Human resource development is a newly emerging field of study. Although development of human beings has been in existence in some form or the other since the beginning of civilization, a planned and systemic approach to HRD in the corporate sector emerged in the later half of the 20th century. In the past, training was the only planned way of developing human resources. But now HRD has emerged as an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the development of human resources.

In the organizational context, human resource development may be described as a continuous and planned process by which employees of an organization are helped to:

(a) Acquire or sharpen capabilities required to perform various functions associated with their present or expected future roles.

(b) Develop their general capabilities as individuals and discover and exploit their own inner potential for their own and/or organizational development purpose.


(c) Develop an organizational culture in which superior-subordinate relationships, teamwork and collaboration among sub-units are strong and contribute to the professional well-being, motivation and pride of employees. Put simply, HRD also man’s competence building, commitment building and culture building.

In the organization context, scope of HRD is not limited to the development of the organizational role of the employees but extends to the individuals inner feelings, genius and latent potentialities of those working in the organization. Individuals in an organization have unlimited potential for growth and development and this can be multiplied and channelised through systematic efforts. Megginson viewed human resources as the total knowledge, skills, creative, abilities, talents and aptitudes of an organization’s workforce as well as the values, attitudes and beliefs of the individual involved.

HRD is an effort to develop capabilities and competence among employees as well as to create an organizational environment conducive to the employee’s development. A.D. Moddie has observed that, “Good organization-building has to create around it a bracing atmosphere, a prideful tradition of integrity, excellence and fellowship. Human beings breathe this ethos around them almost unconsciously and these traditions make for that ethos”.

According to Ishwar Dayal, three things are important in HRD – “Ways to better adjust the individual to his job and the environment; the greatest involvement of the employee in various aspects of his work, the greatest concern for enhancing the capabilities of the individual.”


HRD in brief is transformation of potential human resources into kinetic human resources for optimisation of the potential capacity of employees. “Human rather than capital is the key to development.”

HRD is needed by any organization that wants to grow continuously. No organisation can grow and survive in the present-day environment without the growth and development of its people. People need competencies to perform tasks. Higher degree and quality of performance of tasks require higher level skills.

Without continuous development of competencies in people, an organization is not likely to achieve its goals. It has been observed by M.N. Kulkarni that, HRD is an aid to the efficient running of an enterprise. It is now a firm belief that organizations can improve their effectiveness and performance only through the development of human beings.

Rao and Abraham in their paper entitled “Human Resource Development Climate in Indian Organizations” have referred to the existence of an optimal level of development climate as a pre-requisite for- facilitating HRD systems in the organization.


Development climate constitutes three variables viz.:

1. General Climate

2. HRD mechanisms

3. The OCTAPACE culture

1. General Climate:


The general climate deals with the importance being given to human resource development in general by the top management in line managers. Such supportive climate consists of not only top management and line management’s commitment but good personnel policies and positive attitude towards development. HRD mechanisms include performance and potential feedback.

Counseling, career planning, employee welfare, job rotation etc. These mechanisms are the methods initiated to develop employee’s competencies. OCTAPACE culture refers to the values of openness, conform, trust, authenticity pro-activity, autonomy, collaboration and experimentation. Such a culture is essential for facilitating human resource development. Well-known economist Alfred Marshall stated that, “The most valuable of all capital is that invested in human beings.”

HRD aims at the integrated growth of the employees by enabling them to know their strengths and weaknesses to improve their performance. It provides guidance through the bosses to the employees for better performance. Organizations’ HRM practices have been found to have a significant impact on organizational performance. Improving an organization’s HRM practices could increase its market value. The term used to describe these practices that lead to such results is high-performance work practices.

High-performance work practices can lead to both individual and high organizational performance. An organization is set up for the achievement of certain objectives. These objectives can be achieved only when various resources are brought together and managed in such a way that they contribute their best.


Those resources are both human and non-human. Of all the resources the ‘human recourse’ is the most signification and only active factor of production. The utilization of all other resources directly depends on the efficient utilization of human resources. In fact, people are the living force of an organization and constitute its core resources as distinct from physical and financial resources.

“Our people are our most important asset.” Many organizations are using this phrase to acknowledge the important role that employees play in organizational success. These organizations also stress that all managers must engage in some human resource management activities, even in large organizations that have a specialized HRM department. Can HRM be an important strategic tool? Can it help establish an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage?

Various studies have concluded that an organization’s human resources can significant source of competitive advantage; it involves working with and through people and seeing them as partners, not just as costs to be minimized or avoided. That is what organizations are doing. In addition to their potential importance as part of organizational strategy and contribution to competitive advantage, organizations’ HRM practices have been found to have a significant impact on organizational performance.

