National and Organizational Imperatives for HRD in Ghana

Authored by: Meera Alagaraja , Nana K. Arthur-Mensah

The Routledge Companion to Human Resource Development

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415820424
eBook ISBN: 9780203386446
Adobe ISBN: 9781136727061


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Globalization has transformed the economic, social and political priorities of countries. Not surprisingly, emergent national priorities underscore an overwhelming focus on human capital development through education, skill and workforce development as countries ready themselves for a global war for jobs (World Bank 2011). Despite this common focus, countries differ in their approaches in developing human resources. Western countries view HRD primarily as a means for achieving economic growth through the private sector with limited government interference (Cunningham et al. 2006). In the western context, HRD efforts thus generally identify and address organizational imperatives. In contrast, non-western nations take for granted the primary role of the state or government for enabling a complementary reconciliation of economic and social development outcomes (Cho and McLean 2004). The latter perspective defines National Human Resource Development (NHRD) and emphasizes the importance of national imperatives as an additional focus of HRD efforts. Examining NHRD is significant as it emphasizes the influences of important but often overlooked political, economic, sociocultural factors that shape HRD systems, policies and practices in organizations. We bring together western and non-western perspectives as a means for identifying organizational and national imperatives concerning HRD in Ghana with implications for theory and practice. Building a national and organizational platform for long term success with a general recognition that both economic and social development outcomes are necessary for sustaining global competitiveness entails a different understanding and focus for HRD scholars and practitioners.

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