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The Historical Development of Human Resource Development in the United Kingdom


  • Jim Stewart
  • Sally Sambrook

    () (Bangor University)


We construct the historical development of the term "human resource development" (HRD) within the United Kingdom (UK). We argue that HRD has been introduced and employed extensively by academics but not taken up with such enthusiasm by professionals and governments. We trace the development of the term and evaluate its use in these three distinct domains: academic, policy, and professional. This includes reference to multiple stakeholders, such as governments, employing organizations, academics and professional bodies, and their influences including national policy interventions and legislation shaping academic and professional practices and qualifications. We conclude that HRD as a concept and a term to describe an area of academic study and professional practice has had variable impact in different sites of practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Stewart & Sally Sambrook, 2012. "The Historical Development of Human Resource Development in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 12013, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  • Handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:12013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ewart Keep & Ken Mayhew, 2010. "Moving beyond skills as a social and economic panacea," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 24(3), pages 565-577, September.
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