Improving an organization’s HRM practices could increase its market value. The term used to describe these practices that lead to such results is high performance work practices. High performance work practices can lead to both individual and organizational performance.


Examples of high-performance work practices

i. Self-directed work teams

ii. Job rotation

iii. High levels of skills training


iv. Problem solving groups

v. Total quality management procedures and processes

vi. Encouragement of innovative and creative behaviour

vii. Extensive employee involvement and training

viii. Implementing employee suggestions

ix. Contingent pay based on performance


x. Coaching and mentoring

xi. Significant amount of information sharing

xii. Use of employee attitude surveys

xiii. Cross functional integration

xiv. Comprehensive employee recruitment and selection procedures.

The common thing in these practices think to be a commitment to improving the knowledge, skills and abilities of an organization’s employees increasing their motivation, enhancing the retention of quality employees while encouraging non-performers to leave. Organizations thrive when human resources are motivated to perform.


To ensure employee motivation organization need to use to a structured approach using a structured approach, there are three aspects of motivation that need to be explored in order to identified and evaluate motivational issues:

i. The alignment between employee and organizational motivations and coals,

ii. The structures and processes within which motivational issues are negotiated between employees and the organizations,

iii. What employees want to avoid, as these can undermine efforts to create motivating environment.

2. Human Resource Development Mechanisms:

Udai Pareek refers to performance appraisal, career advancement, career planning and training as dimensions of HRD.

The following HRD mechanisms can help in enabling human resources for excellence performance:


Performance Appraisal:

The process of performance appraisal determines how well an employee is performing his job. It provides a mechanism for identification of qualities and deficiencies observed in an employee in relation to his job performance. The objective of performance appraisal is to determine the present state of efficiency of a worker in order to establish the actual need for training.

This process consists of:

(a) Setting standards for performance

(b) Communicating the standards to the employees

(c) Measuring the performance


(d) Comparing the actual performance with the standards set.

Potential Appraisal:

Potential appraisal provides necessary data which helps in preparing career plans for individuals. It aims at development of latent abilities of individuals. When an organization is diversifying its operations or introducing changes, capacities to perform new roles and responsibilities must continually be developed among employees.

Feedback Counselling:

Feedback of performance data can be used to monitor individual development and for identifying training needs. Career counselling and verbal rewards are integral parts of review discussions between the subordinate and the superior.

Counselling helps the executives to understand the limitations of his seniors and problems of his juniors, improves communication thereby facilitating quality decisions, helps employees in recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and also help evaluate the impact of their decisions and so on. This would help the employees in acquiring greater competencies.



The success of any development programme depends on the quality of training faculties. Training is a process that involves the acquisition of skills, concepts and attitudes in order to increase the effectiveness of employees in doing particular jobs. Training is expected to provide the needful stimulus to initiate impulses of change in management and to improve efficiency, productivity and administrative effectiveness.

Role Analysis:

Role analysis is a participatory process which aims at defining the work content of a role in relation to all those with whom the role occupant has significant interaction in the performance of his job. Jobs have to be analyzed for proper planning of work which is necessary for improving efficiency and performance. This is known as job analysis.

Career Planning:

Career planning means helping the employees to plan their career in terms of their capacities within the context of organizational needs. It is the planning of one’s career and implementation of career plans by means of education, training, job search and acquisition of work experiences. It aims at generating among employees an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and helping them to match their abilities to the needs of the organization.

Job Rotation:

The work tasks should be related among the employees so as to broaden their field of specialization, as well as their knowledge about the organization’s operations as a whole. The work tasks therefore, should be rotated once a year among the various employees depending upon their qualifications and suitability to perform new roles.

Quality Circles:

A quality circle is a small group of employees doing similar or related work who meet regularly to identify, analyze and solve product quality problems and to improve general operation. The quality circles are relatively autonomous units usually led by a supervisor or a senior worker and organized as work units.

The objectives of quality circles are:

(a) To develop, enhance and utilize human resources effectively;

(b) To satisfy the workers’ psychological needs to motivate them;

(c) To improve supervisory skills of employees like leadership, inter-personal and conflict resolution;

(d) To utilize the skills through participation, creating work interest and inculcating problem solving techniques.

Reward System:

Rewarding employee’s performance over and above their normal wages and salaries is considered to be an important task of HRD. In any organization, the managers and workers have similar motivations, although the manager controls the means of achieving need satisfaction at work and each employee seeks self-development to go as far as possible on his own ability.

