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Human Resource Management Dissertation Topics

Info: 3935 words (16 pages) Dissertation Topic
Published: 17th Aug 2021 in Dissertation Topic

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Tagged: Human Resources

We have provided the selection of example human resource management dissertation topics below to help and inspire you.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 1:

The North-South divide: An analysis of the HR difficulties encountered by the BBC in its move to Salford

The proposed move north of key BBC programmes was heralded as a milestone in regionalism within the UK through which Salford would be regenerated. Reality has, however, been very different with Hazel Blears, the local MP, noting that very few jobs have been created locally whilst other BBC professionals refused to be relocated. Given this scenario: how successful has the HR department of the BBC in Salford been in fulfilling its remit to diversity? This is a study that benefits from both quantitative and qualitative research with theories of HRM being not only contextualised within the case study but also further enriched via reference to personal comment through the use of primary data collection techniques.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Noonan, C. (2011) ‘The BBC and decentralisation: The pilgrimage to Manchester’, International Journal of Cultural Policy, July 2011.
  • Welsh, P. (2011) ‘Jeremy Clarkson: I’d rather quit Top Gear than join BBC move to ‘small suburb’ Salford’, Manchester Evening News [online], available at: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1426278_jeremy-clarkson-id-rather-quit-top-gear-than-join-bbc-move-to-small-suburb-salford [accessed 26 May 2012].

Example human resource management dissertation topic 2:

CRB checking and HRM: A mind-field of competing rights and priorities?

Criminal Records Bureau checking was initially intended to only be used for those adults who had sustained unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults. However, since their introduction they have increasingly become a more generalised tool within the recruitment process with organisations insisting upon such checks for all work. This study develops such concerns by looking not only at the increased use of CRB checks on general members of the public applying for work but also specifically for those who have convictions but are not applying for just that are ‘restricted’. This is a dissertation that combines aspects of human rights, law and human resource management theory, and is therefore of particular interest as a consequence of its cross disciplinary nature.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Levashina, J. and Campion, M. (2009) ‘Expected practices in background checking: Review of the human resource management literature’, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Vol. 21(3), pp. 231-249.
  • Naylor, B., Paterson, M. and Pittard, M. (2008) ‘In the shadow of a criminal record: Proposing a just model of criminal record employment checks’, University of Melbourne Law Review, Vol. 32, pp. 171-194.
  • Williams, C. (2011) ‘The growth and permanency of criminal records with particular reference to juveniles’, The Police Journal, Vol. 84(2), pp. 171-183.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 3:

A review of the ethical and legal and dimensions surrounding diversity at work in the context of human resource management

The nature of society is often mirrored in the culture of organisations that exist within those societies. Accordingly, as society becomes more tolerant of diversity there is a hope that corporate ethical best practices will adapt to reflect those increasing levels of tolerance. Historically, since the time of Barbara Castle, the UK has relied upon pro-active legislation to ensure that the workplace becomes more diversified. However, recent academic analysis such as that by Beauchamp, Bowie and Arnold (2008) suggests that workplaces are now increasingly becoming diversified of their own accord. This dissertation, which uses the food processing sector as the background for its investigation; evaluates the changing nature of diversity within the workplace over the last twenty years and in so doing seek further to evaluate the extent to which legislation has kept pace with societal expectations.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Barmes, L. and Ashtiany, S. (2003) ‘The diversity approach to achieving equality: Potential and pitfalls’, Industrial Law Journal, Vol. 32(4), pp. 274-296.
  • Beauchamp, T. L., Bowie, N. E. and Arnold, D. G. (2008) Ethical theory and business (8th edn). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Bird, A. and Beechler, S. (1995) ‘Links between business and transnational human resource management strategy in US based Japanese subsidiaries: An empirical investigation’, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 26(1), pp. 23-46.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 4:

An analysis of the use of rewards management as an incentive for the retention of staff within the higher education sector

