Are B-Schools Not Producing HR Experts?

August 7, 20158:00 am1393 views

Keeping up with the pace of HR innovations is sadly a low priority in the B-schools environment. This could be one of the reasons they are not able to produce HR experts, who are aware of the current technology trends and recent industry developments.

The lack of HR experts is further fuelled by companies having larger HR staff personnel more than those in the marketing department. Many B-schools do not have HR-dedicated faculty. It is required that B-schools need to step up their efforts to train students qualifying for MBA in HR and recruit trained faculty, primarily with industry knowledge and HR expertise.

Another major reason, why B-schools aren’t able to produce HR experts is because, very few of the schools and universities have training programs designed to blend information technology with human resources knowledge and provide up-to-date information to students. These graduates are quickly hired by consulting companies leading the big data change.

Also the interest in HR is divested into so many sub fields managed by separate associations for labour economists, psychologists and sociologists, who seem to be particularly unaware of each other’s contribution to the entire subset of HR operations and the industry as a whole. Hence, they are not in a position to meet the talent crunch situation with a collaborative and focused approach.

See: Schools, firms work to make grads employable

In the near future, B-school education would have no choice but to become more integrated to survive. Also emphasis on softer behavioural skills is becoming increasingly important with the changing times. On observation, many B-schools have been focusing on imparting analysis education through years, rather than training and equipping students to create something new and thus fostering innovation in HR.

“Evidence shows that despite the rhetoic of many in Business Schools, the reality is that the gap between academia and industry continues to grow in a ‘dialogue of the deaf’. This is partly due to pressures from the maxim: ‘what gets measured gets done’. If funding, reputations and careers are all based on boring ‘safety-first’ research that can be published in narrowly focused articles in the same old ‘silo’ based inward looking journals, what other outcome would we expect?” says Professor Chris Rowley, Faculty – Human Resource Management at Cass Business School.

Business education has always been focused on imparting learning and training programs that are easy to teach and follow, it’s been reduced to a formula. That’s the reason most B-schools teach finance and HR administration, but not integrated talent management to students with latest advancements in HR tech tools for additional knowledge.

Rowley adds: “It does not help that increasingly academics have no ‘real work’ experiences, but have spent their life in just academia and simply ‘go through the system’ of practice-irrelevant article production, so replicating it.”

He further opines, “As we all know, real life is not so ‘neat’, but messy, complex and inter-linked, requiring commensurate thought and research.”

The disruption caused by the democratisation of learning methods in the form of online learning programs can be used as an opportunity by traditional business management schools to step up their learning curriculum and training efforts. A careful blend of finance, strategy and technology should be presented to students such as to retain their interest for pursuing HR careers.

Also read: Firms use internships to entice top students

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Special thanks and affiliations to: Professor Chris Rowley, Professor of Human Resource Management, Cass Business School, City University, UK, Institute of Hallyu Convergence Research, Korea University, Korea and Griffith Business School, Griffth University, Australia

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