Human Resource Development Research Handbook
  • Written by top researchers in the field of Human Resource Development
  • Uses real-world examples to make the research understandable
  • Helps practitioners solve complex practical problems that need the application of existing or new research
  • Sponsored by the Academy of Human Resource Development and the American Society for Training and Development

How is it that some Human Resource Development (HRD) professionals consistently get the results that their organizations need, while others regularly get lost in the process? The Human Resource Development Research Handbook argues that expert HRD professionals think like researchers. You don't need to be a researcher to obtain consistently high-quality HRD results, but thinking like a researcher gives you the discipline required to be an expert. Thus, the much-hyped gap between theory and practice is the arena of opportunity and excellence. The Human Resource Development Research Handbook gives practitioners the tools they need to stay on the leading edge of the profession. It addresses three core areas: The practical importance of research; ways of doing practical research; and getting started on research. Written for practitioners and scholars, this is the first book to explain the value, purposes, methods, and processes of HRD research in clear, simple language.

The Human Resource Development Research Handbook demystifies the research process so HRD practitioners can transform their practice to incorporate leading-edge research. Each chapter is written in straightforward language by a leading researcher. Real-world examples clearly show how research and theory are not just for academics, but are practical tools to solve everyday problems.

  • Written by top researchers in the field of Human Resource Development
  • Uses real-world examples to make the research understandable
  • Helps practitioners solve complex practical problems that need the application of existing or new research
  • Sponsored by the Academy of Human Resource Development and the American Society for Training and Development

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Read An Excerpt


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Overview

  • Written by top researchers in the field of Human Resource Development
  • Uses real-world examples to make the research understandable
  • Helps practitioners solve complex practical problems that need the application of existing or new research
  • Sponsored by the Academy of Human Resource Development and the American Society for Training and Development

How is it that some Human Resource Development (HRD) professionals consistently get the results that their organizations need, while others regularly get lost in the process? The Human Resource Development Research Handbook argues that expert HRD professionals think like researchers. You don't need to be a researcher to obtain consistently high-quality HRD results, but thinking like a researcher gives you the discipline required to be an expert. Thus, the much-hyped gap between theory and practice is the arena of opportunity and excellence. The Human Resource Development Research Handbook gives practitioners the tools they need to stay on the leading edge of the profession. It addresses three core areas: The practical importance of research; ways of doing practical research; and getting started on research. Written for practitioners and scholars, this is the first book to explain the value, purposes, methods, and processes of HRD research in clear, simple language.

The Human Resource Development Research Handbook demystifies the research process so HRD practitioners can transform their practice to incorporate leading-edge research. Each chapter is written in straightforward language by a leading researcher. Real-world examples clearly show how research and theory are not just for academics, but are practical tools to solve everyday problems.

  • Written by top researchers in the field of Human Resource Development
  • Uses real-world examples to make the research understandable
  • Helps practitioners solve complex practical problems that need the application of existing or new research
  • Sponsored by the Academy of Human Resource Development and the American Society for Training and Development

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Elwood F. Holton III

Elwood F. Holton III is Professor of Human Resource Development and Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Development at Louisiana State University. The author of sixteen books, including The Ultimate New Employee Survival Guide he is an international expert on learning transfer and human resource development. Holton has two daughters and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ken Melrose, CEO, The Toro Company

    Part I: Practical Importance of Research
  1. HRD Research: Don't Go to Work Without It! Richard A. Swanson, University of Minnesota
  2. How Research Contributes to the HRD Value Chain, Michael P. Leimbach, Wilson Learning Corporation, and Timothy T. Baldwin, University of Indiana
  3. HRD Partnerships for Integrating Research and Practice, Ronald L. Jacobs, Ohio State University
    Part II: Ways of Doing Practical Research
  1. Quantitative Research Methods, Elwood F. Holton, III, Louisiana State University, and Michael F. Burnett, Louisiana State University
  2. Qualitative Research Methods, Barbara L. Swanson, Swanson & Associates; Karen E. Watkins, University of Georgia; and Victoria J. Marsick, Columbia
    University
  3. Theory-Building Research Methods, Richard J. Torraco, University of Nebraska
  4. Case Study Research Methods, Victoria J. Marsick, Columbia University, and Karen E. Watkins, University of Georgia
    Part III: Getting Started on Research
  1. Finding and Using HRD Research, Catherine M. Sleezer, Oklahoma State University, and James M. Sleezer, Oklahoma State University
  2. Examples of Excellent Research, Gary N. McLean, University of Minnesota, and Darlene Russ-Eft, Zenger Miller
  3. Ways of Seeing: Disciplinary Bases of Research in HRD, David L. Passmore, Pennsylvania State University