As a relative new approach within HR, reward management is concerned with the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies and policies through which people are rewarded fairly for the value that they bring to the company or organisation for which they work. Using the higher education sector as a backdrop to this study this investigation analyses the extent to which rewards, in addition to those financial, can increase staff morale and retention rates amongst employees. Through so doing it considers whether the traditional model of financial payment is sufficient within the current market to ensure that employees always perform of their best.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Perkins, S.J. and White, G. (2011) Reward management: Alternatives, consequences and contexts. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • Taticchi, P. (2010) Business performance measurement and management: New contexts, themes and challenges. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Thomas, K.W. (2002) Intrinsic motivation at work: Building energy and commitment. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 5:

A comparative study relating to the adoption of e-HRM process in gas and oil companies within Kuwait

Zafar (2010) opines that the rising number of employers, employees and HRM procedures has meant that effective policies of e-HRM have become imperative so that the challenges facing HRM practitioners in the next decade can be overcome in order to meet the HR challenges of the 21st century. Given the need for the retention of skilled foreign nationals within the gas and oil industry sector of Kuwait, this dissertation applies the work of Zafar and others to the sector and accordingly investigates not only current e-HRM practices but how its use and applications can be further increased and improved.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Keebler, T. and Rhodes, W. (2002) ‘E-HR becoming the “’path of least resistance”’, Employment Relations Today, Vol. 29(2), pp. 57-66.
  • Ruël, H.J.M., Bondarouk, T. and Looise, J.C. (2004) ‘E-HRM: Innovation or irritation? An explorative empirical study in five large companies on web-based HRM’, Management Revue, Vol. 15, pp. 364-380.
  • Zafar, J. (2009) E-Human resource management: A case study of the State Bank in Pakistan. Masters thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 6:

A critical evaluation of the barriers to the successful implementation of a successful strategic HRD policy within organisations

With an organisation, people are the most important resource. Realisation of this has led to the creation of a body of literature that suggests that there is a continual need to evaluate and improve the existing training and development opportunities afforded to individuals within firms. However, whilst HR management and development may offer a multi-faceted approach to career development, there are institutional barriers to its effective implementation. These tend to centre upon the time and money made available to HR departments (and to employees to partake of the programmes offered) and fear that enhanced personnel may be lured away to competitor organisations. Adopting a mixed method of research, this dissertation combines theory with interviews of both personnel/HR management as well as senior managers within firms and employees to garner a three-dimensional viewpoint of the barriers that may exist to the implementation of an effective and strategic HR development programme.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Snell, S.A., Youndt, M.A. and Wright, P.M. (1996) Establishing proper framework for research on strategic human resource management. London: John Wiley.
  • Sveiby, K. (1997) New organizational wealth. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
  • Swanson, R.A and Holton, E.F. (1997) Human resource development research handbook: Linking research and practice. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 7:

An investigation as to whether the ‘best fit’ or ‘best practice’ approach to HRM is more appropriate for multi-national corporations in order to improve employee satisfaction and organisational performance

HRM practices that directly impact upon the performance of a firm can be broadly categorised into two distinct camps: ‘best fit’ and ‘best practice’. Within existing HRM academic literature there is substantial debate as to which of the two approaches is best suited to the demands of HRM. Moreover, the adoption of a particular HRM strategy depends on the goals that the organisation in question is trying to achieve. Using General Motors and British Petroleum this dissertation evaluates the approaches to HRM used within both corporations and analyses their existing strengths and weakness. Having done so it thereafter posits a range of organisational specific recommendations as well as offering a number of reasoned observations (based upon the two case studies) that can be applied more widely to multi-national corporations.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Marchington, M. and Grugulis, I. (2011) ‘“Best practice” human resource management: Perfect opportunity or dangerous illusion?’ The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 11(6), pp. 1104-1124.
  • Mess, H. (2004). ‘HRM best practice’. Otago Management Graduate Review, Vol. 2, pp. 25-37.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 8:

Human resource management in the Iranian National Petrochemical Company: A case study focusing on the difficulties of skills shortages and personnel retention

The Iranian National Petrochemical Company was founded in 1964 and is the second largest producer and exporter of petrochemicals in the Middle East.

