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Human resource development practices as determinant of HRD climate and quality orientation
Arif Hassan, Junaidah Hashim and Ahmad Zaki Hj Ismail
Department of Business Administration, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Purpose – The aim of the study was to measure employees’ perception of human resource development (HRD) practices, to explore whether ISO certiﬁcation leads to any improvements in HRD system, and to examine the role of HRD practices on employees’ development climate and quality orientation in the organization. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 239 employees belonging to eight organizations (four of them ISO certiﬁed) responded to a questionnaire which measured the following variables: career system, work planning system, development system, self renewal system, and HRD system. Findings – Results indicated large inter-organizational differences in HRD practices. In general, however, employees’ ratings were moderate. ISO certiﬁed companies, compared to others, obtained higher means on some HRD variables. Organizations with better learning, training and development systems, reward and recognition, and information systems promoted human resource development climate. Quality orientation was predicted by career planning, performance guidance and development, role efﬁcacy, and reward and recognition systems. Research limitations/implications – Comparison between ISO and non-ISO certiﬁed companies did yield some signiﬁcant differences, yet it was difﬁcult to conclude that the differences were due to ISO certiﬁcation alone as organizations in the sample were not matched. Practical implications – The ﬁndings can be used by HR practitioners and scholars in building management concerns and advocacy for better HRD systems and practices. Originality/value – Very little empirical knowledge is available on this subject from transitional economies like Malaysia. The study makes a modest attempt in that direction. Keywords Human resource strategies, Human resource development, Quality standards, Malaysia, Economic conditions Paper type Research paper
Received June 2005 Revised August 2005 Accepted September 2005
Examples from successful organizations demonstrate that they have gone a long way to design effective human resource system. It includes effective manpower planning, recruitment and selection process, realistic performance plans and development oriented performance appraisal, effective learning system providing ample learning opportunities with the help of training, performance guidance, and other mechanisms such as mentoring. It also consists of mechanisms to inculcate sense of pride in work,
Journal of European Industrial Training Vol. 30 No. 1, 2006 pp. 4-18 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0309-0590 DOI 10.1108/03090590610643842
This study was supported by a grant from the Research Center of International Islamic University Malaysia, which is thankfully acknowledged. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 8th Conference on International Human Resource Management, Cairns Australia, June 14-17, 2005.
high degree of organizational commitment, introducing such organizational development systems as personal growth labs, creativity workshops, quality circles, kaizen team building exercises just to name a few. Further, an examination of their human resource development (HRD) climate, work values such as openness, trust, delegation and decentralization, quality orientation etc. system of reward and recognition, quality of organizational communication, and empowerment of employees amply demonstrate that successful organizations have gone a long way to bring revolutionary changes in their HR systems and practices (Zairi, 1998). The HRD thrust is built on the assumption that employees cannot be treated as commodities to be hired and discarded depending on short-range whims of the organization. They are to be nurtured and developed? Good people can ﬁx the poor policies, procedure, and rules, but it is never the other way round (Lancaster, 1994). However, organizations with innovative HR practices are not many. In fact a majority of the organizations have yet to realize the strategic importance of HR, and HR professionals have yet to be recognized as their strategic partners (Sikula, 2001). In his forward to the book entitled HR scorecard written by Becker et al. (2001, p. ix) David Norton wrote:
The typical executive team has a high degree of awareness and consensus around ﬁnancial strategy, as well as priorities for operational process improvement . . . they have limited consensus around customer strategies (i.e. who are the target segments, what is the value proposition) . . . But the worst grades are reserved for their understanding of strategies for developing human capital. There is little consensus, little creativity, and no real framework for thinking about the subject. Worse yet, we have seen little improvement in this over the past eight years . . . The greatest concern here is that, in the New Economy, human capital is the foundation of value creation . . . This presents an interesting dilemma: The asset that is most important is the least understood, least prone to measurement, and, hence, least susceptible to management.
