A review of human resource development trends and practices in Australia

multinationals, locals, and responses to economic turbulence

Peter McGraw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Problem: The evolution of human resource development (HRD) practices in Australian-based organizations has been the focus of only limited rigorous longitudinal research. Consequently, HRD practitioners lack data on key trends against which to position their own initiatives. The Solution: This article outlines, analyzes, and comments on the pattern of HRD from the mid-1990s to the present day with reference to economic turbulence and responses to it, especially since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2007. The central themes of the review are the emergence of more "performance"-oriented approaches toward HRD assessment and evaluation, the HRD practices of multinational companies (MNCs) operating in Australia compared with locally owned organizations, and HRD practices within foreign owned MNCs from different home countries. Data for the article is drawn primarily from the analysis of three iterations of the Cranfield Network on International Human Resource Management (CRANET) Australia survey from the years 1996, 1999, and 2009. The Stakeholders: Practical lessons are drawn from the review concerning the current focus on reactive, performance-oriented, short-term HRD practices and the neglect of more strategic long-term HRD initiatives. The results will be of interest to researchers, policymakers, and HR practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-107
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Australia
  • economic turbulence
  • human resource development
  • multinational companies

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