The term human resource development, or more commonly HRD, is widely used. Yet it has ambiguous connotations, since it may refer to activities aimed at increasing human capacities, rights and entitlements from a business or an economic perspective, or as an instrument of human development which enables personal and societal advancement toward economic progress and democratic self-determination in developing countries.
The field of HRD or Human Resource Development encompasses several aspects of enabling and empowering human resources in organization. Whereas earlier HRD was denoted as managing people in organizations with emphasis on payroll, training and other functions that were designed to keep employees happy, the current line of management thought focuses on empowering and enabling them to become employees capable of fulfilling their aspirations and actualizing their potential. This shift in the way human resources are treated has come about due to the prevailing notion that human resources are sources of competitive advantage and not merely employees fulfilling their job responsibilities. The point here is that the current paradigm in HRD treats employees as value creators and assets based on the RBV or the Resource Based View of the firm that has emerged in the SHRM (Strategic Human Resource Management) field.
The field of HRD spans several functions across the organization starting with employee recruitment and training, appraisals and payroll and extending to the recreational and motivational aspects of employee development.
Finally, HRD is no longer just about payroll or timekeeping and leave tracking. On the other hand, directors of HRD in companies like Infosys are much sought after for their inputs into the whole range of activities spanning the function and they are expected to add value rather than just consume resources. With this introduction, we will be moving into the module covering HRD with each aspect of the HRD function and the associated topics being covered here. It is hoped that the readers would gain an overall perspective about HRD after going through the HRD module.