The “Critical” Turn: An Important Imperative for Human Resource Development

Julie Gedro, Joshua C. Collins, Tonette S. Rocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The Problem. Dominant paradigms have begun to be questioned in some human resource development (HRD) scholarship. However, to date, there have been few systematic interrogations of power and privilege within the field. As a result, there remain unquestioned and tacit assumptions about HRD research and practice that hinder the ability of HRD to address the complexity of identity, perspective, and philosophy that characterize and influence organizations today.

The Solution. The use of theories and perspectives based on critical theory to interrogate HRD is needed for a deep and careful analysis of whose interests are served by HRD and whose interests can and perhaps should be served by HRD. This concluding article sets forth a hopeful retrospective synopsis of the articles in this Advances issue and illustrates how this body of work can inform HRD research and practice.

The Stakeholders. Those who are interested in acquiring a greater sense of awareness about how power and privilege serve as organizing frameworks in society in general, and in the workplace in specific, will benefit from this concluding article that casts a hopeful tone over complex and sometimes controversial issues. In particular, we imagine stakeholders to be corporate executives, diversity and inclusion executives, HRD scholars interested in gaining more awareness about diversity, and HRD practitioners who seek to develop programs that embrace those who are visible as well as those who have less visible identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 27 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • critical theory
  • reflective examination of HRD
  • workplace inclusion


Dive into the research topics of 'The “Critical” Turn: An Important Imperative for Human Resource Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this