Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Edited by Professors Jim Stewart and Graham Beaver with contributions from 27 other respected academics in the field of human resources development, this book consists of a series of essays published under the Routledge Studies in Human Resource Development series. The nature of HRD in small organisations suggests a wide ranging readership for the topic area namely, academics, researchers, students at Masters and Doctoral level in addition to owner/managers, business consultants, trainers and developers, small business advisers and policy makers.
The editors state that the overall purpose of the book is to provide a comprehensive and contemporary view of research into the practice of HRD in small organisations.
This is achieved within the text through dissemination of the results of considerable research in this area, and the provision of examples of HRD in small organisations. These are intended to inform learning and teaching in HRD, and stimulate, support and inform future research.
The structure of the book follows three distinct themes related to the above aims and which are covered in three Parts. The first examines the context of small organisations and the consequent implications for research design and conduct of research into HRD practice. The second presents the results of research intended to assist the enquiry into and understanding of approaches to HRD. These include employee‐led development, Government support, the practice of HRD in smaller firms, the relationship between learning and knowledge creation and migration, and e‐learning in small organisations. The final part explores HRD methods, with particular emphasis on the management development needs of owner/ managers, external coaching, and mentoring.
As regards content this book describes and analyses the context of research and practice in HRD while also challenging current perceptions and suggesting areas for further enquiry. In doing so the reader is presented with theoretical and research context, findings/results, interpretation, conclusions and learning points. These focus the reader and encourage them to draw their own conclusions. The empirical evidence presented is academically rigorous, providing both quantitative and qualitative research findings in equal measure. The Bibliography is expansive in identifying many sources for further reading. In reviewing this, as with any book, there were chapters that I found more interesting to read and digest than others. However overall the text maintained my interest, caused me to question, challenge and reflect. Read in total without time for such reflection the book may be a little heavy for those without any academic interest. For the appropriate readership it represents very good value.