The company and its subsidiaries face a number of HR problems that centre upon the retention of foreign personnel and the training of indigenous workers. This dissertation accordingly addresses not only issues pertaining to cultural, social and economic differences (and the effects that these have upon foreign national employment retention rates) but also those associated with recruiting locally. Grounded in academic theory this thesis also benefits from a series of email based interviews with managers within the INPC.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Ramezan, M. (2011) ‘Measuring the effectiveness of human resource information systems in National Iranian Oil Company: An empirical assessment’, Iranian Journal of Management Studies.
  • Tajaddini, R., Mujtaba, B.G. and Bandenezhad, M. (2009) ‘Management skills of Iranians: A comparison of technical, human and conceptual differences based on gender, age and longevity in management ranks’, Labour and Management in Development, Vol. 10, pp. 1-18.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 9:

A critique of the advantages and disadvantages associated within the internal and external recruitment processes utilised by small and medium sized retail stores: A comparative case study

Using two British examples (one small and one medium) and two Brazilian examples (one small and one medium) this thesis not only compares the inherent differences between internal and external recruitment processes between two differently sized commercial operations but further enhances that study by developing an international comparative element. Underpinning the comparative study is a wealth of existing academic research.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2008) Human resource management at work: People management and development. London: CIPD.
  • Breaugh, J.A. (2012) ‘Employee recruitment: Current knowledge and suggestions for future research’, in, Schmitt, N., The Oxford handbook of personnel assessment and selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 10:

Worker behaviour and engagement – lessons for HRM? A case study of five building sites within the north-west of England

Effective worker engagement helps to promotes safety in the work place as well as maximising worker commitment and organisational performance. Using both primary and secondary data this dissertation identifies key issues and relevant themes in the subject area. The primary data will be collected through one-on-one interviews whilst that which was secondary will be identified through a thorough review of existing literature. From an analysis of the themes and comments raised in both this research is able to offer a series of specific recommendations to both the individual building sites visited during the research as well as more generally to the UK construction industry as a whole.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Schaufeli, W.B. and Bakker, A.B. (2004). ‘Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study’, Journal of Organisational Behaviour, Vol. 25, pp.293- 315.
  • Shachaf, P. (2008) ‘Cultural diversity and information and communication technology impacts on global virtual teams: An exploratory study’, Information and Management, Vol. 45(2), pp. 131-142.
  • Shaw, K. (2005) ‘An engagement strategy process for communicators’, Strategic Communication Management, Vol. 9(3), pp.26-29.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 11:

Within the classical business strategy model, what contribution can strategic HRM make?

This dissertation comprises three main aspects of contemporary business and HRM. First, it introduces the key terminologies that underpin the title and thereafter discusses the classical view of strategic business planning and the manner in which it relates to strategic HRM. Thereafter, the role of strategic HRM is analysed within a resource-based strategic planning model. Finally, the dissertation provides a reasoned series of recommendations as to how the learned theories can be adapted and utilised in a modern-day business setting.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Collins, C.J. and Clark, K.D. (2003) ‘Strategic human resource practices, top management team social networks, and firm performance: The role of human resource practices in creating organizational competitive advantage’. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 46(6), pp.740-751.
  • Dyer, L. and Holder, G.W. (1988) ‘A strategic perspective of human resource management’, in, Dyer, L. (ed.), Human resource management: Evolving roles and responsibilities. Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, DC, pp.1-46.
  • Elbanna, L. and John, C. (2007) ‘Influences on strategic decision effectiveness: Development and test of an integrative model’, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 431-453.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 12:

Increasing paternity leave take-up rates: A review of the effects of this phenomenon on HR practices within the higher education sector

Paternity leave has benefited from a higher profile in recent years, particularly given the example set by David Cameron after the birth of his most recent child. This study will look at the adoption rates of paternity leave in a sector not yet widely examined but which should be capable of supporting such a provision. Additionally, an increased rate of take-up of paternity leave in the higher education sector should improve the awareness of the importance of paternity within an upcoming generation of professionals. This dissertation will undertake primary research through one-on-one interviews and surveys to determine the popularity of paternity, and conduct interviews with senior HR managers within the sector to gauge the practicality of the measure.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Altback, P.G., Reisberg, L., Yudkevich, M., Androuschak, G. and Pacheko, I.F. (2012) Paying the professoriate: A global comparison of compensation and contracts. London: Routledge.
  • Rege, M. and Solli, I.F. (2010) ‘The impact of paternity leave on long-term father involvement’. CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3130. University of Stavanger.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 13:

