Transforming HRD: A Framework for Critical HRD Practice

Laura Bierema*, Jamie L. Callahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


The Problem. Human resource development (HRD) has become powerfully influenced by a dominant rationality in which masculine characteristics of assertiveness, objectivity, control, and performance are privileged without question, resulting in inequitable practices and social systems such as sexism, racism, and capitalism. The humanistic roots of the field of HRD have been co-opted into serving organizations at the expense of workers and other stakeholders. The current frameworks used to understand and apply practices within the field are not sufficient to reclaim the HRD voice of organizational conscience.

The Solution. This article defines critical human resource development (CHRD) and offers a framework for envisioning the field that restructures the “holy trinity” of HRD known as Training & Development, Career Development, and Organization Development. We make a case for why a CHRD is needed and provide an overview of key, and contested, issues of practice for HRD (and CHRD) professionals—relating, learning, changing, and organizing.

The Stakeholders. Scholars and practitioners invested in exploring a new framework of CHRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-444
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number4
Early online date1 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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