Research Output

Critically Challenging some Assumptions in HRD

  This paper sets out to critically challenge five inter-related assumptions prominent in the HRD literature. These relate to: the exploitation of labour in enhancing shareholder value; the view that employees are co-contributors to and co-recipients of HRD benefits; the distinction between HRD and HRM; the relationship between HRD and unitarism; and, the relationship between HRD and organisational and learning cultures. From a critical modernist perspective, it is argued that these can only be adequately addressed by taking a point of departure from the particular state of the capital-labour relation in time, place and space. HRD, of its nature, exists in a continuous state of dialectical tension between capital and labour - and there is much that critical scholarship has yet to do in informing practitioners about how they might manage and cope with such tension.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 March 2005

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Social Science Electronic Publishing

  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


O'Donnell, D., McGuire, D., & Cross, C. (2005). Critically Challenging some Assumptions in HRD. SSRN E-Journal,



capital-labour relation, critical modernism, critical theory, employment relation, HRD, human resource development

Monthly Views:

Available Documents