more.

Organizations are human-made entities. There are for-profit and nonprofit organizations, global and small locally held organizations, organizations having multiple purposes, and organizations producing a mind-boggling range of goods or services. As human-made entities, organizations engage all kinds of human beings. No wonder organizations and the functioning of human beings in relation to organizations are of such great interest to so many fields of applied endeavor.

Applied disciplines, by their very nature, require that theory and practice come together (Dubin, 1978; Lynham, 2002; Van de Ven, 2002). When they do not come together, there is angst. This angst of not knowing is a signal to both practitioners and scholars that there is work to be done. Clearly, scholars from disciplines such as human resources, business, organizational behavior, education. sociology, and economics see organizations as meaningful contexts for their inquiry.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576753149

8 Multivariate Research Methods

Richard A. Swanson Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Research questions in organizational research rarely involve only two variables.

For example, we would not (hopefully) try to predict or explain learning in training, efficacy beliefs, team performance, or climate for safety in an organization from a single independent variable. Although it would often be more convenient

(but far less interesting) if the study of human behavior and performance in organizations were this simple, we are nearly always faced with trying to explain, predict, or understand phenomenon that are influenced by a plethora of potentially important variables. Good theory is an indispensable tool for guiding and interpreting research. But, in conjunction with solid foundation in theory, competent researchers must also understand and be able to use appropriate analytic strategies that can handle data on at least two but probably more variables. Multivariate analysis methods are key tools for organizational researchers because of their ability to incorporate multiple variables and to help us in our quest to understand complex behavioral and organizational phenomenon.

See All Chapters

See All Slices