Purpose – To explore and describe the roles, activities and strategies of French human resource development professionals. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based primarily on exploratory and descriptive research. A range of secondary sources on European and French human resource development is critically reviewed to generate a number of research questions designed to identify the corporate perspective on human resource development by means of cases drawn from six organizations located in Eastern France. Findings – These confirm the lack of a clear understanding of human resource development on the part of French companies; the wide range of activities that is considered to fall within human resource development; an emerging interest in management development, career development and skills forecasting, but a neglect of training evaluation; the similarity of human resource development practitioner roles to those elsewhere in Europe; growing evidence of the involvement of line managers in human resource development activity, and a strong commitment to the strategic significance of human resource development. Research limitations/implications – The study was based on an opportunity sample of just six companies in Eastern France, and may therefore not be representative, but it does provide findings that expand upon and also qualify earlier research. Practical implications – This study provides new knowledge and understanding of the context and practice of human resource development in France and makes a number of suggestions for further research. Originality/value – This paper provides original research based on recent cases of corporate human resource development practice, and should be of interest to scholars of international human resource development.
Journal of European Industrial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2005
Keywords: Human resource development; France