Lewis, T. (2005)
Towards artistry: A critique of the HRD performance paradigm and a suggested new model. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 18(2), 56-75.
Proposed Model
Lewis argues that current performance based approaches to human resource development neglect the importance of employees’ motivations outside of the organization. Lewis’s central proposition is that many current jobs require creativity, and creativity may be hindered if employees feel their needs are not being considered by the organization. Lewis presents a review of pertinent literature to support this proposition with an emphasis on social exchange theory. He develops his argument by 1) examining the meaning of work to individuals rather than organizations, 2) reviewing new ways of describing work, 3) claiming that organization/performance centered approaches must be rejected, and 4) proposing an integrative approach to training that values the benefit to the employee as well as the organization.
Lewis approach to promoting creativity is useful in the Indian context.
Though Lewis insists that acceptance of his model requires a rejection of performance engineering models, his approach to motivating employees actually fits into current performance models. Performance based models analyze the context of a human performance problem to single out causal variables; HPT practitioners acknowledge that motivation may be one of the many possible causal variables for human performance problems. If the obstacle to a particular valuable accomplishment is determined to be employees’ lack of creativity, then a performance engineer might consider Lewis’ approach. For example, the performance engineer could design an intervention/incentive that benefits employees’ lives outside of work in order to motivate the employees’ desire to be creative at work. However, Lewis proposes that organizations embrace his motivational model regardless of the source of current performance problems; this non-diagnostic, panacea approach may be costly and difficult to sell to clients concerned with clear evidence of return on investment.