Exploring traditions of identity theory for Human Resource Development (HRD)

McInnes, Peter and Corlett, Sandra and Coupland, Christine and Hallier, Jerry and Summers, Juliette (2017) Exploring traditions of identity theory for Human Resource Development (HRD). In: Identity as a Foundation for Human Resource Development. Routledge Studies in Human Resource Development . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 21-38. ISBN 9781315671482

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    Abstract

    The question of who is developed by HRD might appear self-evident. However, the answer becomes less certain when one seeks to understand how the individual changes through HRD activities and how these changes in turn shape what they do and how others respond to them. Such concerns are of central interest to the study of identity, a field that sees the question of who someone ‘is’, and indeed is not, as an important contributor to the personal and interpersonal dynamics of organisational life. Many of those engaged in identity scholarship would readily declare themselves to understand identity as a socially constructed phenomenon. Beyond this, however, contrasting research traditions adopt different positions on what constitutes an identity, where it emanates from, and how it might be known. Such variety means identity offers a potentially fruitful series of frameworks for exploring the nature, as well as the effect, of HRD on the individual and the workplace. Unlocking this potential, however, requires a firm understanding of the perspectives from which identity is described and the processes through which it is sustained and evolves.