Dec 7, 2005

A relook at MBA in HR?

Someone asked me if the traditional way of teaching Human Resource Management needed to be looked at. In the last 6.5 years that I recieved my MBA in HR, I've also thought about it quite often so this is what I wrote in my email to him:
My thoughts about HR education are as follows:

  • 90% of what we are taught is not necessary to be taught.
  • Knowledge is not what matters, but skills are....and therefore if MBA colleges and academia focus on building skills (based on filtering people for attitudes - that's another issue - what are the desired attitude levels of HR people?)
  • Skill building focusses a huge focus on practice...industry would need to work with academia to blend in more practice areas.
  • Competencies would need to be taught more on practice areas than functional areas, a model could be Dave Ulrich's model of HR Champions in which he views four kinds of HR roles.
  • Change Agent
  • Business Partner
  • Employee Champion
  • Administrative expert
  • Some competencies would evolve through industry specialisation...HR in a BPO industry is different from HR in a sales driven organization.
  • Of course, there would be core 'subjects' like Organizational Behavior, Labour Laws of the relevant country, Marketing, Finance, IT and Operations.
  • New practice areas like HR Outsourcing, Human Capital Accounting would also need to be offered as electives.
What do you think?