Challenges and choices for theoretical research in human resource development

Richard J. Torraco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Theoretical research in HRD has established itself and is now at a point where many avenues exist for further contributions to the field. But what kinds of theoretical research appear to be needed at this stage in the development of HRD? This paper identifies areas in which further research in theory and theory building might be conducted. Possible areas for future research include new HRD theory, theory-building research methods, HRD's theoretical foundation, and published work that includes both the theory-building research process and the theory itself. The paper argues that as more theory is being developed, the justification of the need for theory becomes more important. Considering the merits of alternative theoretical contributions, HRD professionals are asked to make judicious choices about the direction of future theoretical research. The implications of this study for further research and professional practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Resource Development Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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