Human resource development in balance: Revisiting the purpose of HRD and ethical perspectives

Jae Young Lee, Taesung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of human resource development (HRD) is to promote both individual and organisational development. However, critical scholars have voiced concerns that the dominant approach to HRD is skewed to favour performance-oriented organisational development. The debate as to whether HRD should prioritise organisations or individuals leads to the subsequent question about ethical perspectives of HRD, particularly between deontology and teleology. This study: 1) looks into contrasting yet complementary views surrounding HRD (i.e., person-centred and production-centred approach, deontology and teleology); 2) proposes conceptual frameworks to help with balanced HRD decision-making; 3) suggests implications for practice and research. This study concludes with the argument that HRD professionals should demonstrate leadership by doing the right things and ultimately help to ensure the continued progress and contribution of HRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-216
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resources Development and Management
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • Balanced human resource development
  • Ethical perspectives
  • HRD decision-making framework
  • Purpose of HRD


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