Differences between the views of performance-based and developmental HRD

Discuss the similarities and differences between the views of performance-based and developmental HRD.

Kopp (2014) defines the performance-based view as, “…the primary focus in having well-trained employees is to increase their value to the organization along with their workplace productivity” (Sec. 1.4, Para. 8).  On the other hand, the developmental view focuses on the individual and his or her personal development.  As Prof. Orgbon (2016) pointed out in the weekly lecture, “Performance-based HRD is focused on the profitability of the organization rather than employees themselves…the developmental view…is a more humanistic approach” (Week 1, Para. 6).  So, to my understanding, the performance-based view looks at the organization as a whole to determine whether they have enough properly trained employees and then determines how much the productivity of the employees contribute to the total value of the organization.  Whereas, with the developmental view, it focuses on each individual and their strong points (which create value for the organization) and then determines where they can improve or further advance (as there is always room for improvement).  In the video, The New Science of Human Capital, which was posted by The Harvard Business Review (2008), they used the example of the cleaners at Disney.  The cleaners do not create much value just based off of how well they clean.  Rather, it is the cleaner’s ability to guide a guest to an area of the park they are looking for, so it’s their customer service that actually creates value.  From the performance-based view of HRD, the cleaner is a better asset because of their training of which they received from the organization.  From a developmental view of training, this individual loves their job, is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and is willing to learn new tasks and responsibilities to further their value within the organization.

So, even though each view start at different spectrums, the overall outcome and significance of training is potentially the same.  Both views of training add value to the organization to later produce a return on that investment.  Essentially, if an employee is trained appropriately, they will perform at a higher level of satisfaction.  

Answer the following question: Which view do you believe is more relevant to your organization, and why?

In my cleaning company, I feel that the performance-based view is more relevant for our commercial clients.  My workers need to learn the most effective and efficient way of getting an account cleaned in a specific period of time.  The overall level of cleanliness of the cleaning location is the factor that will determine the client’s level of satisfaction.  Within our training process, we teach the order of which tasks must be completed and how they need to be completed.  However, this is the opposite when analyzing our training methods for residential cleaning accounts.  One of our mottos is that you can see how much we care by how well we clean.  I want the people who work for me to love what they do and see that they are making a difference in people’s lives.  When my workers get to know a client on a personal level, they are more inclined to care a great deal more about what tasks are done and how they are done.

Aleshia Wisch


Harvard Business Review. (2008). [Video]: The New Science of Human Capital. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/j3rZSIqZ0pM

Kopp, D. M. (2014). Human resource development: Performance improvement through learning. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Retrieved from www.content.ashford.edu

Orgbon, C. (2016). Week 1 – Weekly Lecture. Performance-Based Human Resource Development and the Human Capital Theory. Retrieved from http://classroom.ecollege.com

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