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Title: A strategic perspective on human resource development in Nepal
Authors: Sthapit, Arhan
Keywords: Human resource development
Issue Date: 22-Mar-2018
Abstract: The human resources developed properly and with a well-thought out purpose are crucial to every organisation’s success, and thus, managing the human resource development (HRD) function is one of the frequently studied realms in human resource management. Complex strategic decision-making has resulted in a need to relate business performance with HRD in any part of the world, as the HRD focus has gone global particularly because of a variety of macro-level trends in recent decades such as globalisation, technological innovation, growing competition and changes in organisational structure. Therefore, this has given rise to strategic perspectives on HRD in the organisations across the world; and Nepal is also no exception to it. In the rapidly changing business environment context, practising strategic HRD is expected to help the modern day organisations achieve the expected HRD outputs and outcomes, and therefore, emerge effective. A theoretical framework on strategic HRD based on its key characteristic factors was postulated in the literature of TM Garavan in 1991 and was further analysed and discussed in subsequent literatures and research works universally. Except for the works of M. McCracken and M. Wallace as well as of G. Maxwell, S. Watson and S. Quail carried out back in 2000 and 2004 respectively, no empirical research exclusively in this strategic HRD model was found during the present study. A research gap was also found in the area of empirically testing the characteristics-based SHRD model in the close conjunction with the theoretical SHRD outputs/outcomes. In view of the observed research lacuna, it becomes highly imperative to investigate if adopting a strategic perspective on an organisation’s HRD function by applying strategic factors in its HRD practices can generate expected HRD outputs and outcomes. In researching into the problem stated above, the present study focussed on two major components. One, it looked into current HRD Practices (planning, organising/controlling and managing intervention programmes and HRD evaluation system) of Nepalese organisations. Two, based on the current HRD practices, the study exclusively examined strategic perspectives on HRD (expected strategic practices) by probing into (i) relevance and need of applying strategic factors in HRD function, (ii) strategic factors most influential in generating expected HRD practices, and (iii) expected SHRD model, which helps generate expected SHRD outputs/outcomes. The study— adopting a mix of quantitative and qualitative research designs— was founded on exploratory and analytical (correlational and descriptive) approaches to research. The study population comprised all national level commercial banks and development banks that were established in the Nepal’s private sector with general public’s share-investment, enlisted with the NEPSE, and not declared by Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank, as financially ill. Thus, the study encompassed 25 commercial banks and 14 development banks. The required primary data were collected from two types of surveys on two groups of respondents: One was the general survey on incumbent HR-managers, other functional managers and officers (N=708) chosen through a proportionate, stratified probability sampling technique from national-level commercial banks and development banks in Nepal as well as from management hierarchy-based strata of executive, middle and lower level managers; while the other was a key resourceful informant survey (KRIS) administered on a focus group consisting of HRD professionals/ trainers, HRD-researchers, academicians and practitioner HRD managers. The general survey was administered with a structured questionnaire which was finalised through a pre-test. For the KRIS, a mix of structured and semi-structured questionnaire (with open-ended questions) was adopted where the latter was meant for conducting a depth interview (qualitative research). To ensure reliability and validity of the study and its data, Cochran’s sample adequacy test (both organisation sector-wise and hierarchy strata-wise), Chronbach’s alpha test, Kaiser–Myer–Olkin (KMO) measure of sample adequacy, Bartlett’s test of sphericity, multicollinearity test, Durbin-Watson test, and probability plot (p-p plot) of regression were performed. And, in compliance with the nature and need of the study objectives and data, the methodology comprised analytical tools like descriptive statistics and chi-square tests, non-parametric tests (viz., binomial z-test), multivariate analysis (viz., factor analysis), and correlation and regression analyses. Then, the overall analysis was performed adopting a systematic four-step process. First, it sought to explore current HRD. In light of the current HRD practices on different dimensions and their strategic aspects, the study further analysed the relevance and need of applying