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Excerpt

Source

INTRODUCTION
THE CAPACITY TO SENSE
AND ACTUALIZE EMERGING
FUTURES

IN DISCOVERING OUR OWN PURPOSE AND MEANING, WE ENRICH MEANING IN THE UNIVERSE – WE CREATE SOMETHING OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT HAS NOT BEEN THERE. WE ARE PART OF IT, AND IT IS PART OF US. WE ARE PARTNERS IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE.

Beginning in 1973, with my country in the throes of a leadership crisis that came to be known as “Watergate” and with my personal life entering its own crisis, I began a journey of discovery that I chronicled in Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership.

Soon after the book was published, readers began asking me questions about fundamental aspects of the lessons I had learned from my direct experiences. The truth is, I couldn’t answer them. At times, as I would conduct workshops and work in client systems, I felt I was like a lawyer “practicing without a license.” There were missing pieces to the “whole” I just couldn’t articulate. Sometimes I felt I was coming close to knowing – I was gaining tacit knowledge, but I couldn’t give voice to it.

Some of the readers asked me to explore with them the subject of society’s belief systems – our internal image of reality. As I later understood, they were asking me about metaphysics, the philosophy of being and knowing. Metaphysics was far beyond anything I had considered up to that moment. All I knew was that what I was describing fit my direct experience – and the direct experience of hundreds of readers who were contacting me saying, “Now I know I’m not crazy.”

All of these questions and my own growth eventually led me to embark on a whole new search to understand the fundamental principles underlying these experiences. Ultimately, I came to realize that the drive to learn and know our fundamental nature is a basic human need. Metaphysics formats and enables experience, and, in turn, molds scientific, social, and individual reality. It provides a description of human experience that satisfies a deep longing within us. The mathematician, physicist, and philosopher, H. Dean Brown, in answer to the question, “What is the use of metaphysics?” replied, “We become what we behold.”

The futurist Willis Harman once said to me, “By deliberately changing the internal image of reality, people can change the world. Indeed,” he added, “the real fundamental changes in societies have come about not from dictates of governments and the results of battles, but through vast numbers of people changing their minds.”

Since the publication of the first edition of Synchronicity, I’ve been searching for the principles that lie at the heart of what I described there – the capacity we have to sense and actualize emerging futures and to shape the future instead of simply responding to the forces at large. What is the source of our capacity to access the knowledge for action we need in the moment? How can we learn to enable that capacity, individually and collectively?

The answers to these questions were slowly revealed to me over a fifteen-year period. Because I now feel adequate to be explicit about what I’ve learned, I’ve written this book: Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge Creation. In it, I’ve attempted not only to tell the story of my quest for the principles that form the basis of my experiences as described in Synchronicity, but also to understand the nature of what I have called – for lack of a better term – “the Source,” or sometimes, depending on the context, “Source.”

By its very nature, the Source cannot be defined. The physicist David Bohm told me that “the reality which is most immediate to us cannot be stated.” And Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne, two scientists whom I interviewed for this book, said:

… there exists a much deeper and more extensive source of reality, which is largely insulated from direct human experience, representation, or even comprehension. It is a domain that has long been posited and contemplated by metaphysicians and theologians, Jungian and Jamesian psychologists, philosophers of science, and a few contemporary progressive theoretical physicists, all struggling to grasp and to represent its essence and its function. A variety of provincial labels have been applied, such as “Tao,” “Qi,” “prana,” “void,” “Akashic record,” “Unus Mundi,” “unknowable substratum,” “terra incognita,” “archetypal field,” “hidden order,” “aboriginal sensible muchness,” “implicate order,” “zero-point vacuum,” “ontic (or ontological) level,” “undivided timeless primordial reality,” among many others, none of which fully captures the sublimely elusive nature of this domain. In earlier papers we called it the “subliminal seed regime,” but for our present purposes we shall henceforth refer to it as the “Source.”

