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Exploring the construction of professional expertise in HRD: analysis of four HR developers' work histories and career stories

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Explores the construction of professional expertise in HRD work through the examination of the careers of four individual HR developers who are employed as full-time HRD personnel in various work organisations and already possess considerable experience of HRD work. A narrative approach to the development of professional expertise was applied and the building materials for professional expertise in HRD work retrospectively extracted from the developers' formal work histories and career stories. The empirical data used consist of interviews with 20 full-time HR developers working in large enterprises and governmental organisations in Finland. The present analysis is based on four career stories by four HRD managers selected on the basis of their different work histories. Despite the differences in the subjects' work histories the analysis of their career stories revealed a similar emphasis on the centrality of people, a personal style as a working tool and understanding of learning as the corner stones of professional expertise in the practice of HRD.
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Keywords: Career development; Efficiency; Human resource development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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