Objectives and hypotheses Most of the studies examining relationships between human resource management and organizational outcomes have been conducted in the west with little knowledge coming from transitional economies such as Malaysia. How far concern for HR issues and HR development is present in Malaysian companies? This was the main objective of this study. The study also tried to understand if concern for quality and standardization of work process, as emphasized in ISO 9000 series certiﬁcations, is correlated with improvement in the HRD practices. Finally, the study proposed to examine how the HRD system and practices contributed to climate of human resource development and quality orientation. On the basis of literature review the following hypotheses were developed. H1. HRD systems and practices will show large variations across organizations. H2. ISO certiﬁed companies will be rated higher than non-ISO companies on HRD system and practices. H3. HRD practices will signiﬁcantly contribute to developing positive HRD climate and quality orientation.
Measure of HRD climate included top management’s concern and value for employees, congenial work environment, camaraderie, openness and freedom for experimentation, trust, team spirit, emphasis on employees’ welfare etc. Quality orientation was measured in terms of customer orientation, quality consciousness, quality improvement, monitoring and feedback, data collection for quality improvement and feedback, employees having a sense of pride in doing good quality work etc. The HRD practices included: career system (manpower planning, potential appraisal and promotion, and career planning and development), work planning (role analysis, contextual analysis, and performance appraisal system), development system (learning and training, performance guidance and development, and other mechanisms of development) self-renewal system (role efﬁcacy, organizational development, and action-oriented research), and HRD system (organizational values, reward and recognition, information, and empowerment). HRD and organizational performance Several models of HRD specify a range of practices which, if pursued, are likely to contribute to human capital accumulation on which organizations may build its competitive advantages (DeGeus, 1997; Currie, 1998; McCracken and Wallace, 1997, Willis, 1997). These models basically advocate that investment in HRD by organizations and individuals is necessary for a number of reasons; to build and retain that resource in the future and to retain that resource in the present. Results of a survey of London university graduates conducted by Prickett (1998) showed that 90 percent of them expect their employer to help their development. Holbeche (1998) found that one third of her sample of high-ﬂiers would leave if they could not broaden their skills. Organizations likewise view investments in human resource development to be important. Losey (1999) and Spangenberg et al. (1999) report that organizations increasingly seek, through sophisticated human resource development and workplace learning strategies to develop employee competencies to enable them to respond quickly and ﬂexibly to business needs. Emphasis on human resource development result into several positive individual and organizational outcomes such as higher performance (Sandberg, 2000); high quality individual and organizational problem solving (Schroder, 1989); enhanced career plans and employability (Weick, 1996; Raider and Burt, 1996); sustainable competitive advantage (Winterton and Winterton, 1996; Nordhaug, 1998); higher organizational commitment (Iles et al., 1990) and enhanced organizational retention (Robertson et al., 1991). The relationship between HR practices and business results is built on the premise that better deployment and use of HR practices should correlate with better business performance (Ulrich, 1997). On the basis of a literature review Pfeffer (1994) concluded that employee participation and empowerment, job design including team-based production systems, extensive employee training and performance contingent reward system are widely believed to improve the performance of the ﬁrm. Huslid (1995), on the basis of his study of 968 publicly traded ﬁrms, found that a one standard deviation increase (about 25 percent) in work performance reduces turnover by 7.05 percent on a per employee basis, increases productivity by 16 percent (measured by sales per employee) and yields a $ 3,814 increase in proﬁts. Based on a study of 74 ﬁrms, Huslid
and Becker (1995) created an index of each ﬁrm’s HRM system reﬂecting the degree to which a ﬁrm has deployed the high-performance work system (HPWS) and consistently found that ﬁrms with higher values on this index, other things being equal, have economically and statistically higher levels of ﬁrm performance. Youndt et al. (1996) found that a HR system focused on human capital management was directly related to multiple dimensions of operational performance like employee productivity, machine efﬁciency and customer alignment. Huselid et al. (1997) found that ﬁrm effectiveness was associated with the capabilities and attributes of HR staff. Further, they concluded that relationship between HR management effectiveness and productivity, cash ﬂow and market value were positive. Brian et al. (2001) ranked organizations on High Performance Work Index and compared their HR system and