Critical human resource development: enabling alternative subject positions within a master of arts in human resource development educational programme

A. Lawless, S. Sambrook, Jim Stewart

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    Abstract

    We examine how students made sense of the learning that occurred within a curriculum that challenged ‘traditional’ human resource development (HRD), a curriculum informed by critical content and critical process. We draw attention to the identity work undertaken by students who were introduced to critical HRD and examine how this discourse enabled alternative ‘subject positions’. Drawing on an ethnographic research study informed by a discourse perspective on learning and identity, we explore how students reflected and made sense of their learning and identify eight subject positions: academic practitioner, frustrated practitioner researcher, deep thinking performer, politically aware and active, powerful boundary worker, personally empowered, emancipatory practitioner and personally empowered but disengaged. Drawing on these findings, we question whether the introduction of critical approaches to HRD afforded or prevented articulation and interchange between this educational programme and the students' employing organizations, highlighting the implications for HRD research and practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)321-336
    JournalHuman Resource Development International
    Volume15
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Please note Professor Stewart was working at Leeds Metropolitan University at the time of publication.
    This is an electronic version of an article published in Human Resource Development International, 15 (3), pp. 321-336. Human Resource Development International is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13678868.2012.689214

    Keywords

    • critical HRD
    • critical reflection
    • discourse analysis
    • critical management education
    • subject positions

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