Human resource development (HRD) is a dynamic and evolving practice used to enhance organizational effectiveness. It is the goal of this publication to provide a resource through which
HRD professionals and students can understand the field and grasp its simplicity. （1）It is within this simplicity that an appreciation of the complexity of HRD can be realized. An introductory book such as this should provide only an overview; other more focused publications will provide the crystallization. For example, when entering a community for the first time, its landmarks, citizens, and complexity often seem overwhelming to the newcomer. But after familiarizing oneself with its uniqueness, its roads, its streets, buildings, and people, it does not appear as threatening or complex. （2） In fact, if given time, even the most alien community can take on the characteristics of“home”.
The same is true for a new, exciting, and emerging professional practice. We have tried to simplify HRD in such a way that it becomes less complicated to the newcomer. （3）If, after studying the following chapters, readers feel better able to understand the field, its components, roles, areas of practice, unique competencies, and strategies for improving credibility within organizations, then the book has indeed accomplished its mission. （4）Ultimately, however, HRD professionals will provide the learning and career development activities, performance improvement and management initiatives, organizational development intervention, and insights through which organizational effectiveness is enhanced. Thus, it is their responsibility to master their craft in order for others within the organization to master theirs. (5)Simultaneously, our goal is to provide the details, descriptions, and facts necessary to enable the HRD professional to create a development strategy for becoming and even more effective professional.