practices. The HPWS Index included the organizations system of building and maintaining a stock of talented human capital through: . linking its selection and promotion decisions to validated competency models; . developing strategies that provide timely and effective support for the skills demanded by the ﬁrms’ strategy implementation; and . enacts compensation and performance management policies that attract, retain, and motivate high-performance employees. Based on the HPWS ranks Becker et al. (2001) compared top ten percent companies with bottom ten percent on a number of measures. The result indicated substantial difference between the two groups. The top HPWS group adopted HR management practices which were very different from the bottom HPWS group of organizations. The former devoted more resources to recruiting and selection, employed more vigorous training regime, established better performance management and linked to the compensation system, used teams to much greater extent, had roughly double the number of HR professional per employee. The HR outcomes associated with this system demonstrated that compared to the poor the best HPWS organizations developed a clear strategic intent and communicated it effectively to employees, their HR professionals were rated more positively and developed a comprehensive measurement system for communicating non-ﬁnancial information to employees. Finally, organizations with the most effective HR management system exhibited most dramatically higher performance: employee turnover was closer to half, sales per employee were four times as great, and the ration of organization’s market value to the book value of assets – a key indicator of management quality, as it indicates the extent to which management has increased shareholders’ initial investment – was more than three times as large in the high-performing organizations. Singh (2003) conducted a survey of 84 Indian ﬁrms representing major domestic business sectors ranging from automobiles and auto components to, cement, engineering, iron and steel, ﬁnancial services, info-tech, pharmaceuticals, paper and power, etc. The main objectives were to examine how many HR practices have been implemented by the ﬁrms and the extent of links between the individual HR practices and ﬁrm performance. Each ﬁrm was asked to indicate the percentage of employees covered under the ﬁnal HR practices which consisted of the following:
. . . . .
. . .
use of employment test before selection; formal performance appraisal system; compensation based on performance appraisal; formal job description; non-entry jobs ﬁlled from within in recent three years; employees covered under formal information system; employees administered attitude survey on a regular basis; employee participation in the quality of work life program, quality circles, or labor management participation teams; and average days of training received by an employee in the last 12 months.
The result indicated that there were large variations in the HR practices adopted by the organizations included in the sample. It was also found that the combined effect of HR performance index was signiﬁcant in predicting ﬁrm’s performance as well as employee turnover and productivity. While most of the studies examining the relationship between HRM and organizational outcomes have focused on hard data such as productivity, turnover rate very few have measured the effect on soft variables like employee well-being (Edgar, 2003). The present study, therefore, tried to investigate how HR practices inﬂuence employees’ perception of the HRD climate and quality orientation. Methodology Organizations and the sample Data were collected from eight organizations, four of them had obtained ISO 9000 series certiﬁcations. They represented a mix of industry, size, operation, and technology. Samples consisted of managerial and non-managerial staff (n ¼ 239) who volunteered to participate in the study. They represented both the HR and other departments, had on average served in the organizations for 4.31 years, and 56 percent of them were males. Table I presents background proﬁle of the sample. Research instruments Rao’s (1997) HRD audit check list was used for data collection. It measured the following HRD system and practices: . Career system. This is concerned with manpower planning and recruitment, potential appraisal and promotion, and career planning and development. . Work system. This includes: role analysis, contextual analysis, and performance appraisal system. . Development system. This is concerned with planned development of competencies and includes: training and learning, performance guidance and development, and other mechanisms of knowledge sharing and competency development. . Self renewal system. The main concern of this system is to develop role efﬁcacy, organizational development practices, and action oriented research such as periodic surveys for diagnostic purposes.
n Position Managerial Non-managerial Department HR Others Mean years working in the organization Age Between 20-30 years Between 31-40 years Between 41-50 years Above 50 years Gender Males Females 182 57 55 184 4.31 88 101 38 12 135 104
% 76.15 23.84 23.01 76.98
36.82 42.25 15.89 5.02 56.48 43.51 Table I. Background of respondents
HRD system. This includes: HRD climate, organizational values, quality orientation, reward and recognition, information sharing and empowerment.
