Personal development has been one of the popular HR trends of the 1990s, and yet has received little close scrutiny as to its application in practice. Reports on the experiences of 14 employers using personal development plans. Finds that employers hope for different things, some want cost effectiveness, others to forge a new deal on development and others to develop a more autonomous workforce. In practice personal development plans (PDPs) are resource intensive but do seem to get individuals to own their own careers and become more autonomous. The means by which they are created can also have a significant effect. Suggests learning points for organizations considering the implementation of PDPs.
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