Investing in HRD in Uncertain Times Now and in the Future

Wayne F. Cascio
Advances in Developing Human Resources February 2014 vol. 16 no. 1, pp. 108-122

The Problem We live in uncertain times, exacerbated by many direct and indirect effects of the global financial crisis. However, there is a lack of understanding about how human resource development (HRD) is responding to the global financial crisis or how HRD scholars and practitioners can best respond to these new realities and thus successfully ensure the future of HRD.

The Solution To appreciate the future, it is critical to understand the past. Thus, this reflective piece outlines several factors that have caused, and continue to cause, uncertainty in the global economy, including structural changes in labor markets and developments in technology. A literature review revealed several HRD responses of firms to these new realities. These include technology-delivered instruction and social-learning tools. The article concludes by identifying characteristics of effective training and examines some distinctive practices of three firms that have been recognized as the global best in class for their leadership-development efforts.

The Stakeholders
Scholars and practitioners interested in the HRD, technology-delivered instruction, and social-learning fields.