Type of Document Dissertation Author Lee, Yonghak Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11132006-164342 Title An Investigation and Critique of Competencies Needed by Human Resource Development (HRD) Master’s Degree Graduates in Korea Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Peter B. Easton Committee Chair John A. Sample Committee Member Ralph S. Brower Committee Member Shouping Hu Committee Member Keywords
- Human Resource development (HRD)
- Master degree
Date of Defense 2006-06-23 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe primary purpose of this study was to identify competencies needed for current human resource development (HRD) master’s degree graduate students in Korea. To achieve this goal, the study had four purposes: (1) to analyze perceptions of HRD faculty and practitioners on importance and mastery of competencies; (2) to identify the ways to be supplemented or modified the competencies in order to fit the situation of Korean institutional culture and Korean labor market; (3) to identify differences and similarities between the two groups and between male and female respondents; and (4) to identify the level of consensus among participants. Based on the purposes, six research questions were specified.
To answer the research questions, this research employed combination of two round surveys and in-depth interview techniques, the former principally quantitative and the latter qualitative. In conducting the Delphi technique, a survey questionnaire was used as the instrument. Forty three experts, selected by a nominating procedure, responded to the questions. Over the two rounds, the collected data were analyzed by median, standard deviation, and Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficient to determine the consensus of expert opinion. The in-depth interviews as qualitative approach was conducted with sub-samples of them in order to better understand the meaning of the Delphi results and to probe issues that cannot be resolved in that manner.
This study found that both faculty and professional respondents rated all the ASTD competencies as quite important, starting with the first round survey. Two reasons may explain these high initial ratings of the ASTD competencies. First, these competencies were already validated by the procedures of the original ASTD study, so presumably areas of little importance to current HRD work internationally have been weeded out. Second, a conflict-avoidance attitude among respondents may make them more likely to agree with the competencies proposed, since they come from an international professional organization.
Panelists’ characterization of the current level of mastery of these competencies was, however, below their assessment of the importance of the skills in question. Panelists attributed a basic or – at best -- intermediate level of expertise to new graduates. Among the 21 competencies, six were considered to have been mastered at an intermediate level and 16 only at a basic level. Though respondents rated the ASTD competencies quite high in importance, there was a low correlation between their own ranking and the ranking established in the ASTD validation study, suggesting a distinctly different “take” on some of the issues. This topic of adaptation of competency schemes to the Korean context was further explored by items asking respondents to suggest other competencies that they think should be included in the list. Respondents came up with 13 additional competencies that might be important in Korea.
In the qualitative portion of the study, interviewees were asked more generally about themes or values that should be taken into account in more fully adapting any competency scheme to Korean culture. Respondents stressed the themes such as paternalism or “familism, thexistence of strong factionalism within organization, and affectionate” evaluation practice. Among the competencies that respondents felt critical in dealing with these aspects of the Korean organizational context were “knowledge management”, “coaching or mentoring”, “team building”, “effectively managing organizational conflicts within organization”, and “human relationship skills” – aptitudes that lie in the domain of interpersonal and social relations.
There were some marked differences between the perspectives of faculty and those of practitioners, though few attained significance in the accompanying t-test results, in part due to the very restricted size of the sample. . In general, faculty respondents gave more importance to the competencies than did the practitioner group, whereas practitioners gave a higher assessment to the current level of mastery of HRD graduates. Women gave more importance to the ASTD competencies than did their male counterparts, whereas the men rated existing levels of mastery more favorably. It follows that the female group’s overall gap between importance and mastery was greater than the one perceived by the male group.
In fact, there was considerable consensus right from the start. The standard deviation scores of individual competencies were all under 1.0, even in the first round. The level of consensus did improve incrementally from round one to round two, though more noticeably with respect to graduates’ degree of mastery than with respect to the importance of the different skills.
The areas of greatest discrepancy between the perceived importance of the various competencies and their perceived mastery by HRD graduates were ‘facilitating organizational change’, ‘thinking strategically’, ‘analyzing needs and proposing solutions’, ‘improving human performance’, and ‘managing organizational knowledge’ – all areas that require critical and strategic reflection. In addition, most interviewees pointed to the lack of connections between theory and practice in current graduate training, and particularly the lack of internship and fieldwork possibilities that would give more reality to the training. They suggested the importance of designing practical training courses, employing case study methods and establishing long-term internship programs. Finally, a number of respondents emphasized that, whatever the deficiencies of their graduate training, self-directed learning on the job had been very useful in enabling them to adapt to the requirements of the workplace. Employers might therefore enhance this contribution by providing self-training opportunities in the areas of insufficient skill highlighted in the data of this study.
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