Based on the assertion that prevalent generic models of HRD are not able to adequately account for the variety of human resource development (HRD) arrangements, strategies, and processes in organizations, this article proposes that a contingency framework can lead to a more differentiated and realistic understanding of HRD in actual practice. Several groups of contingency factors are advanced, and their potential influence illustrated with reference to an empirical investigation of 29 U.S. organizations. The resulting set of propositions invite future empirical verification with the goal of exploring more closely the context-dependent nature of human resource development and to advance the empirical knowledge base of our field.
- contingency theory
- strategic HRD