Results Descriptive statistics Figures 1-5 display mean ratings of the HRD system and practices. Responses were solicited on a ﬁve-point scale (5 ¼ very much true; 1 ¼ not at all true). Career system Career system included manpower planning and recruitment process, mechanism to appraise and promote potential employees from within, and career planning and development system that emphasized on establishing career development policies and programs in the organization. Overall the career planning was rated moderately. Among the three facets of manpower planning and recruitment practices (A1) obtained slightly above average score whereas, career planning and development system (A3) appeared weak. Figure 1 displays the relative standing of the three facets of career system.
Work planning Work planning included role analysis, contextual analysis, and performance appraisal system. Items measuring work planning included the system of identifying key functions of various roles, developing special annual (or periodic) objectives under each key function in a team/or in supervisor-employee dyads, identifying a few common attributes for all, and a few speciﬁc attributes relevant to a team/department for individual effectiveness, self assessment of own performance and attributes, assessment by the superiors/colleagues/subordinates, performance review and feedback, and linking review with development. All the three facets of work planning obtained moderate scores. Among the three, work planning measures, role analysis (B1) was rated higher than the other two, namely performance appraisal system (B3) and contextual analysis (B2). Figure 2 presents the result. Development system Developmental system included learning and training issues, performance guidance and development, and other mechanisms of coaching and development available to employees. Items included measuring employees’ satisfaction with: training at transitional points, strategic planning of training, involvement of line departments in training, training policy and strategy, on the job training, evaluation of training, follow up, and training curriculum improvements, variety in training methodology, multi-skill training, use of other ways of training like seminars, mentoring and coaching, self study etc. Figure 3 shows that employees were not happy and satisﬁed with different aspects of the development system. The overall mean rating was 2.88 on the ﬁve-point scale. Other mechanisms of development system (C3) which consisted of coaching, mentoring, and guidance obtained the lowest score. It indicated that such development practices are yet to become popular. The other two dimensions of development systems were also rated below average. Self-renewal system This system is concerned with ways of self-renewing and transforming the organization. It included organizational diagnosis, organizational development interventions, role efﬁcacy status, and action research. Overall the mean rating presented inadequacy in the self renewal system (see Figure 4). Both action research (D3) and organizational development programs (D2) obtained low ratings. Action research involved periodic surveys on various aspects of the functioning of an organization, feedback of surveys given to employees, and implementation of the ﬁndings of research and survey studies being conducted. Organizational development items included rating of quality circles, suggestion system/kaizen, diagnostic studies, team building exercises, internal customer orientation, management of role stress, and other developmental programs. Items on role efﬁcacy (D1) measured the degree of opportunity that employees had in doing something signiﬁcant that they felt proud of, taking initiatives, trying out new ideas etc. HRD system Measures of HRD system included a 21-item HRD climate scale, 14-item values in organizations scale, nine-item quality orientation scale, ﬁve-item scale to measure
reward and recognition system, ten-items to measure the adequacy of information system, and ﬁve-items to measure employees’ empowerment. Human resource development climate questionnaire asked employees to rate several aspects of the organization such as top management’s concern for making work a pleasant experience, humane treatment and value of human resource, emphasis on employees’ growth and development, cooperative work climate, fair reward system, freedom of experimenting with new ideas, team spirit, open communication etc. The respondents were asked to rate organizational values and practices such as openness, trust, initiative, freedom, collaboration and teamwork, creativity, respect for authority, conformity, quality, decentralization, humane treatment of employees, and individual recognition. Perception of quality orientation was measured in terms of customer orientation (internal-external) quality consciousness, monitoring of quality improvement and