An exploration of the evolving role of a Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) topic that moves to a human capital perspective.
Students will complete a major research paper on a SHRM topic of their choice, that traces the evolving perspective of moving from an administrative to a human capital position on a topic of their choice. In addition to functional topics, including issues in staffing, employee learning, employee relations, performance management, total rewards, and HR information systems, students can include topics that mirror the course’s primary perspectives of human capital management, HR metrics, or line/HR partnering as their primary subject. Students will work with the instructor on submission of a topic and instructor approval of that topic no later than Week 2.
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Students can choose a topic of their own areas of specific interest on any HRM area covered in the course. Given the point of view taken in HRM591, the paper should reflect the strategic shift in HRM from labor as a cost to be controlled to labor as an asset in which to be invested. This perspective should treat the chosen topic and trace how it has changed to reflect the challenges presented by a technology-driven global economy. Research should trace the historical roots of the topic and how technology, globalization, and other strategic forces have shaped its changes. The paper length should be a minimum of 10–12 pages and comply with all formatting and APA style standards. Some suggested topics can include, but not be limited to, the following.
- The role of social media in employee staffing
- The role of employee retention as a strategy to enhance productivity
- The role of total rewards in motivating staff performance
- Employment law issues in the 21st century
- The evolving role of staff performance from bureaucratic performance appraisal to comprehensive performance management
- The role of labor and unions in the 21st century
- Human capital management and HRM
- Measuring HR through predictive analytics
- Line/HR partnerships
Most of the best known academic and popular journals will provide acceptable content. Primary among them are some of the following journals and publications.
- People & Strategy (formally human resource planning)
- Harvard Business Review
- Human Resource Management
- Academy of Management Journals (various titles included)
- Journal of Labor Economics
- Human Resource Management Review
- Personnel Psychology
- International Journal of Human Resource Management
- Journal of Management
- Sloan Management Review
- California Management Review
- Administrative Sciences Quarterly
This paper should reflect the collective efforts of the entire course content and the strategic evolution of HRM from a marginalized area of practice to one that assumes a position within management that is reflective of the potential role that effective workforce planning and development can play. The chosen topic should be framed in the above perspective and trace where it has been, where it is now, and what future direction it can take. Students’ research should defend why their chosen topic matters to senior management and the cost/benefit justifications that are required to defend that position. In short, the paper should speak to the two essential questions by which the course is framed. Those questions ask, “so what and now what?”