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Human resource development in the knowledge based and services driven economy: An introduction

Eduardo Tomé (Department of Economics Universidade Lusíada de Famalicão, Famalicão, Portugal)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




In July 2009 the Universidade Lusíada de Famalicão organized the International Conference on Managing Services in the Knowledge Economy 2009 (MSKE 2009). MSKE 2009 was an interesting forum which gathered 60 specialists from 20 countries in different areas such as knowledge management, intellectual capital, human resource development, social policy, law and international economics. In the human resource development field, five relevant contributions were selected to compose the current issue. The purpose of this introductory paper is to review the literature on the role of human resource development (HRD) in the current knowledge based and services driven economy.


The paper reviews the importance of knowledge as a crucial economic factor and the importance of services as the main area of economic business. It shows how HRD relates to services and knowledge.


Starting at the time of the Agricultural Revolution when human resources (HR) were marginally considered, the paper ends in the globalized and technologic advanced world of 2010 in which HR are a decisive production factor and are analyzed by different very important scientific perspectives. Crucially, in the present new order of the world, services are the main economic sector in advanced countries. The important role of HRD as a factor of success in a world dominated by services and knowledge is explained. The major open questions and controversies related to HRD are enumerated.

Research limitations/implications

Quite a number of open questions remain in the HRD field. Those questions relate to individuals, educational system, organizations, and to society as a whole. Those questions are analyzed in detail in this introduction. The current special issue includes papers dealing with five separate topics related to the open questions: academic curricula needed for the service sector; role of universities and workplace work‐related arrangements of the educational system; intellectual capital management; career advancement; career aspirations.


The paper introduces the special issue of the Journal of European Industrial Training on “HRD in the knowledge based and services driven economy”.



Tomé, E. (2011), "Human resource development in the knowledge based and services driven economy: An introduction", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 524-539.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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