But frustration, slow work and depression come in the way of need satisfaction. One way of overcoming such frustration is rewarding the efficient workers for their work which may be termed as incentive. It will lead to better utilization of human resources at all levels, which is the quickest and surest means of increasing productivity.

Organization Development:

Organization development is an organizational wide, planned effort managed from the top, placing emphasis on making appropriate interventions in the ongoing activities of the organization. It provides a normative framework within which changes in the climate and culture of the organization towards harnessing the human potential for realization of organizational objectives is brought out. It is a planned change strategy aimed at developing and revitalizing the adaptive capacities of organizations and individuals so as to enable them to respond to their internal and external environments in a pro-active manner.

Quality of Work Life:

For an employee to be able to work at his best, it is necessary to understand that inadequate working and living conditions produce adverse mental and physical effects on the employee, ultimately causing decline in the efficiency. The HRD system takes care of employees’ health and well-being of their families by providing them with better working conditions, which promote a healthy atmosphere of development and motivation among employees.

Human Resource Planning:

This process aims at ensuring that the organization will have adequate number of qualified persons, available at the proper time, performing jobs which would meet the needs of the organization and also provide satisfaction to the individuals involved. It is an endeavour to match demand and supply for various types of human skills in the organization.

3. OCTAPACE Culture:

The term OCTAPACE has been coined to denote the characteristics of HRD climate which includes openness, confrontation, trust, autonomy, proactivity, authenticity, collaboration and experimentation.


i. Express freely and frankly

ii. No reprisals for constructive upward communication

iii. Relevant disclosure.


i. Not afraid to face problems, both own and forced

ii. Voluntarily seek to handle problems (nip in the bud)

iii. Problems not carpeted

iv. Solve problems in a win-win style.


i. Trust in the organization context

ii. Sense of assurance of other’s timely help

iii. Shared information not misused

iv. Higher empathy.


i. Genuine interaction

ii. Transparency.


i. Anticipate

ii. Initiate action without prompting

iii. No passing the buck

iv. Reduce surprises.


i. Empowered

ii. Accountable

iii. Bonafide

iv. Observe role boundary.


i. Mutual dependence

ii. Cross functional working

iii. “We” feeling

iv. Team working

v. Sharing resources for synergy.


i. Encourage to try within parameters

ii. Tolerate bonafide mistakes

iii. Encourage “Newness”

iv. Share learning through experimentation.

A sound HRD system is perhaps the most important element in organizational effectiveness, which not only ensures smooth performance but also long-term survival and growth of the organization.

HRD can play an effective role in:

(a) Optimizing the use of employees for the growth of the organization.

(b) Enabling employees to grow within the organization.

(c) Helping in the congruence of individual aspirations and organizational expectations.

(d) Promoting collaboration and team spirit.

(e) Maximizing managerial effectiveness by having an involved, committed and highly motivated team of managers.

(f) Building the skills necessary to meet existing and long-term organizational needs.

(g) Achieving good employer-employee relations with regards for basic human values.

A sound HRD system is perhaps the most important element in organizational effectiveness, which not only ensures smooth performance but also long-term survival and growth of the organization. Hence, human resources can become excellent performers by developing and motivating them.

Human Resource Development in India:

Human Resource Development is based on the concept that every human being has some potential to do remarkable things. If an organisation has to be effective then the task of an executive is to multiply performance capacity of the staff by putting available natural resources, like strength, health, aspirations, etc.

Human resource development is a process by which the employees of an organisation are continuously helped in a planned way to:

(i) Acquire capabilities (knowledge, perspectives, attitude, values and skills) required to perform various tasks or functions associated with their present or future expected roles,

(ii) Develop capabilities and utilize their potential for their own or organisation development process, and

(iii) Develop an organisational culture where superior-subordinate relationship, team­work and collaborations among different sub-units are strong and can contribute to the organisational health dynamism and pride of employee.

Technological advancement and changes are taking place very rapidly. To meet effectively, these requirements of the changing environment, human resources need to be refreshed, to be imparted training from time to time.

The other reasons, which weigh in favour of human resource development are as follows:

(i) Human resource development is a crucial factor in determining the growth and prosperity of business enterprises.

(ii) Industrial development on modern lines has created a problem of inadequately trained personnel at all levels of management in business undertaking.

(iii) It promises to fulfil the career aspirations of the working force and to meet the future requirement of the working force in the light of organisational goals.

(iv) To ensure control of labour costs by avoiding both shortages and surpluses of manpower in the establishments.

(v) To avoid all kinds of distortions, low-sided developments, shortfalls of performance and waste of national resources.

