Strategic human resource development


This essay will talk about the existence of strategic human resource development from just merely human resource development. Then, it will be proceed with both role of strategic human resource development and management, and, determine whether strategic human resource development have its own space or not. After that, this paper will essay on the impact of economic and social globalisation on strategic human resource development and followed by conclusion.


Organisational Development (OD) practice creates Human Resource Development which led to individual and organisational learning. According to Hellriegel, Jackson and Slocum (2005), &lsqou;Organisation Development is a planned, long-range, behavioural science strategy for understanding, changing, and developing an organisation’s workforce in order to improve its effectiveness&rsqou;.

McLagan (1989 cited in Wilson, 2005, p.10) described ‘HRD as the integrated use of individual training and development, organization development, and career development to improve individual, group and organizational effectiveness’. Pace, Smith and Mills (1991) state that ‘the goal of HRD is to achieve the highest quality of work life for the employee and to produce the highest quality of products and services possible in the environment and context of the organization in which development is occurring’.

Nowadays, strategy is important in integrating the nature of HRD into the organisation. Therefore, Human Resource Development is implemented strategically. Hence, Strategic Human Resource Development (SHRD) can be defined as, strategising the integration of HRD with formulation and implementation with a long-term view of Human Resource policy. In other words, SHRD is how HRD is applied and aligned to achieve the organisational goals and objectives strategically. It can be done by horizontal integration among Human Resource functions and vertical integration with corporate strategy to achieve Strategic Human Resource as core competitive advantage.

Therefore by the movement from being simply HRD towards SHRD shows that, there might be some changes going on within the environment that need the human resources to be develop. Beer and Spector (1989; in Garavan et al., 1995 cited in Wilson, 2005, p.10) maintain that ‘Strategic HRD can be viewed as a proactive, system-wide intervention, with it linked to strategic planning and cultural change…………HRD can only be strategic if it is incorporated into the overall corporate business strategy’.

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Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) can be defined as relating the strategic goals and objectives of the organization with its human resources, so as to improve business performance and developing organizational culture which encourage innovation and flexibility to gain competitive advantage. SHRM will involve the HR functions through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding personnel. De Cieri, et al. (2008) states that ‘SHRM can be thought as the pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable an organisation to achieve its goals’.

In the strategy implementation of HR practices in SHRM, one of the components is selection, training and development of people where this can be achieved by employee learning and development. This is where SHRD plays its part to implement new approach of training and development strategically and be flexible as well as to develop Individuals to possess certain skills to perform certain tasks in order to accomplish the company’s goals. Hence, those individuals may be motivated through training to perform their skills effectively to increase the quality and productivity.

Another role of SHRM is transferring the responsibility of managing human resource to a lower level because of the dynamic change happening nowadays instead of centralising decision making. Thus, the lower levels also have their say in determining, implementing and setting strategy which is the component of SHRD roles. During the implementation of strategic planning and systematic, strategy to reach company goals is carried out.

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Rather than being a functional specialist, SHRM and SHRD should be activities of management that aligned with business strategies of organisations. To support this, Boxall (1991) said: ‘Human resource development cannot be conceptualise as a stand alone corporate issue, strategically it must flow from and be dependent upon the organisations structure- it is therefore seen as strategic by virtue of its alignment with business strategy, organisational structure, and internal consistency’.

According to Johnson and Scholes (2002 cited in Wilson, 2005, p.87) there are ‘three main elements to strategic management: strategic analysis, strategic choice and strategy implementation, which are not linear events but interlinked in terms of a role for HRD and HRM’. Here, it shows that, SHRD lies within the context of SHRM.


Globalisation is about movement and change. ‘Globalisation can be defined as the ongoing economic, technological, social, and political integration of the world that began after the Second World War’ (

As a result of globalisation, there is a wide customer-based and competitors all over the world. Organisations in high-wage countries will find it difficult to maintain low labour costs. Therefore, they may create business strategies that stress innovation and require employees with high levels of skills and knowledge.

The following example will support the argument. Jackson, Schuler and Werner (2009, p.39) noted that ‘Malden Mills, the textile company that makes Polartec, is also counting on its knowledge resources. Located in Massachusetts, its factory employees can’t compete with the low-cost labor in other countries. Instead, it needs to leverage research capabilities to develop new products and production methods. As these and other factories evolve, low-skilled jobs will be replaced by jobs requiring much higher skills. Employers and employees alike will be required to adapt accordingly’.

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For that reason, economic globalisation may amend the way a company manage their human resources. One way is to train their staff for present requirements and develop them for future requirements. Individual talents are being developed through strategic training programs to achieve that particular level of skills and knowledge to gain competitive advantage. And also, in order to achieve competitive advantage, top levels need to acquire, develop and retain appropriate expertise to connect the learning process directly to the strategic direction of the organization.

One of the key challenges from globalisation is competitiveness. So, organisation should consider the competitive challenge, such as, how to keep competitors weaker, how many and what people to employ, how to lower production costs and many more.

Due to the pressure of fast changes in the labour market and since globalisation may create and destruct jobs it may contribute instability in social relationships. The sense of security to maintain the job is through social protection as well as higher quality of work. In order to achieve higher quality of work that aligns with its strategic goals and competing with the growing pools of skilled workers in emerging market countries, individuals need to improve their performance through learning, training and development, and also adapt to the change of the environment. Adapting towards changes will have social impacts that need to be managed by HRD.

Taking as an example, ‘As the European Policy Committee (EPC) notes in a recent report (EPC, 2005), it is imperative that Europe’s economies are able to move labour and capital swiftly and with ease ‘to take advantage of new opportunities and potential income gains, and minimise adjustment costs’. Particular concerns are to avoid concentrations of displaced workers’ (

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