feedback, emphasis on continuous improvement in quality, and the organizational mechanisms to inculcate value of quality among employees. The scale to measure employees’ perception of reward and recognition system solicited opinion about the degree to which rewards and recognition in organization was based on merit and not on any other consideration, adequacy of number of reward given etc. How adequately and timely information were shared with the employees was yet another indicator of organizations concern for their empowerment and development which was measured by the ten-item information scale. Finally, items on empowerment included the treatment given to employees such as respect for their dignity, autonomy, recognition, and responsibility, delegation, and participation in decision making. Figure 5 shows that overall the rating of HRD system was moderate (Proportional mean ¼ 2:95). Scores on HRD climate (H1), reward and recognition system (H4), and organizational values (H2) were below average whereas quality orientation (H3), and information sharing (H5) means were close to 3.00 (on the ﬁve-point scale) indicating moderate level of satisfaction. HRD practices in ISO and non-ISO companies ISO 9000 is an international quality certiﬁcation system. It is a set of world wide standards – two guidelines and three quality assurance models (Halim and Manogran, 1999). Unlike product standards, these standards are for the operation of a quality management system. The purpose is to ensure that a certiﬁed organization has a quality system that would enable it to meet its published quality standards. (Rabbitt and Berg, 1994). Certiﬁcation of whether the organization meets the ISO standard is established by an independent third party. Table II presents the t-test result comparing perceived HRD system and practices in the ISO and non-ISO companies. Mean comparison yielded a few signiﬁcant differences and they were in the hypothesized direction. The ISO companies obtained signiﬁcantly higher ratings on career system which included manpower planning and recruitment and potential appraisal and promotion system. Signiﬁcant mean differences were also obtained on contextual analysis (one aspect of work planning) and quality orientation (a component
ISO (n ¼ 91) Mean SD A1. Manpower planning A2. Potential appraisal A3. Career planning Total career system B1. Role analysis B2. Contextual analysis B3. Performance appraisal Total work planning C1. Learning/training system C2. Performance guidance C3. Others development system Total development system D1. Role efﬁcacy D2. Organizational development D3. Action research Total self renewal system E1. HRD climate E2. Organizational values E3. Quality orientation E4. Reward and recognition E5. Information E6. Empowerment Total HRD system 10.43 16.32 9.07 35.83 16.85 12.88 31.73 61.37 30.61 14.98 25.25 70.74 32.13 26.17 14.52 72.53 60.66 42.70 28.67 14.09 30.87 15.32 217.04 2.27 3.97 2.94 8.34 3.97 3.70 8.32 14.31 9.19 4.37 7.84 20.06 8.12 9.55 5.50 20.47 16.86 11.18 7.90 4.93 7.20 3.74 48.60
Non-ISO (n ¼ 147) Mean SD 9.80 15.12 8.56 33.47 15.98 11.65 30.23 58.08 28.89 14.08 24.89 68.07 31.41 25.91 14.33 71.54 58.99 41.15 26.28 12.95 29.62 14.84 209.55 2.30 4.12 2.70 8.03 4.34 3.95 10.75 17.42 8.21 4.17 6.98 16.70 7.34 8.84 5.57 18.45 15.48 10.91 6.58 4.43 7.15 3.80 43.11
t-value 2.08 2.24 1.34 2.15 1.58 2.42 1.19 1.55 1.46 1.58 0.35 1.06 0.69 0.22 0.26 0.37 0.75 1.03 2.39 1.80 1.29 0.94 1.17 P 0.03 0.02 0.17 0.03 0.11 0.01 0.23 0.12 0.14 0.11 0.72 0.29 0.49 0.82 0.79 0.71 0.45 0.30 0.01 0.07 0.19 0.34 0.24
Table II. Mean comparison between ISO and non-ISO companies on HRD systems
of HRD system). In all the cases ISO certiﬁed companies obtained higher mean score compared to its counterpart. In the rest of the cases the mean differences were not signiﬁcant although ISO companies had always an edge over the non-ISO counterparts. HRD system and organizational outcome The data were subjected to multiple regression analysis to examine how the HRD system and practices contributed to employees’ perception of the HRD climate, and quality orientation. The results are entered in Table III. The result supported the hypotheses and was in line with previous ﬁndings indicating positive contribution of HR management on organizational outcomes. Satisfaction with HRD climate was signiﬁcantly predicted by learning/training system, other mechanisms of development, action research, reward and recognition system, and information system. Together independent variables in equation explained 75 percent of the variance (Adj:R 2 ¼ 0:75). Factors that contributed signiﬁcantly to employees’ rating of the quality orientation in the organization were: potential appraisal and promotion system, performance guidance and development, role efﬁcacy, and reward and recognition system. Together variables in regression explained 64 percent of the variance.
