Maruti's Manesar incident urges B-schools to review their human resource curriculum

Published On: 29 Aug 2012

 | Last Updated On: 29 Aug 2012

After a month of labour violence and unrest that occurred in Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant, the B-schools including IIMs are reviewing their HR (human resource) curriculum.  The B-schools have now realized the need to include industrial relations (IR) in their HR curriculum. Companies are also urging management institutes to revise their HR courses so as to ensure that students are being trained on IR skills.

After liberalization, with the development of the service sector in past two decades, personnel management curriculum in B-schools was surpassing HR management problems such as talent acquisition, employee engagement, organization development and compensation. Industrial relations paved the way for strategic HR. But disputes at Maruti Suzuki are urging on the need to rethink about the same.

IIM-Ranchi is the only IIM to offer a dedicated 2-year management program in HR and is now planning to start a full-time program on industrial relations, apart from emphasizing more on the IR skills in its HRM course.

IIM-Ahmedabad is starting an executive course on industrial relations which was proposed to be offered two years ago but later was scrapped due to absence of industrial nominations.

Importance of industrial relations

Industry bodies met recently to discuss the issue of curriculum of business schools and find out the solutions to create a violence-free workplace. These days B-schools are not focusing on personnel management instead 90% of the summer internship projects are on strategic HR. Dabur India is in talks with Symbiosis Pune to start educating students on IR issues. Company has asked the institute to ensure that each student undergoes atleast one practical factory situation.

IIM-Calcutta is closely studying the incident at Manesar before re-balancing its curriculum. Leading management institutes in India such as XLRI Jamshedpur and Tata Institute of Social Sciences among others that offer various compulsory programs on IR, personnel management and labour law are also following the events at Manesar to include the new trends while revamping their curriculum.ISB is emphasizing on the need for a separate IR program.

Sources from IIM-A revealed that post liberalization, core and executive programs in leading B-schools in India stopped offering IR courses due to lack of interest from the student's side. Only a few text books have been published in IR in the last few years, while a good number of books on HRM have been published.

Academicians have expressed the need to train future managers and help develop a communication channel between the boss and the employees.

Only a few companies such as ITC, HUL and Philips focus on developing IR skills in the management trainees. As per the statistics, companies which ignore industrial relations are more prone to violence and low productivity.

Source: Economic Times

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