Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR

VisionIn the face of climate change and unaccountable corporations, consumers are increasingly vocal about their desire to support transparent companies that actively fight for social justice and offer eco-friendly products and alternatives to conventional items. In response, more brands are demonstrating accountability. Some of the fastest growing businesses are those in the natural product category, those with recycled and recyclable packaging, sweatshop-free and fair trade sourcing, and brands with affiliations with charitable organizations. All else equal, people are investing in brands they feel align with their values.

But, unfortunately it has been found that in spite of showing concern for the environment and advocating environmentally safe activities, the Indian consumer is still not ready to accept the hard truth that it the responsibility of one and all to minimize their contribution to the overall environmental pollution. This article from the journal ‘Vision’ aims at studying socio-psychological factors which contribute in the formation of environmental attitude of consumers. It further aims at establishing the connection between environmental attitude of the consumer and his/her willingness to buy environmentally friendly products.

The socio-cultural, psychological and demographic factors have manifested divergent relationship between attitude and behaviour. There is inadequate understanding of antecedents of consumer’s environmentally friendly attitude and willingness to buy environmentally friendly product. Some authors argue that many consumers claim that they care about the environment; their buying behaviour does not always reflect this concern.

It has been found that the dimensions, such as environmental knowledge (EK), perceived seriousness of environmental (PSE) problem, interpersonal influence (IPI), collectivism and long-term orientation (LTO), have positive relationship with consumer environmental attitude (CEA)

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Click here to read Consumer Environmental Attitude and Willingness to Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products: An SEM Approach for free from the journal Vision.

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Creative Problem Solving Training: What Works?

4769744435_1985998a32_z (3)[We’re pleased to welcome David Vernon of Cantebury Christ Church University. David recently published an article in Human Resource Development Review entitled “An Evidence-Based Review of Creative Problem Solving Tools: A Practitioner’s Resource” with co-authors Ian Hocking and Tresoi C. Tyler.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

My colleague, Dr Ian Hocking, and I were interested in the nature of creative problem solving and how, if at all, this could be facilitated or improved by using a structured thinking tool. With the help of Tresoi Tyler we began a systematic search of the literature to explore and identify the various tools that have been used to enhance some aspect of creative problem solving. We then focused our search to examine precisely which tools have some/any evidence to support their use. In essence, we wanted to know which tools have been shown to work.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Yes. I think the aspect of our work that surprised us all was the mismatch between the Current Issue Covernumber, availability and use of creative problem solving tools and their empirical basis. This gave rise to what we referred to as ‘the plethora and the paucity’ – which simply meant that the plethora of available tools was matched only by the paucity of research showing that they had any real benefit.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

In terms of practice we hope this will have two effects. First, our review will provide practitioners with a clear understanding of which tools have been shown to benefit a particular stage of creative problem solving. In this sense, we hope that it will serve as a useful resource. Second, we hope that this encourages practitioners to ask what we consider to be an essential question when faced with using any creative problem solving tool: ‘What is the evidence that this works?’

In terms of future research, again there are two directions we think our work can have some impact. First, we have provided in the review an outline of which tools seem to work at the various stages within creative problem solving. However, this work needs to be continued to ascertain the broader benefits of using such tools. For instance, such tools can be explored using a variety of different problem types and levels of training, as well as looking at long-term benefits and transfer effects. Second, many tools have little or no empirical support. This doesn’t mean they don’t work, of course. It may reflect the fact that no one has looked. Moving forward, we would hope that our review stimulates researchers to examine the possible benefits these tools.

The abstract for the paper:

Creative problem solving (CPS) requires solutions to be useful and original. Typically, its operations span problem finding, idea generation, and critical evaluation. The benefits of training CPS have been extolled in education, industry, and government with evidence showing it can enhance performance. However, although such training schemes work, less is known about the specific tools used. Knowing whether a particular tool works or not would provide practitioners with a valuable resource, leading to more effective training schemes, and a better understanding of the processes involved. A comprehensive review was undertaken examining the empirical support of tools used within CPS. Despite the surprising lack of research focusing on the use and success of specific tools, some evidence exists to support the effectiveness of a small set. Such findings present practitioners with a potential resource that could be used in a stand-alone setting or possibly be combined to create more effective training programs.

You can read “An Evidence-Based Review of Creative Problem Solving Tools: A Practitioner’s Resource” from Human Resource Development Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Human Resource Development ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Reilly Butler (CC)

New Podcast: Tomika Greer on Using HRD to Support Repatriates

Podcast MicrophoneIn the latest podcast from Human Resource Development Review, Tomika Greer of University of Houston discusses the article she co-authored with Alexandra Stiles of Shell Oil Company, entitled “Using HRD to Support Repatriates: A Framework for Creating an Organization Development Strategy for Repatriation,” which was recently published in the March 2016 issue of Human Resource Development Review.

