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The role of a human resource manager as a facilitator of learning: Some evidence from Lithuania

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine and summarize the findings of a survey carried out to identify the role of a human recourse manager in Lithuanian organisations today, emphasizing that the role of a human resource (HR) manager should focus on the facilitation of individuals' learning. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The methodology of this study includes a critical and systemic analysis of available literature on the subject as well as quantitative research, which was completed in 2006-2007. The following methods are used: analysis of recent legal and political educational documents, the questionnaire comprising of open and closed type questions. Findings ‐ It is found that researchers emphasise the diversity of sub-roles that a human recourse manager is expected to perform in organisations. It can be concluded that in Lithuanian organisations, the role of a HR manager is comprised of the following functions: to support and organise learning in organisations that is related to professional development in specific professional fields; to support and also organise learning in organisations that is related to opportunities for upward mobility (promotion); to negotiate and maintain good relations with the system of formal education (various institutions within it), as members of organisations still highly value formal education as a preferred context for learning; to inform employees about the opportunities for learning at all levels, with emphasis on those holding lower positions, since employees in lower positions reported not having received information about possibilities to learn, or employees do not considered these opportunities designed for them; to encourage employees, especially in lower positions, to use the available opportunities for learning, as employees in those positions need additional support and investment and to expect that a HR manager will support and facilitate learning for pursuing personal interests. Research limitations/implications ‐ As only members of organisations in the Klaipeda District (one of ten administrative districts in Lithuania) took part, this may be considered as the primary limitation of the study. Practical implications ‐ The findings could be used to design procedures for educating professionals to perform the role of HR manager in contemporary organisations, as well as to develop study programs of HR managers for initial education in HE. Originality/value ‐ A targeted study enables an informed identification of the attitudes of members of organisations towards the perceived role of HR managers and the support for learning in organisations.
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Keywords: Employees; Human resource management; Learning; Lithuania

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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