HRINZ Research Forum – 15 November 2012
The Academic branch of HRINZ is a ‘virtual branch’, designed to complement and contribute to the geographic branches.
We are here to support HRINZ’s work in developing the HR profession, and advancing the understanding of HRM in New Zealand, to the mutual benefit of our organisations and people. How we should enhance HR education, and linking HR students with HRINZ, are part of this, as is our research mission.
Our research agenda aims to strengthen the engagement between academics and practitioners around research. Both parties have a big interest in research. HR academics need to understand, and work on, the issues that concern practitioners and HR practitioners need the evidence-base that good research brings to their practice. A key vehicle for reaching this goal is the HRINZ Research Forum, which the Academic Branch is hosting on Thursday 15 November 2012 at the University of Auckland Business School.
This is HRINZ’s second Research Forum. The first, held in November 2010, attracted 50 practitioners and 25 academics. It built links between practice and academia, provided valuable feedback on HR research in NZ, created a set of refereed conference proceedings, and led to a number of papers being published in a special issue of Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources (volume 49, number 4, 2011).
There has been a lot of research activity since the first Forum. The NZ tertiary institutions may be small in world terms but the research culture in them is strong. It is time we reported what’s been happening, got people’s reactions, and built on these insights.
HRM academics have been finding out what our workers think about their employers, studying how our people are responding to disaster, examining what lean production means for HRM, evaluating workplace partnership initiatives, exploring how our people are responding to greater workforce diversity, analysing decisions at the employment institutions, studying employee stress and resilience, contextualising HR competencies, and surveying our HR specialists on their approach to professional development. All this and more will be discussed at the HRINZ Research Forum. You can see the full programme at:
As this indicates, a requirement for every paper at the Forum is that it reports data of relevance to HRM in New Zealand. Each paper will help us to understand what’s happening in our workplaces, and will examine the implications for HR management. Our goal is to engage academics and practitioners in a dialogue around the questions that matter here.
There are many overseas HR conferences you could go to but there are two things about the HRINZ Research Forum that make it different. One, as noted, is the focus on the New Zealand context. This doesn’t mean we are thinking in parochial ways. The theories and ideas underpinning the research are international. What is different is that the studies are local, based on what NZ workers and managers tell us, and therefore directly relevant to the challenges that our organisations are facing. The other point of difference is that we put practitioners and academics in the same room, and add research to the mixture. I enjoyed, and was enriched by, this interaction last time, and look forward to it again. I hope to see you there.
Peter Boxall, President – HRINZ Academic Branch