Human Resource Development and the Arts: Concepts, Connections and Opportunities

Dr Stephen Gibb
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Certain points of highly visible connection between Human Resource Development (HRD) and the arts already exist at the moment; education policies to promote creativity for employability, the use of games in the evolution of e-learning, the promotion of partnerships between arts and business through the use of artists to provide workplace learning events. Beyond these antecedents and fragments of practices around arts-based training in the workplace are three core concepts and areas of theory represented by beauty, imagination and creativity. These can inform and influence thinking about HRD. Through these the growing interest in appreciating people as aesthetic beings can be connected with challenges in learning and skills at work. This involves understanding development as a process existing in a world whose major ontological features are formed around beauty, where an epistemology inter-twined with imaginative truth is desirable, and whose ethics are formed around being free to create.

These concepts of beauty, imagination, creativity and aesthetic being are then integral to understanding learning and development, and are thus to be added to more conventional ways of making sense of HRD and its challenges. What this means for various stakeholders in HRD,from corporate trainers and arts-based training providers to government and other bodies is outlined.

Keywords: Human Resource Development, Creativity, Imagination, Beauty, Learning
Stream: Arts Agendas, Supporting the Arts
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr Stephen Gibb

Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde

Researcher and writer on learning and development in employment and the workplace, author of 'Learning and Development; Process, Practices and Perspectives at Work' (Palrave MacMillan 2002); author of 'Aesthetics and Human Resource Development; Concepts, Connections and Opportunities' (Routledge 2006), building on research into arts-based training and development practices to explore broader and deeper connections between the ontology of beauty, the epistemology of imagination and the ethics of creativity as informing discourse in current and future thinking about learning and skills in management and organisation.

Ref: A06P0093