A discussion as to the extent to which there is a positive trade-off between the treatment of stakeholders in an equitable and fair manner and the achievement of higher rates of individual performance: An NGO and theory based approach

Clarkson (1995, 107), notes that within organisation there is a ‘system of primary stakeholder groups, a complex set of relationships between and among interest groups with different rights, objectives, expectations and responsibilities’. Using this observation as a literary starting point, this dissertation evaluates the extent to which the meeting of stakeholder expectations and their reward through monetary and non-monetary gain results in a win-win situation in which the firm profits as a consequence of increased participation rates. Though this is a predominantly theoretical dissertation, references are made to a series of NGO organisations.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Clarkson, M. (1995) ‘A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluatingcorporate social performance’. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20 (1), pp. 92-117.
  • Cohen, W. and Prusak, L. (2001) In good company: How social capital makes organizations work. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Collins, D. (1997) ‘The ethical superiority and inevitability of participatorymanagement as an organizational system’, Organization Science, Vol. 8, pp. 489-507.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 14:

Not always an order from head office: Employee-initiated transfers

Employees increasingly see the global environment as offering improved opportunities for their families and may seek transfers abroad as part of that process. This study examines how companies deal with the employee who is keen to be transferred abroad, including how costs can be managed whilst ensuring employee retention. Further, it considers how responsible the transferring company is for ensuring the family of the employee is accepted abroad; are compounds the right environment for families, should accommodation be the responsibility of the company, and what should be done about employment opportunities for other family members such as spouses. Finally, it explores the degree to which this can cause a ‘brain-drain’ in the home country, as employees seek moves to overseas offices. As the world tightens working visas as a result of the global recession, this study offers a timely approach to a long-standing conundrum.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Al Ariss, A. (2010) ‘Modes of engagement: Migration, self-initiated expatriation, and career development’, Career Development International, Vol. 15(4), pp.338-358.
  • Howe-Walsh, L. and Schyns, B. (2010) ‘Self-initiated expatriation: Implications for HRM’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 21(2), pp. 260-273.
  • Kononov, O. (2012) ‘Foreign investment v. employment of expatriates: Immigration obstacles for foreign investors’, East European Business Law Review, Vol. 10(10), pp. 45-78.

Example human resource management dissertation topic 15:

Employee retention rates: The impact of effective human resource planning

According to Burack and Mathys (1989:3) human resource planning is a “futuristic tool and approach method that handles the analysis schemes, policies and strategies and methods to set up and put into practice programs that bring about successful workers”. This study evaluates the validity of this contention via reference to two competing firms within the fast food industry: Starbucks and Costa Coffee. Using predominantly qualitative research techniques, this study analyses the results of 100 survey questionnaires sent to part-time staff at ten restaurants of each chain and, through interpreting the results in accordance with the academic theoretical models that underpin this work, proffers a number of recommendations to each firm as to how to improve their existent staff retention rates.

Suggested initial topic reading:

  • Hausknecht, J.P., Rodda, J. and Howard, M.J. (2009) ‘Targeted employee retention: Performance-based and job-related differences in reported reasons for staying’, Human Resource Management, Vol. 48(2), pp. 269-288.
  • Mignonac, K. and Richebe, N. (2012) ‘‘No strings attached?’: How attribution of disinterested support affects employee retention’, Human Resource Management Journal, not yet published.

If these example topics have given you some inspiration and you now feel ready to choose a dissertation topic, see our guide to choosing a dissertation topic to help you get started.

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Human Resources is the aspect of a business that handles employee relations, recruitment, training and other employee elements of the business. An effective Human Resources team can contribute to the successful running of a business.

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