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Title: The chief learning officer : pursuing a grounded theory of executive leadership at the top of the human resource development field
Author: Douglas, Richard C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 9772
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2015
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The Chief Learning Officer (CLO) of an organization is the executive responsible for learning and workplace performance, and is often a member of its top management team. Practicing human resource development (HRD) strategically, the CLO creates and conducts learning and development activities designed to increase workers’ capabilities and outcomes. This thesis establishes a theoretical description of the path HRD practitioners take to become CLOs, examines how they perform strategic HRD and where they go when finished in that role, and delineates the structure-agency dynamics they function within. Additionally, the thesis explores and explains the CLO phenomenon through the use of sociological theories of structure and agency. Particularly, it applies strong structuration theory to the CLO. Combining these theories provides a thorough theoretical explanation of the basic social process of the CLO phenomenon, grounded in the data. Using grounded theory as its qualitative research method, it gathers and analyzes the lived experiences of CLOs. The results from 20 semi-structured interviews with current and former CLOs are presented and analyzed to explore how HRD practitioners become CLOs, how CLOs practice strategic HRD, and where CLOs go in their careers. A foundational theoretical model for the CLO is offered, which includes several contributing theories. It is demonstrated that CLOs are constructing their roles and the social structures while simultaneously performing in them. Also, CLOs are shown to come from a variety of vocational backgrounds with varying degrees of experience in HR. They practice strategically whether or not they are members of their organizations’ top management teams. When they leave the CLO role, they also tend to move away from organizationally defined careers and towards self-defined ways of practice. Also offered are recommendations for further research and implications for HRD scholarship and practice.
Supervisor: Hughes, Jason; O'Connor, Henrietta Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Soc.Sci.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available