From a sapling to the forest: the saga of the development of HRD in India-Udai Pareeka and T.V. Rao

This is an account of the growth and development of HRD function in India. What started in the mid-1970s as a conceptualization of an integrated HRD system to change the performance appraisal systems in a large engineering company, resulted in the establishment of HRD departments in many firms. Further dissemination and perseverance resulted in the establishment of a centre for HRD, and subsequently the
birth of a professional body and, later, an academic institution. The authors describe the growth in eight stages and conclude the path for future is in moving towards national HR policies and other social sectors.

The notion of integrated human resource development (HRD) systems in India is perhaps the oldest among all countries in terms of both conceptualization and implementation. At a time when the term HRD has not yet achieved its full meaning, in early 1970s the authors of this article conceptualized this as an integrated system to drive organizational change. It was first implemented successfully in one organization, and then spread to other organizations as a mission by the authors at the Indian Institute of Management,Ahmedabad (IIMA), with the support of other CEOs and several other academicians who
joined them later. What started as a system designed for one company found its way to other companies, resulted in the creation of a chairperson, the establishment of a centre for HRD at an academic institution and subsequently the formation of a large professional
body of the stature of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in the USA. This essay is a personal account of the saga of introducing a new HRD function in the mid 1970s, and its diffusion and institutionalization at the national level. Both singly and together, the
authors have been contributing to the development of HRD in India. (Udai will be used for Udai Pareek and TV for T.V. Rao throughout this article.) The evolution and institutionalization of HRD in India is described in eight stages.

Stage 1: the beginnings (1974–1975)

Stage 2: spread to other strategic organizations (1975–1978)

Stage 3: action research in implementing HRD systems (1978–1979)

Stage 4: dissemination begins (1979–1982)

Stage 5: institutionalization of diffusion of change (1982–1985)

Stage 6: the spread of HRD network (1985–1990)

Stage 7: strengthening the academic base – the academy of HRD (1990–1995)

Stage 8: the future: globalization and nationalization (2008–?)

Continue Reading- From a sapling to the forest the saga of the development of HRD in India


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