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Title: How the HR professional learns to practice : a 'novice learner' perspective
Author: Harrison, Patricia Audrey
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this thesis is to discover how novice Human Resource (HR) professionals learn to practice. In addressing this aim, the thesis evaluated what processes supported and hindered the development of HR professional practice and explored if there was a relationship between the methods experienced while learning and, subsequent, professional development. The grounded theory method with a longitudinal, relativism, case study approach was adopted for the research. The research design involved a comprehensive review of the literature on professional practice and knowledge. The study followed the careers of five novice HR professionals which involved annual meetings with them and their manager over a period of three years, thus resulting in 30 in-depth interviews. The literature demonstrated the tensions for HR generally and, particularly, in terms of its status as a profession, with it being deemed by some to be an occupation (Caldwell 2003) or semi-profession (Hodson and Sullivan 2012). Furthermore, a critical feature of professions is the development of both explicit and tacit knowledge owing to them being what Eraut (2003:61) term an "applied field". A conceptual model was developed by the author to capture these points in the context of professional development for the novice. This research found a difference in professional development of novice HR professionals who were fully supported. Of the five participants in the research, two of them achieved greater professional development. This appeared to be attributable to five factors (role, management, organisation, personal and professionalism). The author has used these factors to build a professional development framework that may be helpful in cultivating HR practice. The research makes an important contribution in understanding the nature of tacit and explicit knowledge plus professional development within the context of a profession. Furthermore, contributions are made for the development of novice HR practitioners by developing a unifying, practical professional development framework. The fram,ework has been specifically designed as a 'practical tool to be utilised by managers and/or novice HR professionals. The study also highlights avenues for future research and suggests practical implications for both the HR professional body and Higher Education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available