In knowledge society where creation of knowledge is regarded as the core of nation's wealth and competitiveness, the governments around the world have started to use the term 'human resources' in their ministries or departments as a part of making an efforts to develop human resources. Although many nations share the word 'human resources,' the way of interpretation or application of it is diverse depending on their situations.
The government in Korea has shown the interest on human resources development in national level, by promoting the Minister of Education to the Deputy Minister of Education and Human Resources, and by the President taking the seat of the head in Committee for National Human Resources. Although innovative efforts for national human resources development have been found since 2000, it is difficult to say that this efforts recently begun. Korea achieved dramatic economic growth for last 50 years. The reason of this growth was found in education for developing human resources.
In this context, this study is to investigate conceptually the social context of implementing process in National Human Resources Development(NHRD). This study consists of four parts: the theoretical backgrounds, policy development process of NHRD, institutional development process of NHRD, and future directions for NHRD. The research method is focused on documents and literature review. The main points of each part are as follows.
First, human capital theory, education and economic development, performance technology, and competency theory were reviewed. Three theories, except education and economic development, were originally used to explain human resources development in personal or corporate level. However, all four theories were expanded to interpret human resources development from personal or corporate level to the national level.
Second, the National Human Resources Development in Korea was supported by educational policy to supply labors to meet the industrial needs for last 50 years. As the national industry was developed from labor oriented light industry, capital intensive heavy industry, technology intensive high tech industry to knowledge based industry, educational policies were also changed from literacy education, skill or technology focused education, the quantitative growth of higher education to qualitative higher education accordingly.
Third, NHRD became the important issue in Korea and the institutional development in NHRD has got down to business since 2000. The human resources law and polices were established, the special committee was organized and the president became the head of the committee.
Finally, the future directions for NHRD were suggested considering the needs of the present and future times. Firtst, NHRD policies should focus on developing human resources fitting for global standards. Second, the investment in research manpower by supporting research organizations or higher education institutions need to be considered. Third, the government need to minimize the intervention and to focus on marketization.