You can find the podcast on the Human Resource Development Review website here, or click here to download the podcast. You can also read the full article free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

The abstract from the paper:

A systematic review of repatriation literature in human resource development (HRD) HRDjournals reveals common themes of low motivation to repatriate among expatriates and high rates of repatriation failure in organizations. In addition, there is a gap in the published research regarding organization development (OD), suggesting that there is a need to look more closely at managing the changes for individuals, teams, and organizations associated with repatriation. In this article, we addressed this literature gap by proposing a framework for creating an OD strategy for repatriation. This framework is useful for HRD instructors, trainers, and other practitioners who are tasked with creating and instructing others on how to create an OD strategy for repatriation. Such a strategy could help improve repatriation motivation and decrease repatriation failure, ultimately improving organizational performance. The proposed framework was adapted from a positive model of planned change and focuses on discovering, examining, and capitalizing on previous organizational successes to positively impact the repatriation process.

Want to hear more podcast like this? Click here to browse more podcasts from Human Resource Development Review, and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and get notifications of all the latest research from Human Resource Development Review sent directly to your inbox!

 Tomika W. Greer, PhD is visiting assistant professor of Human Resource Development in the College of Technology at the University of Houston. She has previously presented and published research related to trends and challenges associated with career development for women and implementation/outcomes of “family-friendly” organizational policies and programs. Her work appears in journals including Human Resource Development Review, New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development, and The Psychologist-Manager Journal.

A New Method for Judging the Quality of Experiential Learning

[We’re pleased to welcome Makoto Matsuo of Hokkaido University. Dr. Matsuo recently published an article entitled, “A Framework for Facilitating Experiential Learning,” in the December 2015 issue of Human Resource Development Review.]


  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Model has been very popular and widely used in various research fields. However, I have never seen any literatures regarding the systematic models on facilitators of experiential learning, which made me very curious about knowing what kinds of individual capabilities that determine the quality of experiential learning, which has been known to have a strong impact on adult development.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Based on the Kolb’s Model, I developed the framework by integrating different perspectives in several research fields. The framework has a multilayered structure. That is, ‘learning goal orientation’ and ‘developmental network’ are fundamental elements, which influence three other factors: ‘setting difficult goal’, ‘critical reflection’, and ‘enjoyment of work’ in facilitating experiential learning. I must say that I have been amazed by my framework–both learning goal orientation and developmental network are equally weighed and no element supersedes another.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

In theoretical viewpoint, the framework developed in this paper should be further examined with quantitative and qualitative research in the future. Practically, on the other hand, I truly believe that HRD managers will be able to apply this framework in leadership and management development.

You can read “A Framework for Facilitating Experiential Learning” from Human Resource Development Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Human Resource Development Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Makoto Matsuo

Makoto Matsuo is a professor at Hokkaido University. His interests are in experiential learning and human resource development.

Throwback Thursday: How HR Impacts Organizational Performance

[In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, we’re pleased to bring you one of our most read posts on Human Resource Development Review‘s article “HRD and HRM Perspectives on Organizational Performance: A Review of Literature.”]

 Victor1558 (cc)

Victor1558 (cc)

Managers rely upon HR departments for services such as recruitment, payroll, and employee relations, but experts have found that HR plays a much more significant role in organizations. To explore this role, Meera Alagaraja of the University of Louisville published HRD and HRM Perspectives on Organizational Performance: A Review of Literature in the Human Resource Development Review June 2013 issue:

HRDR_72ppiRGB_150pixWA systematic review of literature on the relationship of human resources (HR) and organizational performance (OP) revealed a dearth of contribution from human resource development (HRD) in establishing the linkage. This linkage, which refers to the significant relationship between HRD and OP, is an important topic relevant to research and practice. The review utilized OP as the dependent variable to survey the state of human resource literature and thus, includes contributions from human resource management (HRM). The literature review revealed similarities and differences in the conceptualization of OP as a dependent variable between the two fields. On further analysis, the similarities and differences reveal convergence in specific areas of inquiry as well as emphasize the underlying differences in the philosophical assumptions of HRD and HRM. The independent contributions of HRD and HRM in establishing the HR–OP linkage also reflect the utilization of diverse research designs, methods of data collection, analysis, and findings. Both fields have focused on strategic contributions for improving organizational performance and are very much connected in practice. Much of the separation therefore, appears to be academic where competing views highlight a tension that exists in theory, research and what we know about effective HRD or HRM in practice.

Continue reading the article here, and get e-alerts about the latest research published in Human Resource Development Review.

Special Issue on Coaching and HRD from Advances in Developing Human Resources

In the mid 1990’s, MIT sponsored a study of its employees to find out how to improve their managerial performance and discovered that coaching was a successful mechanism for building a sense of society between workers and managers. Today, according to the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey, while most CEO’s would like to receive outside leadership coaching, only one-third of them actually do. Of those CEO’s who do receive coaching, 78% said that being coached was their own idea. But just how successful has coaching really been in the past? How can it be improved upon? What are the possibilities for the future?

Advances in Developing Human Resources‘s Special Issue on Coaching and HRD explores these ideas in more and is available to read for free for the month of May! Andrea D. Ellinger of the University of Texas at Tyler and Sewon Kim of SUNY Empire State collaborated on the leading article, “Coaching and Human Resource Development: Examining Relevant Theories, Coaching Genres, and Scales to Advance Research and Practice.”

