In the most recent French encyclopedia of human resources (Allouche, 2006), which includes over 200 entries, the phrase “Human Resource Development” does not appear. HRD has not formed into a well-established and clear concept or set of practices in France. This does not mean that French companies are not concerned With training, career development, and organizational development; they simply do not actively separate these activities from human resource management at large. Human resource developers are present in organizations, but their job includes a broad scope of tasks; generally, they are responsible for managing human resources in conjunction with organizational change. Beyond some differences in the scope of practices that may be included in the function, variations across countries are mainly concerned with meaning. Cultural contexts frame the interpretations and thus the implementations of organizational practices. To illustrate this diversity, this chapter focuses on empowerment and compares its meaning and implementation in the United States and France. Empowerment inherently involves HRD practitioners because it cannot be implemented without enabling people through training, and adjusting the organization through organizational development.
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- Empowerment: A Practice Embedded in Cultural Contexts. A Comparison between the United States and France
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