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Human Resource Management Review


A series of trends shaping the current workplace has changed the nature of human capital development practice to be more employee-driven. However, existing development research does not fully account for this shift and the anticipated benefits of employee-driven development. In this review we reflect on the current state of the employee development literature and propose a new, broader conceptualization of employee development characterized by a partnership between the employer and employee. In doing so, we offer three recommendations for how research needs to evolve to align employee development scholarship with current practices: (1) incorporate proactivity in the definition of employee development, (2) update the context for learning, and, (3) think differently about how human capital is valued. We suggest ways in which theory can be extended for increasing our understanding of several commonly used employee-driven development methods. Finally, we provide future research questions and practical suggestions based on our new conceptualization of employee development.

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