Research Output

Understanding the HRD Role in MNCs:The Imperatives of Social Capital and Networking

  In an era of increasing global competition, it is argued that knowledge and skills are the key sources of competitive advantage. This places the human resource development (HRD) function in a situation of increased status and power, if HRD professionals adopt roles in a way that adds “value” and facilitates achievement of competitive advantage. Multinational corporations (MNCs) are ensconced in this dynamic, increasingly competitive and global environment, even more so than domestic organizations. This provides opportunities for HRD professionals to demonstrate their ability to “deliver value” by reconceptualizing their role as “strategic” or business partners. To engage in such roles, it is evident that social capital is of increasing importance to HRD professionals, and hence the imperativeness of developing social networking competency. This article analyzes the implications of the MNC context for the roles of HRD professionals. It discusses how this context influences and changes their roles and how those roles are organized. Drawing from this discussion, it explores the emergence and increasing importance of social networking competency for HRD professional's efforts at successfully engaged in new roles.

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  • Date:

    15 May 2009

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  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


Gubbins, C., & Garavan, T. N. (2009). Understanding the HRD Role in MNCs:The Imperatives of Social Capital and Networking. Human Resource Development Review, 8(2), 245-275.



HRD professional role; MNC; social networking; social capital; business partner; centers of expertise; corporate HRD; centers of excellence

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