Human resource development is a continuous process and can be achieved by arranging the organisational process in a scientific method, which can create healthy climate for development. They adopt different methods at different levels for different people to get their involvement in the achievement of the organisational objective. The Japanese experiment and technique can also be termed as teamwork.

The members of organisation feel themselves as a member of a team and therefore co-operate in achieving the organisational goal. Whereas the managers try to develop the subordinates for increasing their effectiveness. Therefore, the strategy of human resource development should include the following points systematically in order to make it purposeful, meaningful and effective for our human resource development.

At the first stage, team development is one of the key elements in achieving organisational effectiveness and individual effectiveness. Team development is a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes and values of individuals and structure of organisations so that the organisation and individuals can better adopt to new technology, new markets, new process of production and meet new challenges and changes in India. Thus, work is the essential for achieving corporate excellence and for the developing human resource.

At the second stage, the ability to develop the leadership of others three things are essential:

(i) A teachable point of view.

(ii) A story for organisation and

(iii) A well-defined teaching methodology. A leader must win the support of employees, partners, investors and regulators for all types of matters. The most effective partners usually have a strong position, power, vast experiences, high credibility and real leadership coordinating needs a diversity of views.

At the third stage, in resources planning, the efforts to develop human resources should be put into effect after making a through consideration or investigation of probable growth and changes in various functions of the enterprises. It should be regarded as much an integral part of personal functions as any other activity in the human resource development.

At the fourth stage, proper decision in respect of developmental approaches should be taken on the basis of results obtained under different developmental approaches. Generally, 85% of the development occurs as a result of on the job experience – the way he works, the way he is allowed to work, the way his superior works and the impact of his style on the subordinates.

Formal training outside the company and developmental programmes affect 15% of his development. Therefore, the formal training should be regarded as a supporting function as it cannot take care of the whole range of development of persons at all levels.

At the fifth stage, for utilising trained personnel properly at all levels, the policy decision of the company should be such as may provide with proper opportunities to the trained personnel and create such an organisational climate where their new knowledge skills or techniques and concepts can be utilised immediately for the benefit of the company’s as well as the individual’s growth.

At the sixth stage, to build up an infrastructure of technology on modern lines, stress should be laid on overall transformation of traditional attitudes, norms and values. For this purpose, individuals should be guided and educated properly by the universally acceptable rational norms with clear-cut ideas about the technological changes.

At the seventh and final stage, impact of development efforts should be assessed and evaluated.

The evaluation of impact of developmental efforts or training can be done at three levels:

(i) Appreciation or endorsement level – did he like the programme and its content?

(ii) Learning or acquiring level – what did he learn or acquire and

(iii) Productivity or result level – has his new learning contributed to certain positive results such a cutting costs, reducing waste, increasing productivity sale, etc.

The above steps in the strategy of human resource development also need suitable theoretical as well as practical training of personnel along with change of attitudes at all levels. But the existing systems of organisation and methods of training are incoherent with the industrial needs and problems and also not tailored to the requirement of the modern technological changes. Human resource development has a very bright future in India provided its philosophy is honestly implemented.

The seminar concludes with suggested procedures and action-guides for effective human resources development in India. India is popular for its traditional honesty, philosophy and unselfishness. All planning, procedure policies, rules and regulations must be implemented with honesty to achieve effective results.

Human Resource Development and Business Policy in India:

The fast changing environment necessitates an organisation to have a sound business policy. Absence of such a policy sometimes threatens the very survival of the organisation, let alone the problem of maintaining its position in the industry/economy.

However, the need to have a strong workforce (in terms of quality of input and job performance) in the organisation may not be over-emphasised, since the mere presence of a sound policy would not do any wonders. The policy has to be implemented realistically and whenever necessary, it needs to be modified to make it more relevant and objective.

Therefore, the competence of the workforce is a critical factor in determining both:

(a) The quality of business policy, the organisation settles for; and

(b) The degree to which the policy shall be successfully implemented.

It becomes almost imperative for all organisations to periodically carry out a kind of SWOT analysis in relation to the competences of human resources. The objective of such an analysis would be to know whether the organisation is exploiting the opportunities in the environment to the maximum advantage, as also whether it has the essay capability to make us of the opportunities which crop up from time to time.

On the other hand, the assessment should also indicate whether the workforce is competent enough to withstand the threats suddenly thrown up by the environment. An analysis of this nature would probably indicate the degree of human dynamism present in the organisation.

There are a few important implications of the above discussion for an organisation’s personnel department. If the organisation does not have a well-spelt out personnel policy, it is necessary for it to lay down one, when the business policy is in the making. On the other hand, where a personnel policy already drawn up, the organisation may have to continually modifyit to make it more relevant to the business objectives laid down in policy.