The abstract:

The Problem Coaching is a pervasive form of development that has garnered significant attention among scholars and practitioners. Although interest in coaching has grown considerably in recent years, coaching has been criticized as being opinion- and best-practice-based, as well as atheoretical. It has been critiqued as being an under-examined andADHR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint researched concept.

The Solution The contributions in this issue address existing concerns in the literature by providing an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of coaching, synthesizing existing literature on research and practice related to genres, types and approaches to coaching, specifically executive coaching, managerial coaching, and action learning coaching. Furthermore, to spur research on coaching, a comprehensive review of currently available measurement instruments is provided.

The Stakeholders Researchers and scholarly practitioners in the human resource development (HRD) field, internal and external coaches, and line managers who are committed to improving the practice of and expanding empirical research on coaching will benefit from this special issue on coaching.


The Special Issue on Coaching and HRD from  Advances in Developing Human Resources is available to read for the entire month of May! Click here to view the table of contents and start reading. Want to know about all the news and new articles from Advances in Developing Human Resources? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!


Life Is Different For Engaged Employees

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Professor Brad Shuck of the University of Louisville. His paper “Employee Engagement and Well-Being: A Moderation Model and Implications for Practice,” co-authored by Professor Thomas G. Reio Jr. of Florida International University, is forthcoming in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies and now available in OnlineFirst.

pullquoteThe study of employee engagement is a very personal topic for me. Early in my professional career, I knew this was something I wanted to know more about because I had experienced environments that were less than engaging. These were places of work where I wanted to give, but that ultimately felt constrained and unsafe. Being engaged meant being exposed. What I find as I talk to people about our research is that they have also experienced workplace environments that were less than engaging, or they know someone who has. Moreover, no one tells a positive story about being disengaged in their work, but a lot of people can recall really significant events in their professional lives where they were fully engaged in their work. These events were transformational at times (but not always), and often recalled with positive memories of doing something remarkable and working with others to get there. They were fulfilled and reported experiencing life during those times a little differently. So, ultimately my interest in engagement was to find ways that help employees live better lives in their work; at the core of my research is the belief that employees who experience high levels of engagement in their work also experience life fundamentally differently from those who cannot say they are engaged. I have personally and professionally seen this time and time again, and the research in this field would support that. There is still much more to uncover, but we are making progress.

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpointI think many might suspect the important role of workplace climate in the engagement-outcomes question, but the significance of the findings were somewhat surprising. It was surprising to us that the context of work from an individual, personal perspective would have such significant effects across each of the models. We also really wondered whether or not engagement would affect people beyond the traditional areas of performance so often examined. What we found was fairly significant to us – that employees who reported higher levels of engagement were also more likely to report lower levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and higher levels of personal accomplishment with their work, as well as increased levels of psychological wellbeing. This was all in the context of Fredrickson’s Broaden-and-Build Theory. Important to us was that results suggested there was a distinct personal psychological benefit for working fully engaged and a personal, individual psychological cost for being disengaged. I think this has implications for all of us in many areas of our lives.

The first way we see the extending of future research and practice was the use of non-traditional measures of engagement and psychological wellbeing in this study. The field has been so dominated by just a few voices and this research provides alternate avenues for scholars and practitioners. The dominate voices have so much to offer, but we maintain that advancing research means moving forward and hearing everyone. We knew this was risky in our study, and likely to create some challenge later, but forging new perspectives is rarely an easy task. To be sure, we did not forge these paths, but rather used the scholarship of others who did (and continue to do so) and tried to lift it up. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

A second area we hoped to influence was to add to the growing conversation about how the experience of engagement effects human beings. We know engagement is good for organizations. This seems clear, but what we do not know much about is the cost or benefit of being engaged from the standpoint of the employee and their well being. We really wondered, “is engagement as good for employees as it is for the organizations they work for?” Hopefully, this paper contributes to that conversation in some small way.

A final area we hoped this study that could influence practice was the training of leaders and those who can influence the psychological climate of the workplace. Clearly, this is a place of development for many. As we mentioned in the article, it seems unlikely and counterintuitive to theory that moments of engagement, which lead to higher levels of employee wellbeing, would develop in negative climates. Thus, a very practical implication of this study concerns the purposeful development of psychologically positive workplace cultures as a means to impact how employees experience and interpret their work. We must work at this and develop very practical solutions that are grounded in sound theory are relevant research.

Read the paper, “Employee Engagement and Well-Being: A Moderation Model and Implications for Practice,” online in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.

shuck-lgBrad Shuck is Assistant Professor, Workforce & Human Resource Education at the University of Louisville and a past University Graduate School Fellow at Florida International University. In his role at the University of Louisville, he is engaged in research that examines the emotional and behavioral manifestation of employee engagement and emerging instructional design techniques for adult learners. He has extensive corporate and nonprofit experience with conceptualizing the drivers of engagement, measuring engagement, and designing practical strategies to enhance workplace learning and culture. His work has appeared in publications such as Human Resource Development Review, the International Journal of Small Business, the Journal of Genetic Psychology, the Journal of Management Development, and the Journal of European Industrial Training, among others.