The larger social implications of successful human resources development practices and perspectives have not been lost on researchers in the area, either. Altering human resource management practices to better address labor issues faced by non-management employees both within the organization and in their lives at large creates both a more satisfied and a more productive workforce and can also lead to reduced levels of underemployment and improve the general quality of life of workers (Worrall et al. 2010). Thus increasing profitability through human resource development also creates benefits for society at large.
The wide array of different approaches, both theoretical and methodological, that have been brought to bear on an understanding of human resource development and its role in overall organizational development and adaptability provide both specific instances of mechanisms and practices that can be utilized for such development, as well as a general understanding of the role of human resource development in modern industry and organizations. Incorporating these general and specific views into a cohesive understanding of the issues facing human resources development and overall organizational development is useful for determining best practices in today's business organizations, and also suggests areas where further research is necessary in order to determine effective human resources development practices and the ways in which these practices can be modified and/or implemented to provide the greatest benefit to organizational development.
Two studies found that human resource development is a key component in long-term strategic planning for most organizations, and that such perspectives are becoming more prevalent in many industries (Bolman & Deal 2009; Hawthorne 2004). Whether or not the strategic importance of human resources development is a prominent and acknowledged part of development plans, this research suggests, its effects on organizational development and long-term strategic operations is huge (Bolman & Deal 2009; Hawthorne 2004). When human resource development is ignored, however, the effects could just as easily be detrimental.
There is some disagreement as to whether or not non-strategically-devised human resource development practices can actually provide long-term strategic security for organizations, however, with at least one study suggesting that the positive benefits of human resources development are limited to the conscious applications for which such practices are designed (Haslinda 2009). Even these conscious efforts can be thwarted by certain characteristics of the organization, including sheer size and other concurrent changes, shifting values, etc., and by the simple lack of an effective implementation procedure and plan for the proposed changes and a reduction in the perceived need for overall developmental change (Knill & Balint 2008). These issues are easily corrected for by the proper and conscious development of a human resources development plan specifically geared towards the creation of an organization that will be more effective and adaptive in the long-term.
In addition to promoting the success of individual organizations, effective human resources development procedures have been shown to increase individual empowerment and even have a positive social impact, improving attention to specific social ills and boosting quality of life for directly affected employees (Curran 2009; Worrall et al. 2010). Decentralization is also heralded as an effective way to increase adaptability in organizations, with minimal other risks (at least in certain industries and environments) as long as effective development procedures are in lace for individual staff members (Curran et al. 2009). This suggests that the perspective that organizations operate from the ground up is more successful for modern organizations.
The growing appreciation for human resources development that is apparent in current empirical studies and in broad overviews will continue to yield more specific details of human resources development at work and the mechanisms by which it influences organizational development overall. Current research shows that regardless of the large-scale strategic perspective of an organization or the theoretical framework applied to an understanding of how an organization operates, attention must necessarily be paid to the human resources of that organization and the proper development of these resources in order for other long-term plans to be successful. Educating and empowering employees provides greater opportunities for productive growth and increased job satisfaction, creating situations where long-term development is possible due to the retention and ever-increasing efficacy and productivity of an organization's human resources.
Further empirical research into specific practices at work in certain companies would still be advantageous in recommending best practices for the field, and several of the frameworks briefly mentioned in this review, and described more fully in the works cited, could also bear some solidification. As knowledge becomes more certain through repeated observation, recommendations and understandings will also become more concrete. It is hoped that this review provides one step towards this goal of more comprehensive and concrete understandings.
Bolman, L. & Deal, T. (2009). "Framing Change." OD practitioner 41(1), pp. 25-31.
Curran, C. (2009). "Taking an Organization to the Next Level." OD practitioner 41(4), pp. 12-7.
Haslinda, a. (2009). "Outcomes of Human Resource Development Interventions. Journal of social sciences 5(1), pp. 25-32.
Hawthrone, P. (2004). "Redesigning Library Human Resources: Integrating Human Resources Management and Organizational Development." Library Trends 53(1), pp. 172-86.
Knill, C. & Balint, T. (2008). "Explaining variation in organizational change: the reform of human resource management in the European Commission and the OECD." Journal of European public policy 15(5), pp. 669-90.