Human resource development practices in IT industry.

AuthorMohanty, Santosh K.


An organization's success is determined as much by the skill and motivation of its members as by almost any other factor. While this has always been true, the pace and volume of modern change are focusing attention on ways human resources development (HRD) activities can be used to ensure organizational members have what it takes to successfully meet their challenges (Desimone, Werner & Harris, 2002). Hassan, Arif Hashim, Junaidah and Ahmad Zaki HjIsmail (2006) measured employees' perception of HRD practices and found large inter-organizational differences in HRD practices. In general, however, employees' ratings were moderate. ISO certified companies, compared to others, obtained higher means on some HRD variables. Organizations with better learning, training and development systems, reward and recognition, and information system promoted HRD climate. Quality orientation was predicted by career planning, performance guidance and development, role efficacy and reward and recognition systems. Yonjoo Cho and Gary N. McLean (2009) studied HRD practices in South Korea's successful IT start-ups to determine whether there are steps that must be taken to maintain their HRD expertise for continued growth. They showed the importance of organizational culture for IT start-ups' continued growth. The research by Peretz, Melissa, McGraw and Peter (2009) charted the evolution of HRD in Australian organizations over a critical 13-year period and analyzed the effect of the company size, industry sector and ownership pattern on HRD practices. The analysis revealed an aggregate decrease in HRD sophistication across all organizational types but divergent movements within the seven sub-indices, with decrease in 'learning' oriented practices and an increase in 'performance' oriented practices. Only limited differences were found between public and private sector organizations. Higher levels of HRD sophistication were found in larger companies and industry sector had a significant effect on a majority of HRD practices. Maura Sheehan, Thomas N. Garavan and Ronan Carbery (2014) found that HRD interventions can positively contribute to organization's innovation activities. HRD is also found to positively influence employee engagement, leadership, manager's motivation to learn, promotion of a learning culture, and social capital development all of which are positively associated with innovation.

In India, the Integrated HRD systems approach of Pareek and Rao (1975) has the following elements: (i) a separate and differentiated HRD department with full time HRD staff. (ii) six HRD subsystems such as performance appraisal, training and development, career planning and development, potential appraisal, feedback and counseling, and organizational development. (iii) inter-linkages between the various subsystems, (iv) designed with 14 principles in mind, and (v) linked to other subsystems of Human Resource Function. The survey by Rao, Rao and Yadav (2001) covering different types of Indian organizations indicated that the HRD function has not been well structured as envisaged in mid-seventies. The function seems to be a lot more convenience driven rather than systems driven. It does not have all the systems ideally it should have as envisaged in the seventies. The systems are not well integrated. The integration mechanisms are stronger but the specialization does not get the attention it deserves. The structures and competencies are not fully in tune with the integrated HRD systems model offered by Pareek and Rao (1975). The HRD subsystems, however, have evolved and matured to a substantial degree, specially the performance management and training and development. OD and feedback and counseling are in the next level of maturity. Potential appraisal, and career planning and development are the least developed and used subsystems. These subsystems have a lot of potential for giving competitive advantage through the development of employees.

The Present Study

The study aimed at analyzing HRD practices in IT industry. Considering the conceptual framework of HRD proposed by Rao (2007) this study examined the HRD practices such as training and development, performance appraisal, performance feedback and counseling, career planning and development, potential appraisal and organizational development in IT industry. From the list of organizations available in the NASSCOM Directory, a sample of 150 software organizations was selected randomly covering the entire country. The questionnaire was distributed to HR professionals of the organizations with a request to fill them up and return. Out of 150 organizations 41 had responded to the request. This included 27 Indian multinational software companies and 14 foreign multinational companies. The data on HRD practices was collected from the HR professionals of these companies. Content analysis was made of the data so collected using management questionnaire.

Organizational Information

Nature of Business: The companies under study are into different types of software businesses and different combinations of businesses such as software consulting, software development and maintenance, software services and product development.

Organizational Size: The strength of employees influences the HRD policies and practices of any company. The software companies have employed good number of people. The strength of employees ranged from 500 to 2, 00,000. The average number of employees of the organizations is calculated as 8238. The organizations under study are classified into two types: one, those employing less than 5000 persons and the other, employing more than 5000 persons. As shown in Table 1, a majority (60.97%) of the organizations employed more than 5000 persons for their business activities.

HRD Role: 'People' are the most important and valuable resource every organization or institution has in the form of its employees (Rao, 1990). This basic belief will ensure that organizations achieve their goals and are successful. Human resource development as an important function in the organization can help in realizing its objectives by creating a competent, dynamic and motivated employee force. The success of HRD function depends on the top management's commitment and support. There is a need for the organizations to have a well-articulated HRD philosophy that allows them to have an enabling culture in which training and development becomes a part of the organizational processes. Based on the philosophy, the organizations have to structure their HRD departments in such a way that the organizational expectations are met. Every software company has some arrangement for structuring HRD function with different titles such as HRD, learning and development, talent development, and human capital development. All the functions responsible for developing human resources are considered as HRD department for the purpose of this study. As shown in Table 2, the role of HRD function in 14.63% of the organizations is confined to operational HRD activities, whereas 17.07% of the organizations exclusively perform strategic HRD function. A majority (68.29%) of the organizations were playing both operational and strategic roles of HRD in their respective organizations.

HRD Size: The size of HRD department has an important bearing on the HRD efforts...

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