Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

pp 1460-1462

Human Resource Development and Performance Improvement

  • William J. RothwellAffiliated withFaculty of Economics and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Education, University of FreiburgCollege of Education, The Pennsylvania State University Email author 


Human performance enhancement; Human performance improvement (HPI); Human performance technology (HPT); Human resource development (HRD); Performance consulting; Performance improvement; Performance technology


Human resource development (HRD) has been famously defined as “the integrated use of training and development, organization development, and career development to improve individual, group, and organizational effectiveness” (McLagan 1989, p. 7). Human performance improvement (HPI) is usually understood to mean “the systematic process of discovering and analyzing important human performance gaps, planning for future improvement in human performance, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable interventions to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions, and evaluating the financial and nonfinancial results” (Rothwell 2000, p. 89). But “the total performance improvement system is a merger of systematic performanc ...

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