Predictors A1 Manpower planning and recruitment A2 Potential appraisal and promotion A3 Career planning B1 Role analysis B2 Contextual analysis B3 Performance appraisal system C1 Learning/training system C2 Performance guidance and development C3 Other mechanism of development D1 Role efﬁcacy D2 Organizational development D3 Action research E4 Reward and recognition E5 Information Adj.R 2 F
HRD climate St. b 0.065 0.079 20.028 0.097 20.016 0.071 0.119 * 20.087 0.249 * * * 20.041 0.038 0.149 * 0.163 * * 0.216 * * * 0.748 45.886 * * *
Quality orientation St. b 20.130 0.183 * 0.021 0.066 20.109 20.104 0.118 0.199 * * 20.059 0.147 * 0.074 20.045 0.374 * * * 0.219 0.644 28.688 * * *
Table III. Contribution of HRD system on HRD climate and quality orientation
Discussion In general, the result of the study showed large variations in human resource development practices across organizations thus supporting H1 of the study. Each organization was unique with respect to the HR competency. Clearly, human resource strategies are difﬁcult to imitate because of path dependency and causal ambiguity (Barney, 1991; Collins and Montgomery, 1995). HRM systems are path dependent since they consist of policies that evolved over time. To adopt an HRM system successfully, it is necessary to understand how all relationships inside the system work (Fey and Bjorkman, 2000). The range of variation in the HR system and practices was quite large, with some organizations scoring high on many dimensions while few others obtained low ratings on several facets. Taken together, however, the combined scores indicated that HR system and practices were still at its nascent stage in Malaysian companies. Respondent included in the study gave a moderate rating to almost all the questions in the HRD audit checklist. It may, therefore, be concluded that the focus on employee development is yet to come to the center stage in these organizations. This is not surprising as similar concerns have been reported in countries like China and New Zealand (Edgar, 2003; Law et al., 2003). Othman et al. (2001) similarly reported large gaps between CEOs expectations and HR role in Malaysian manufacturing sector. Employees’ perception of HR system and practices also indicate the gap between employer rhetoric (most of the companies talk of building knowledge capital etc.) and the reality as experienced by employees. Kane et al. (1999) suggest that the failure of employers to operationalize HRM practices effectively may be one of the causes of perceived HRM ineffectiveness. HRD and ISO Four organizations, out of eight, included in the sample had obtained ISO-9000 series certiﬁcations. They were:
(1) An IT company doing business in packaging designs, assembly, logistics supply solutions, including advanced packaging services. It is a multi national company having headquarter in California, USA. (2) A subsidiary of a local investment company having interest in infrastructure specializing in water engineering and water related activities. (3) A local telecommunication company having a solid strength of ﬁber optic network, complemented with extensive cellular, pay phone, and internet network. (4) A transnational company which is global player in power and automation technologies. The other four organizations that did not have any ISO certiﬁcations were: (1) a local bank; (2) a property development company; (3) an IT company doing business in educational software development; and (4) a ﬁve-star hotel owned by a Malaysian conglomerate and managed by ORIX hotel international. Mean comparisons between ISO and non-ISO organizations showed signiﬁcant differences on several facets of HRD system and practices which were as hypothesized. ISO certiﬁed companies obtained signiﬁcantly higher ratings on career system which included manpower planning and recruitment and potential appraisal and promotion system. Signiﬁcant differences were also obtained on contextual analysis (one aspect of work planning) and quality orientation (a component of HRD system). In all the cases ISO certiﬁed companies obtained higher mean score compared to their counterpart. In rest of the cases the mean differences were not signiﬁcant although ISO companies had always an edge over non ISO ones. However, the result should be interpreted with caution as the two types of organizations were not matched. In fact, the inter organizational comparison revealed that one of the organizations in the sample, namely the ﬁve-star hotel was rated quite high on a number of HRD practices even though it did not carry any ISO certiﬁcation. HRD and organizational outcome Finally, the study examined the contribution of HRD systems and practices on HRD climate, and quality orientation. In general again the results were in the expected direction. It indicated that employees’ satisfaction with human resource development climate was predicted by learning and training system, employee development system (such as mentoring and coaching), action research, reward and recognition system, and information system (related to internal changes within the organization, technology, company policy etc.). The regression result also suggested that organizations which had an adequate system of potential appraisal and promotion, performance guidance and development, role efﬁcacy, and reward and recognition system promoted quality orientation. Quality orientation was measured in terms of customer orientation, continuous improvement, total quality, sense of pride etc. The result validates the HRD practice adopted by
