131 Int'l Lab. Rev. 281 (1992)
Identifying the Human Resource Enterprise: A South-East Asian Example

handle is hein.journals/intlr131 and id is 295 raw text is: International Labour Review, Vol. 131, 1992, No. 3

Identifying the human resource
enterprise:
A south-east Asian example
Guy STANDING *
Introduction
n the prevailing economic climate, where privatization and deregulation
are the watchwords, the new orthodoxy sees public intervention as
crowding out private activity: it is therefore sceptical about public
expenditure per se.
Some economists make an exception in the case of social expenditure
on human resources , notably for health and education. Others argue more
drastically that, beyond providing public health care and general primary
and secondary schooling, the government should not intervene at all, and in
particular should leave the market to decide on the allocation of resources
for tertiary education, and vocational and other forms of training, which
should be user paid. Some even question whether substantial expenditure
on human resource development (HRD) really boosts economic
development, suggesting that there is no correlation between the two.
The term HRD itself could be dismissed as a euphemism if what it
really entailed was treating people (workers) as mere factors of production,
to be moulded according to the perceived needs of national and
international policy-makers. There are, however, many economists who use
the term in a more positive sense; for them HRD is an organizing concept, a
means of restoring or reviving the social dimension of development policies
after a decade in which the main concern seems to have been to promote
market forces, even at the expense of social protection, poverty reduction
and a more equitable distribution of income, status and wealth. It is in this
latter sense that the term is used in this article.
In the unfolding debate on what may prove to be the core issue in
development policy in the 1990s, one theme has so far been neglected: what
is the type of enterprise most compatible with human resource development
in the sense in which we use it? If one seeks progress in social adjustment ,
what combination of labour and employment policies would one wish to see
* International Labour Office.

Copyright  International Labour Organization 1992

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