Handbook of International Human Resource Development
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Handbook of International Human Resource Development

Context, Processes and People

Edited by Thomas Garavan, Alma McCarthy and Ronan Carbery

This Handbook draws on a global team of distinguished Human Resource Development and IHRD scholars to provide research and practice insights on a range of contemporary IHRD issues and challenges. The Handbook reviews a number of critical contextual dimensions that: shape the IHRD goals that organisations pursue; impact the IHRD systems, policies and practices that are implemented; and influence the types of IHRD research questions that are investigated. The Handbook examines the processes or actions taken by organisations to globalise IHRD practices and discusses important people development practices that come within the scope of IHRD.
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Chapter 14: IHRD, social capital and networking

Claire Gubbins

Abstract

The human resource development (HRD) field recognises that the emerging challenges facing HRD require developing the social capital, or the ‘asset value of human relationships’. However, the extent of research on social capital and social networks within the field of HRD and international HRD is limited. To ignite interest and encourage further debate and research within the field of international HRD, this chapter reviews debates around the various conceptualisations of social capital including the structure and content components, levels of analysis issues and debates as to its antecedents and outputs. The chapter outlines the dominant theories in the social capital field including weak tie, structural hole, social resource and social capital theory. It collates available empirical research in the HRD, international HRD and related fields, which focuses on the role of relationships at individual, team and organisational level. Specifically, this chapter looks at research conducted on transnational management and career development, knowledge sharing and learning through a social capital or social network lens. The chapter aims to encourage more interdisciplinary consideration on how the social capital lens can inform and provide a unique and stronger systems perspective in research into international HRD.

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