several quality award winning companies such as Wallace Co. Inc. and Cadillac (Winners of Baldrige quality award of USA in 1990) (Zairi, 1998). The ﬁndings of the study reinforce the assumption that investment in human capital brings competitive advantage to the company (Prahald and Hamel, 1990; Winterton and Winterton, 1996). Results highlight the importance of adequate HR practices to promote employees’ trust and satisfaction. It is in line with the ﬁndings of previous studies showing the contribution of HRD on employees’ performance (Sandberg, 2000), organizational commitment (Iles et al., 1990), and organizational retention (Robertson et al., 1991). Limitations of the study The study had several limitations. First, the sample was drawn from a small number of organizations. For a better understanding of the HRD practices and for making comparisons between ISO and non ISO groups of companies, a larger sample size was required. Most of the study of this nature involves organizations as the unit of analysis. They collect mostly factual data from a single source (such as HR Manager). However, the present study was concerned with employees’ perception of HRD system and practices, rather than how it is reported by the CEO or the HR director. However, this methodology limits the capacity to generalize the ﬁndings to other settings. Second, for making a comparison between ISO and non ISO certiﬁed companies other organizational variables should have been controlled. The present study could not do this due to limitations of time and resources. Future studies are planned in this area which will take care of these limitations.
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Youndt, M.A., Snell, S.A., Dean, J.E. and Lepak, D.P. (1996), “Human resource management, manufacturing strategy and ﬁrm performance”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 836-56. Zairi, M. (1998), “Managing human resources in healthcare: learning from world class practices – part 1”, Health Manpower Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 48-57. Further reading McCracken, M. and Wallace, M. (2000), “Towards a redeﬁnition of strategic HRD”, Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 281-90. Rouna, W.E.A. (1999), An Investigation into Core Beliefs Underlying the Profession of Human Resource Development, University of Minnesota, Human Resource Development Research Center, St. Paul, MN. Swanson, R.A. (2001), “Human resource development and its underlying theory”, Human Resource Development International, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 299-312. About the authors Dr Arif Hassan is an Associate Professor, in the Department of Business Administration of International Islamic University Malaysia. He obtained his PhD from Patna University India. In 1991 he obtained Fulbright Fellowship to work on a cross-cultural research project on distributive justice. Dr Hassan has authored three books and has several publications in international refereed journals and conference proceedings. He has research interest in the area of human resource development, organizational issues such as leadership, organizational justice, and organizational culture. He is a member of the Academy of Human Resource Development, International Association of Applied Psychology, and Asian Academy of Management. Dr Hassan teaches general management, human resource management and organizational behavior courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. Arif Hassan is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: email@example.com Dr Junaidah Hashim is an Associate professor in the Department of Business Administration of International Islamic University Malaysia. She obtained her PhD in training management from University Putra Malaysia. She has worked for over 12 years in the private sector companies in the HR department. She teaches courses on human resource management, training management and compensation management. She has research publications in the areas of training management, and e-learning. Ahmad Zaki Hj Ismail is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Administration, International Islamic University Malaysia. He received his Master in Management degree from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines in 1985, and a PhD in Business Management from the School for Policy Studies (SPS), University of Bristol, England in 1998. He teaches courses on entrepreneurship, international business, human resource management etc.. His work experiences in the private sector of more than two decades include HRM, corporate planning, and general management. Dr Zaki’s research interests include public policy, HRM, SME, entrepreneurship, international business, and strategic management.
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