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We examine how students made sense of the learning that occurred within a curriculum that challenged ‘traditional’ human resource development (HRD), a curriculum informed by critical content and critical process. We draw attention to the identity work undertaken by students who were introduced to critical HRD and examine how this discourse enabled alternative ‘subject positions’. Drawing on an ethnographic research study informed by a discourse perspective on learning and identity, we explore how students reflected and made sense of their learning and identify eight subject positions: academic practitioner, frustrated practitioner researcher, deep thinking performer, politically aware and active, powerful boundary worker, personally empowered, emancipatory practitioner and personally empowered but disengaged. Drawing on these findings, we question whether the introduction of critical approaches to HRD afforded or prevented articulation and interchange between this educational programme and the students' employing organizations, highlighting the implications for HRD research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-336
JournalHuman Resource Development International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2012
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