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ERIC Number: EJ1006296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-2046-9012
Robert Owen: A Historiographic Study of a Pioneer of Human Resource Development
Hatcher, Tim
European Journal of Training and Development, v37 n4 p414-431 2013
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ideals and activities of the nineteenth century Welsh industrialist and reformer Robert Owen (1771-1858), and how they informed modern human resource development (HRD) concepts and practices and provided evidence of Owen as a HRD pioneer. Design/methodology/approach: Historiography provided a method to understand how historical figures, and the context in which they lived and worked, inform contemporary research and practice. Findings: Contextual factors of economics, politics and societal demands and the influences of Owen's early life, his immersion within the British factory system and the creation of the New Lanark mill village, Owen's great work experiment, revealed a strong impact on his thinking and actions. Thematic findings included: managing people and profit, education and training, pioneering workplace innovations, and the failure of the New Harmony, Indiana community. Themes provided unique historical evidence that education and development of workers, and the creation of humane work and community environments are linked across time and contexts to modern concepts of human resource development and thus supported Owen as a HRD pioneer. Practical implications: Understanding the ideals and workplace experiments and contextual influences on a historical figure such as Robert Owen illustrate how modern concepts of workforce training and education, diversity, equality and justice and social responsibility originated and the importance of contexts on their development and success. Social implications: Contexts of economics, politics and societal demands greatly influence organizations and the creation of humane workplaces that nurture human potential. Originality/value: The study brings history and historiography as a research method to the forefront of HRD research and practice. The study provides the beginnings of a collective historical memory that can contribute to HRD defining itself and establishing its identity as a discipline. (Contains 1 table and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Scotland)