With the advent of the knowledge economy, human resources has become the most important and the most core resources for contemporary enterprises and organizations to maintain and enhance the quality of human resources has become one of the key factors in continuing operations and development of an organization. In this context, the concept of human resource development (HRD) was born. HRD appeared in the 1980s and has been paid attention increasingly by the world. HRD is a series of management strategies and activities aiming to enhance the quality of human resources. As a new strategy of development, HRD has been taken as the core weapon by governments, enterprises and organizations around the world to enhance their competitiveness. There are lots of mature theoretical studies on HRD, for a person who is about to engage in HRM work in future, understanding HRD theory and how to make a reasonable use of theoretical knowledge related to HRD in specific practice is very realistic. This essay first of all introduces the definition and significance of HRD, followed by a critical analysis on the definition, purpose and practice of HRD. Then, it takes Hillvale Council as the object of a case study to understand its current situation and problems in terms of HRD, combined with relevant literature to analyze these issues and propose solutions.
1.1 Definition of HRD 人力資源部的定義
Leonard Nadler（1970）在1969年美國培訓與發展學會年會上首次提出了人力資源開發的概念。麥克拉根（1989）將人力資源開發定義為在特定時間改變員工行為的有組織的活動行為。美國培訓與發展協會（American Society for Training and Development）將人力資源開發定義為：人力資源開發是綜合利用培訓與發展、職業發展、組織發展等手段來提高個人、團體和組織的效率。這個定義將職業發展和組織發展介紹給了人力資源部。Torraco和Swanson（1995）認為，人力資源部正在組織和開展學習活動，以提高績效或促進個人成長。戴維斯、諾頓和羅斯韋爾（2004）認為，人力資源開發是組織進行的任何有計劃的培訓、教育和發展活動，它們將組織戰略目標的實現與滿足個人需求和職業愿望相結合，不僅提高了勞動生產率，而且提高了個人滿意度。工作要求。
Leonard Nadler (1970) first proposed the concept of human resource development (HRD) at the annual meeting of the American Society of Training and Development in 1969. McLagan (1989) defined HRD as an organized activity conduct to change employee behavior at a particular time. American Society for Training and Development defines HRD as that HRD is the comprehensive utilization of training and development, career development, organizational development, and other means to improve the efficiency of individuals, groups and organizations. This definition introduces career development and organizational development to HRD. Torraco and Swanson (1995) believe that HRD are learning activities organized and carried out to improve performance or to promote personal growth. Davis, Naughton and Rothwell (2004) believe that HRD are any planned training and education and development activities undertaken by organizations, they combine achievement of organizations’ strategic goals with meeting the needs of individuals and career aspirations, which not only improves labor productivity, but also improves personal satisfaction for work.
1.2 Effects of HRD 人力資源開發的影響
HRD is an effective means to improve economic efficiency and management performance of an enterprise, which is achieved through the following aspects.
1.2.1 Greater productivity and good quality products and services
To survive and develop requires enterprises to pay attention to HRD. Without HRD, the knowledge structure of enterprises is very easy to aging, thus companies need to constantly update knowledge, organizations need to continue to learn. These are achieved through employee training and internal knowledge management. By using HRD to find the potential of employees, so that a company's HR can play their most roles. On the one hand, it can directly improve the quality of producers, thereby improving labor productivity; on the other hand, it can create more technological invention to provide consumers good quality products and services in order to achieve more economic efficiency and competitiveness improvement (Harrison, 2009).
1.2.2 Lower labor turnover and absenteeism
HRD emphasizes training and career design. Training is an effective means of staff growth, career design is an important way to improve cohesion of an enterprise, as well as accelerate the growth of workers. Through HRD to provide staff training will enable them to change from accepting training passively into an active seeking their own progress and organizational development, it will not only make workers and enterprises to grow together, but also enhance the cohesion of enterprises to culture staff’s sense of belonging for enterprises (Luoma, 2000; Foster and Akdere, 2007).
1.2.3 More motivated staff
Harrison and Kessels (2004), Garavan (1997) point out that implementation of HRD takes respect of people as the starting point to establish good communication ways, as well as mutual respect, cooperation and mutual assistance team atmosphere. HRD emphasizes formation of team atmosphere and team cooperation, in the current situation when market competition is increasingly intense, mutual cooperation and support among employees become an important weapon for survival and development of an enterprise. HRD is through making a comprehensive use of salary, work environment, corporate culture, staff training, performance appraisal and other means to more effectively improve employee satisfaction and to improve employees’ enthusiasm and engagement. HRD pays attention to employee career design and takes to achieve win-win situation of organizations and individuals as the goal to help to fundamentally improve the employees’, especially knowledge employees’ enthusiasm at work (Luoma, (2000).
1.2.4 More flexibility
Enterprises are through HRD to pass on corporate values to staff to culture code of conduct of common work, so that employees can consciously work in accordance with established practice to form a good, harmonious working environment, which enhances employees’ job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment to lay the foundation for building a learning organization and ensuring the effective implementation of business for enterprises (Foster and Akdere, 2007; Burack, 1991). On the basis of respect for staff’s independence and individuality to implement HRD, actively train and develop staff's potential will help enterprises to take the advantages of staff’s potential to the largest extent. Enterprises provide more training and study opportunities for staff, employees will have a good career moral and strong operational capacity to establish a strong sense of responsibility and professionalism, so that they can voluntarily make their own contribution to accomplish business goals (Bratton and Gold, 2003).
1.2.5 Greater ability to deal with change
Luoma (2000) analyze the strategic role of HRD. Firstly, as a means for an organization to remain competitive advantage, HRD enhance the expertise of members of the organization to increase the likelihood of realization of the organization’s objectives to meet the needs of the organization’s current strategic performance through playing a strategic role, which is similar to traditional training. Secondly, they believe that the strategy formation more relies on the expertise and learning capacity of senior management of an organization, and therefore the training of HRD for improving learning ability of senior staff also plays a key role in forming organizational strategy and take full advantage of new strategic opportunities emerging in the external environment.
1.3 Critical analysis
1.3.1 Critical analysis on HRD theory
Above definitions for HRD show three types of views, the first is the emphasis on the role of training in HRD, such as what Swanson and Toracco (1995) proposes, they point out the importance of HRD, realizing that it should first of all develop people’s ability, then they can effectively process and produce products. However, HRD under the guidance of this view is not systematic and planned, which lacks long-term goals. The second is to emphasize the importance of education in HRD, such as what Naughton and Rothwell (2004) analyzes. This view is valuable in recognizing that it is not enough to only conduct technical training for employees, training of ethical aspects is also needed, in order to form and consolidate an organization’s corporate culture. It also reflects the systematic and planned staff development, its shortcomings lie in that organizations’ condescendingly instilling employees, ignoring staff initiative. The third point emphasizes the importance of learning in HRD, such as what Leonard Nadler (1970) defines. Valuable point of this view is to emphasize the importance of giving full play to staff initiative, encourage mutual learning and self-development among employees in the learning process. However, the learning view of HRD puts forward higher requirements for technology hardware and cultural software of an organization.