Oct 17, 2012

Philosophical Ground of Human Resources Development: Its implication to Educational Change

By Marsigit
Yogyakarta State University

a.Human Resources Development

According to Swanson, R.A. and Holton III, E.F. (2009) the philosophical ground of human resources development covers:

(1) a shift to the human resources school of thought,
(2) the growth of laboratory training,
(3) the use of survey research and feedback,
(4) an increased use of action research (problem-solving) techniques,
(5) an acknowledgment of socio-technical systems and quality of work life, and
(6) a new emphasis on strategic change.

Further, they suggested that devel¬oped mostly in response to serious concerns about the viability of traditional and bureaucratic organizations, the human relations model attempted to move away from these classical assumptions and focused more heavily on individual iden¬tities, their needs, and how to facilitate stronger interpersonal communication and relationships.

Accordingly, much of the concepts of human resources development are currently focusing on the increase of the effective¬ness of strategic change. The use of open-systems planning was one of the first applications of strategic change methods. An educational institutions’ demand and response systems could be described and analyzed, the gaps reduced, and performance improved.

In the case of education, this work represents a shift in teachers’ professional development away from a sole focus on the individual, and the supporting assumption that it is completely mediated through individuals, to a more holistic and open sys¬tems view of educational institution. This shift continues to this day and is evidenced in key revelations stemming from strategic change work including the importance of educational leadership support, multilevel involvement, and the criticality of alignment between organizational strategy, structure, culture, and systems (ibid)

b.Managing Educational Change
Fullan (1982, 1991) proposed that there are four broad phases in the educational change process: initiation, implementation, continuation, and outcome.
The factors that affecting the initiation phases include: existence and quality of innovations, access to innovations, advocacy from central administration , teacher advocacy, and external change agents

Three areas of the major factors affecting implementation: characteristics of change, local characteristics and external factors (government and other agencies). They identified different stakeholders in local, and federal and governmental levels. They also identified characterizations of change to each stakeholder and the issues that each stakeholder should consider before committing a change effort or rejecting it.

3)Characteristics of Change
Fullan (1999) characterized educational changes and their factors at different levels as follows:
Characteristics of Change
•Need of change
•Clarity about goals and needs
•Complexity: the extent of change required to those responsible for implementation
•Quality and practicality of the program
Local factor
•The school district
•Board of community
External factor
•Government and other agencies
4)Continuation/ Sustainability

According to Fullan (1999), continuation is a decision about institutionalization of an innovation based on the reaction to the change, which may be negative or positive. Continuation depends on whether or not:
a)The change gets embedded/built into the structure (through policy/budget/timetable)
b)The change has generated a critical mass of administrators or teachers who are skilled and committed to change.
c)The change has established procedures for continuing assistance

Fullan (1999) pointed out the importance of the recognition that the educational change process is complex. To deal with such complexity is not to control the change, but to guide it. He provides eight new lessons about guiding educational change:
a)Moral purpose is complex and problematic
b)Theories of education and theories of change need each other
c)Conflict and diversity are our friends
d)Understanding the meaning of operating on the edge of chaos
e)Emotional intelligence is anxiety provoking and anxiety containing
f)Collaborative cultures are anxiety provoking and anxiety containing
g)Attack incoherence connectedness and knowledge creation are critical
h)There is no single solution. Craft your own theories and actions by being a critical consumer.


Fullan, M., 2002, Leading and Learning for the 21stC Vol 1 No. 3 - January 2002Furlong, J., 2002, Ideology and Reform in Teacher Education in England:
Some Reflections on Cochran-Smith and Fries. Retrieved

Swanson, R.A. and Holton III, E.F., 2009, Foundation of Human Resources Development
: Second Edition, Berrett-Kohler Publisher Inc.

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