While it cannot be defined, Source can be experienced. The first time I experienced it was during a tornado I describe in the prologue to this book. My quest since then has not been for a definition but for an understanding of how we can have a connection to it – how we can engage in a deep dialogue with it. Dialogue with the Source leads to the kind of creativity associated with the most successful entrepreneurial undertakings. Action based on such “primary knowing” can be “shockingly effective.”

This fifteen-year journey covered a long and winding path during which a colleague and I were inspired to explore what we later developed as a “U-process” for accessing emerging futures. The exploration of the U-theory led to our writing Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society.

But the work with the U-process and our thinking about the U-theory left me dissatisfied. Real transformation, it seemed to me, occurred at what I began to call “the bottom of the U” and involved something beyond what we were doing – something we didn’t really understand. I began calling it “the Source.” A leader’s ability to access this Source often made the difference between success and failure, as I learned in a painful way when a large pilot project failed. At this juncture, my road diverged from that of my colleagues, and I began the journey that has led to this book.

At the heart of what I discovered during my journey to understand Source are four principles, which I’ve described preceding this introduction. While I have attempted to state these principles as simply and succinctly as I can, exploring them and how they were developed is part of the story I tell in this book – and truly understanding them deeply will take me the rest of my lifetime.

In the process of this search, I gave serious consideration to the Western scientific-materialistic worldview – our underlying belief system, which has prevailed in the West for over two hundred years. I believe that this belief system is no longer adequate for the issues our society is facing; that an historic shift is now occurring; and that a more comprehensive worldview is emerging. Institutions can play a leading role in enabling this emerging worldview.

At the time Synchronicity was published, the most admired institutions were led by what Robert Greenleaf described as “servant leaders.” Scott Peck has referred to these as “Stage III” leaders. But I believe that a more advanced generation of institutions must be led by what I call “Stage IV” leaders. Stage IV leaders embody the characteristics and values of servant leaders, but have matured to a more comprehensive and subtle level of development. They exhibit a capacity for extraordinary functioning and performance. At the heart of this kind of performance is a capacity for accessing tacit knowing that can be used for breakthrough thinking, strategy formation, and innovation, including envisioning and creating the kind of institution or society we desire.

Stage IV leaders believe that there is an underlying intelligence within the universe, which is capable of guiding us and preparing us for the futures we must create. They combine their cognitive understanding of the world around them with a strong personal sense of possibility – the possibility of actualizing hidden potentials lying dormant in the universe, a view that carries with it the power to change the world as we know it.

Institutions guided by this quality of leadership, from line leaders to the very top, will, in my view, flourish in the decades to come. Because of their success, these institutions will become living examples of what is possible in the face of accelerating complexity and high turbulence. Operating from this new worldview, these living examples can play a major role in shifting the prevailing belief system.

In discovering our own purpose and meaning – whether of our institutions or of our own personal lives – we enrich meaning in the universe. We create something significant that has not been there. We are part of it, and it is part of us. We are partners in the evolution of the universe.

I hope that Source will serve your own path toward higher stages of growth and development – and that it will also serve the leadership of your institution and of society as a whole.

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Endorsements

"If research is the seed, this book is the tool to till the soil."

-Kendrick B. Melrose, Chairman and CEO, The Toro Company, and author of Making the Grass Greener on Your Side

"Finally, a book that brings research out of the ivory tower and into the hands of HRD practitioners."

-Gary R. Sisson, President, Paradigm Corporation

"Corporate leaders should be very interested in the avenues to excellence covered in this handbook."

-Timothy McClernon, Senior Vice President, Piper Jaffray Companies

"The American Society for Training and Development and the Academy of Human Resource Development are strongly committed to advancing the theory and practice of HRD. This book is a big step toward that goal."

-Laurie J. Bassi, Vice President of Research, American Society for Training and Development

"The Human Resource Development Research Handbook is unique-it speaks clearly to both seasoned and beginning scholars."

-Irwin L. Goldstein, Professor and Dean, University of Maryland

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