Cultural-Historical Activity Theory’s Relevance to HRD: A Review and Application

Oleksandr Tkachenko, Alexandre A Ardichvili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In light of recent calls to embrace multilevel, nonlinear, and open systems perspectives for theorizing and practicing human resource development (HRD), this article reviews key tenets of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) and its applications as relevant to HRD. Specifically, the article discusses the four areas where the usage of CHAT could inform HRD scholarship: (a) systems theory and thinking in HRD, (b) HRD and learning, (c) HRD as design science, and (d) the interplay between research and practice in HRD. Recommendations for further developing CHAT applications in HRD research and practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-157
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • activity theory
  • design science
  • developmental work research
  • systems thinking


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