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The Unit 2 Assessment of the HRD Level 5 course amongst many things requires us to look at the vertical and horizontal alignment of the Learning and Development (or HRD) function.

I've found using the DPG community an article written by Gratton and Truss in the Academy of Management Exectutive (2003 Volume 17 No 3) quite useful in my work towards this.  The article specifically talks about vertical and horizontal from an HR perspective but links can also be drawn between the findings of this article and the HRD function of an organisation.

In reference to Verticle Alignment, the article states that:

"A strong linkage is needed between the overall vision of the organization that is held in the minds of the senior executives and the aims, objectives, and underlying philosophy of the organization’s approach to managing people."

In reference to Horizontal Alignment, the article goes on to say:

"The aim here is the achievement of a coherent and consistent approach to managing people that permeates the entire activities of the HR function and other organizational functional areas"

The "approach to managing people" described under vertical alignment in my view includes the activities of a learning and development function.  The HR function being aligned with other functions described in horizontal alignement evidence the need to work together in a "business partner" model from a HRD perspective. 

As this article is being shared within other study groups of DPG who have also found this article useful I thought a link to this in the wider domain of the DPG community would be useful.

Let me know if you have found this useful in applying this to your studies in HRD and how.  I'd also be interested to read other articles that talk about Vertical and Horizontal Alignment specifically related to HRD (or L&D).

Once again, the link to the article is here..

Gratton and Truss in the Academy of Management Exectutive (2003 Volume 17 No 3)


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  • Cheers Ady,

    Sorry I found this a bit after you posted it but will be using it in the 2019 workshops.



    • A blast from the past! Nice to hear a study reflection from back then is still useful

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