Exploring strategic human resource development at a private hospital group
The optimal performance of human resources is critical in order for organisations to sustain competitive advantages and remain globally relevant. Strategic human resource development calls for a holistic implementation of its characteristics and a globally accepted exploratory model by human resource development practitioners. Garavan's strategic human resource development model validates the horizontal integration of the currently separate fields of human resource development and human resource management practised by human resource development practitioners and human resource generalists alike. Strategic human resource development advocates for greater collaboration between human resource development and human resource management. Instead of competing against each other, collaboration is important to enhance the reputation of human resource development practitioners and human resource generalists to become valued as strategic organisation partners in ‘corporate boardrooms'. The field of strategic human resource development has been largely unseen in South African literature, due to the limited empirical research conducted in the field. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the extent to which human resource managers are implementing the characteristics and models of strategic human resource development at private hospitals to which the participants are employed as part of their human resource development practices. A qualitative research design and phenomenological strategy reinforced by interpretivism were adopted to understand the experiences of human resource managers in implementing the characteristics and a model of strategic human resource development at private hospitals to which the participants are employed. Purposive sampling was used to select five participants (human resource managers) who were interviewed individually based on their understanding and experiences with human resource development at a private hospital. Creswell's six-step data analysis model was used to analyse the data recorded during the semi-structured interviews. Qualitative reliability and validity (trustworthiness) strategies were implemented to ensure the quality of the data analysed. The findings confirmed that human resource managers implemented the characteristics of strategic human resource development at private hospitals to which the participants are employed; however, this was done in a fragmented and inconsistent manner, which contradicts the holistic approach advocated by McCracken and Wallace. Moreover, the participants stated that they had no working knowledge of strategic human resource development models. This study contributes to the field of strategic human resource development in general, and more specifically within the South African private hospital sector. In order to address the findings ensuing from the study, human resource development practitioners must take the initiative by engaging and partnering with top management and human resource managers in delivering strategically aligned solutions linked to their organisations' values.
- Education 
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