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Learning for Organizational Development

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Learning for Organizational Development

How to Design, Deliver and Evaluate Effective L&D

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

This text on learning and development covers strategic HR, talent management and important trends.

Editorial Rating



  • Background
  • For Beginners
  • Insider's Take


This textbook on organizational development (OD) documents the history of learning and development (L&D). Eileen Arney, who developed the master’s degree program in human resources for the UK Open University, highlights the evolution of L&D, including teaching, course design, strategy and facilitation. She encompasses talent management, employee engagement, strategic HR and self-directed employee learning. Her manual doesn’t seem targeted as much to experienced OD and L&D professionals or to those seeking descriptions of L&D processes and techniques. Instead, getAbstract recommends it as a solid backgrounder for HR students and early-career professionals seeking a rundown on the basics of OD, L&D and talent management theory and trends, and for practitioners who want to reflect on trends that could affect their current deployment of L&D strategies.


New Times, New Needs

Organizations must develop deeper relationships with their most talented people, particularly in today’s fast-moving, volatile workplace. Learning and development (L&D) professionals must make sure employees have resources like online learning, peer learning and coaches. They must emphasize quick skills and knowledge acquisition for immediate performance improvement.

Professionals in L&D guide workers in their learning, but generally don’t prescribe training or lead it. They now spend less time designing courses and running training sessions. Instead, they help leaders, teams and employees develop their ability to master a more self-directed approach to learning and to learn independently in the context of the company’s needs. L&D and OD professionals must think strategically and use behavioral sciences to build a more inclusive learning culture within their organization, considering how interventions in one place may have a cascading impact across the organization and beyond.

The Evolution of OD and L&D

For years now, researchers and HR leaders have argued that changing management...

About the Author

Eileen Arney is the teaching director of masters programs at the United Kingdom’s Open University Business School. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), has taught level-7 CIPD programs and is an executive coach.

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