HRD in North America

Authored by: Travor C. Brown , José Ernesto Rangel Delgado , Bronwyn Cass

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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Given that the field of HRD is relatively new, we should not be surprised that there has been considerable debate concerning its definition and purposes. In a recent work, Hamlin and Stewart (2011: 210) defined four core purposes of HRD. In this chapter, we will ground our discussion on these four core purposes in the context of Canada and Mexico:

Improving individual or group effectiveness and performance;

Improving organizational effectiveness and performance;

Developing knowledge, skills and competencies; and

Enhancing human potential and personal growth.

From a broader North American perspective, the field of HRD is well established. We see academic programs graduating undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees (take for example, Texas A&M, University of Minnesota, Florida International University – see and a dedicated society (Academy of Human Resource Development [AHRD]) encompassing scholars, students and practitioners. Clearly, these elements show that HRD has a solid foundation in North America.

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