University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Sustaining the critical in CHRD in higher education institutions: the impact of new public management and implications for HRD

Ross, Catharine ORCID:, Stewart, J., Nichol, Lynn, Elliott, C. and Sambrook, S. (2022) Sustaining the critical in CHRD in higher education institutions: the impact of new public management and implications for HRD. Human Resource Development International. ISSN Print: 1367-8868; Online: 1469-8374

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Adoption of Critical Human Resource Development (CHRD) and its capacity to change practice is influenced by the political context. HRD professionals learn to challenge their political context through CHRD teaching and research in the ‘safe space’ of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Yet, the increasingly global discourse of New Public Management (NPM), associated with what we call new performance measurement, constrains engagement with CHRD. This paper demonstrates the impact of NPM and research performance measurement on HRD scholarship, CHRD agendas, HRD professional development and HRD practice through discourse analysis of Impact Case Studies and their underpinning research as presented in the UK government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). Use of national research evaluations with a focus on impact is currently spreading across the globe, and so is of international significance. We identify that although CHRD is consistently adopted in underpinning academic research publications it does not transfer into written impact cases. We conclude that context has the power to silence CHRD, and we challenge CHRD scholars to seek alternative formats to inform practice that do not disguise potential negative impacts. We also caution that silencing critical academic voice diminishes the ability of pedagogic curriculum to challenge and enhance HRD practice.

Item Type: Article
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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: HRD discourse, critical HRD, impact, power, REF 2014, IRWRG
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Copyright Info: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Depositing User: Catharine Ross
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2023 14:48

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