strategic HRD generating expected/theoretical HRD outputs/outcomes in Nepalese Banks. Second, the study explored and evaluated the strategic factors influential in generating the expected HRD outcomes in Nepalese banks from current as well as expected HRD practices, and also factor-analysed strategic HRD factor variables in current practices to identify the most relevant ones that would contribute to the accomplishment of expected HRD outcomes. Third, the study factor-analysed the SHRD factor-variables in expected HRD practices to identify the most relevant ones (factor-variables) that would contribute to the accomplishment of expected HRD outcomes. On the basis of factor analysis, the study labelled so-identified factors as key SHRD factors (Factor-1 as enabling-cum-facilitating factor, and Factor-2 as implementation-cum-control factor) and then performed multiple and simple regressions of those SHRD factors with expected SHRD outcomes to devise a characteristic/factor-based SHRD model. Fourth, the study analysed the qualitative data from a depth-interview based ‘key resourceful informant survey’ (or KRIS) to finalise the SHRD model, by improving and strengthening the HRD practices in organisations. It also consisted of the identification of the constituent strategic sub-factors most influential in generating expected SHRD outcomes in expected/desired HRD practices in the organisations. Therefore, with its main aim to examine strategic aspects of HRD in Nepalese banks and devise a characteristics/factors-based Strategic HRD model, the study has brought out the following findings and conclusions. There is realisation among Nepalese managers about the need for managing effectively the HRD planning and organising which should be preceded by a systematic HRD need assessment and HR potential analysis. There is emphasis on a maximum 10 years’ HRD vision (or alternately a combination of 3 year’s mid-term, and 20 yearplus long-term visions). There is need for treating HRD as ‘investment,’ with at least 10 percent of the total HR budget allocated for HRD. It is imperative for promoting positive change in learning culture, and motivating and preparing employees for learning and HRD, as well as for setting a separate, autonomous and empowered HRD department— backed by the top management’s full commitment to drive HRD strategically. The in-house HRD delivery mode was preferred to the external HRD throughputs, and banking-specific HRD institutes are most popular of all the external, outsourced HRD modes. Among the HRD intervention programmes, Training, Performance Development, and Development and Management Development are most emphasised, widely practised and effective while Organisation Development and Career Development programmes were weaker in all three counts. Likewise, evaluation of overall HRD programmes has had their effectiveness in a theoretically logical order on Kirkpatrick’s four-level criteria of Reaction, Learning, job- Behaviour and Results. Nepalese banks are not strategically mature in their current HRD practices, as merely about one third of the theoretical strategic aspects existed there. The core ‘Strategic HRD Model’ devised as the essence of the present study consists of (a) Enabling-cum-facilitating Factor and (b) Implementation-cum-control Factor, which are independent of each other (no correlation), but they significantly impact generation of SHRD outcomes (presence of correlation). The Enabling-cum-facilitating Factors include top management commitment and leadership in HRD, management’s HRD facilitation by integrating it with HRM goals and partnering with line management, HRD’s integration with organisation/business mission/goals and ability to recognise/influence corporate culture, and proactive planning with an HRD vision through environmental analysis (PESTLEG). Likewise, the Implementation-cum-control Factors comprise establishing HRD’s strategic partnerships with HRM strategy/activities, instituting effective appraisal/evaluation of HRD, and building HRD’s/ Trainers' role as organisational change coach and/or consultants for competitive competency and professional intervention in HRD. It was found that adoption of the SHRD model (i.e., applying strategic factors in the HRD function) could bring about both organisational level HRD outcomes (viz., HR relations and team work/synergy and human assets/capital) and individual level ones (viz., HR competency, HR commitment and job involvement, job satisfaction, developed careers, adaptability and readiness to change, performance and productivity). Top management’s commitment and leadership in overall HRD function, one of the four constituent strategic factors of the Enabling-cum-facilitating Factor, is the constituent strategic-factor most influential in generating the expected SHRD outcomes in the organisation.
Description: A thesis submitted for the award of degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Management, Faculty of Management, Jodhpur National University, 2013.
Appears in Collections:300 Social sciences

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