Purpose – The paper aims to report initial empirical research that examines UK employees’ perceptions of the changing nature of work since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) to consider how the financial context may have constrained HRD practice and more sustainable approaches. Design/methodology/approach – Focus group research was facilitated through collective group discussion. Through template analysis of the findings, thematic analysis was undertaken to extend prior research. Themes used by Hassard et al. (2009) in terms of the changing nature of the workplace between 2000 and 2008, were used to provide new data on HRD realities. Findings – Participants reported diminishing personal control over changes within the workplace and a cultural shift towards a harsher work climate. HRD was considered as silenced or absent and associated solely with low cost-based e-learning rather than acting in strategic role supporting sustainable business objectives. Research limitations/implications – Whilst providing only indications from employee perceptions, the research identifies a weakened HRD function. The key contribution of this paper lies with empirical evidence of post-GFC constraints placed upon HRD strategies. It further identifies whether alternative development approaches, mediated by organisational learning capabilities, might emancipate UK HRD. Social implications – This paper engenders a debate around the status of HRD within the UK organisations, further to the global financial crisis (GFC), where HRD might be viewed as at a juncture to argue a need for a shift from a financialised mode for people management towards one of greater people focus. Originality/value – This research provides initial findings of the impact of the economic climate. It considers new approaches which might resolve expiring HRD through more sustainable practices.
European Journal of Training and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 16, 2015