A few of the components of personnel policy, which would need careful attention are being discussed in the following:

One of the most important areas is the ‘training and development’ of the workforce in an organisation. This is necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly changes in the environment. However, to identify the areas for ‘training and development’ and make training and development activities more effective, a concerted effort is warranted in order to have a sound performance appraisal (PA) system.

In the context of the business policy, it would mean enlarging the scope of routine PA system for – assessing competencies in relation to the organisational objectives; as well as the response-competence (dynamism) of the workforce in relation to the favourable and unfavourable environmental changes.

In other words, the PA system ought to focus on assessing the potential contribution of the workforce in achieving the organisational objectives; and on evaluating the degree of adaptability in relation to the changes, both internal as well external to the organisation.

In practice, the PA system being suggested would be different from the ones usually in vogue. The present practice of appraising performance in relation to the tasks assigned to an employee gives information about his job performance only. On the behavioural dimension, the present practice fails to indicate as to what degree an employee is applying himself in performing his job; conversely, it does not tell as to what degree he is withholding himself in his job performance.

That is, it fails to indicate the potential contribution an employee can/may make towards achieving the organisational objectives. This is most likely the case where organisations use PA as a method to control behaviour, or when the PA system has become a matter of routine.

In the PA instruments normally available, the potential of a person cannot be judged/assessed because the performance is being judged against the pre-defined and already assigned tasks and not against the possible tasks a person may have to perform in near future, as implied in the organisational objectives.

It is not necessary that the potential be assessed only with a view to know whether a person is fit for promotion or not. Because even working at the same hierarchical level, a person may have to perform tasks requiring better skills or demanding more responsible behaviour. One may say, therefore, that the PA system may be made more futuristic by relating the parameters of assessment to the planned objectives/goals of the organisation.

Where such an assessment seems a must for appraisal to the top managements (including the chief-executives of organisations who may carry out this exercise through self-appraisal and, for a more objective assessment with the help of their peers and may be immediate subordinates), it would be advantageous to assess ordinary workers/employees of the organisation from this angle as well.

One good method of involving employees at various levels is the ‘suggestion scheme’ practised in many good organisations. However, it is ironical to see that the suggestion schemes often get restricted to the improvement of immediate work environment. Employees in the lower ranks of the organisation are normally not encouraged expected to think in terms of the larger goals of the organisation.

One could argue by saying that personnel in the lower ranks may not be interested in knowing the overall organisational objectives as spelled out in business policy. But such may not be the case. In fact, it is more understandable why all levels of workforce may be interested in the overall organisational objectives and their achievement.

Because so long they think that the achieving of organisational objectives is necessary for the very survival of the organisation or even maintaining the status quo (which ensures them job-security, and compensation at the existing levels) a fair degree of contribution may be forthcoming. However, involving the workforce at all levels may imply breaking the overall organisational objectives into manageable goals and then providing adequate information about the relation of these goals to the organisational objectives.

In a nutshell, it seems worthwhile to suggest that the PA systems must be linked with the achievement of organisational objective and the possible contribution existing manpower can make towards this end.

Once an organisation adopts PA (Performance Appraisal) systems, it may easily underline the specific areas in which its man power needs to be trained. It may be still better if the organisation draws up a proper training policy so that the competences of the workforce match the challenges of the environment. Absence of a well-directed training policy may not bring in the desired results. Apart from having a relevant training policy, it is equally important to tap the maximum contribution from the employee.

Therefore, organisational culture must encourage initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship. That is, such encouragement is an important part of the work system. The important point to understand is that an employee must be encouraged to take initiative or think creatively.

This is much different from the present practice of simply watching (often critically) the job behaviour an employee. Implicitly, waiting for the time till an employee takes an initiative on his own for which he may be praised or rewarded. But if he does not take initiative on his own, he is simply perceived (adjudge) to be one of the ordinary folk.

Therefore, it is important for all organisations to concentrate on development of a relevant organisational culture that facilitates the achievement of organisational objectives through maximum contribution of the employees.

There are a few other areas of personnel policy that may need revamping. These are policies with regard to job-mobility within the organisation; and, retaining of the trained and experienced workforce particularly in the wake of tempting offers from the competing companies.

From the above discussion above, one would conclude; it is important for an organisation to have a realistic business policy, it is equally important to have a well-drawn-up personnel policy, which may need radical changes.

The important point is that these policies must be linked with each other, not worked out in isolation, particularly in the areas of performance appraisal and management of creativity/innovation. At the same time, the personnel policy must meet the challenges of retaining the trained manpower, which is the scarcest resource in the making.