Oct 19, 2006

Social Research in HR

In the recent management fest at IMT Nagpur I was moderating a panel discussion on the topic "Blurring of functional silos". A point I made was that new careers are going to emerge in the intersection points of two functions (about which I have earlier blogged too).

After the talk one of the students came up to me and asked if HR and Market Research had anything in common.

My first response was that employee satisfaction surveys need the skills of market research. However Market Research gets only the explicit part of expectations and feedback out in the open. The qualitative aspect, that organizations are using anthropologists to 'observe' their customers happens on a day to day in organizations internally. The HR manager or HR generalist's main role is to see what employees, groups are feeling and not expressing.

What could be needed for HR professional could well be a knowledge of anthropology.