This paper sets out to critically challenge five interrelated assumptions prominent in the (human resource development) HRD literature. These relate to: the exploitation of labour in enhancing shareholder value; the view that employees are co-contributors to and co-recipients of HRD benefits; the distinction between HRD and human resource management; the relationship between HRD and unitarism; and the relationship between HRD and organizational and learning cultures. From a critical modernist perspective, it is argued that these can only be adequately addressed by taking a point of departure from the particular state of the capital–labour relation in time, place and space. HRD, of its nature, exists in a continuous state of dialectical tension between capital and labour – and there is much that critical scholarship has yet to do in informing practitioners about how they might manage and cope with such tension.
- human resource management