Professor Kriben Pillay, College Dean of Teaching and Learning, invites you to the above presentation on Wednesday (during the Forum period) 22nd May 2013 from 12h15 to 13h00 at Training Room 2 at the GSB Building on the Westville Campus.

GREAT NEWS for those who are unable to attend!
We have now arranged for the Presentation to be viewed STREAMING LIVE. Simply click on the UKZN website and choose the College of Law and Management Studies and then the Teaching and Learning tab on the left OR use this address then click on the PLAY button just above T & L Forum Series.

The Presentation will be conducted by Dr Shaun Ruggunan on “From Object to Subject: Towards a critical pedagogy of Human Resources Management”.

“The rationale and motivation for this study first began in 2011 when I began to reflect deeply on the nature of the global financial crisis and the various ways in which senior professionals employed in the business world behaved with impunity. Theses ‘masters of the universe’ (Botlanski & Chiapello, 2007) were all university graduates in Human Resources Management, Finance, Accounting, Economics, Marketing and other related disciplines. Yet the majority of these professionals (especially those in the banking industry) were catalysts of the financial crises that began in 2008. A cursory investigation revealed that many of the people working for the banks and investment companies are graduates of highly ranked business schools and universities. Yet at the core, something was rotten. How could the best minds in business behave so irresponsibly, unethically and with impunity? As Adam Jones writing in the Guardian in 2009 asked “Are business schools responsible for the financial crisis? Whilst such a question may be blunt, and clearly the answer to such a question needs to be nuanced, it does raise the specter of what exactly is happening in business education at universities. Are the courses on social corporate responsibility and ethics in business merely ‘add ons’ and peripheral to mainstream business curricula? More so, where are the political economy and moral economy curriculum inputs in business curriculum? Finally, I engaged in a deeper reflection of my purpose as an academic in HRM. HRM has long been critiqued for ignoring the ‘human’ or subject and emphasising the resources or human as a ‘productive object’. Botlanski and Chiapello (2007) argue that the HRM academic is a handmaiden of capitalism. As such we produce students that we want to be good uncritical ‘organisational citizens’. However, perhaps in a new economy and new world of work we need to produce HRM students that are ‘bad workers’ By this I mean that they should be good social citizens first as well as critical organisational citizens. HRM as an academic discipline taught at a University needs to service more than the needs of private business. Our job is to produce more than HRM administrators. Any educational institution can produce that type of graduate. HRM at a university level, needs to produce a critical citizen and in a sense a ‘bad’ employee that questions the economic, social and political status quo, whilst still been competent in the technical aspects of the discipline. This involves a deeper reflection on the intellectual project of the discipline by those who teach and research in it.

This project is a first step in this regard by locating the project’s aspirations in the context of the Critical Management Studies literature and in articulating the pedagogical frameworks that can inform the design of curricula, teaching, learning and assessment strategies that encourage critical thinking and social engagement. The four questions below guide this presentation:

  1. What is the intellectual project of HRM?
  2. What is the role of moral economy in the teaching and learning of HRM?
  3. How can critical management studies inform the teaching and learning of HRM?
  4. How does traditional HRM education inform HRM practitioners’ perspectives of work, organisations and employees?”

Shaun Ruggunan has a PhD in Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies. His doctoral work examined the ways in which labour markets are shaped for Filipino, South African and British seafarers in the merchant navy. His more recent work examines the nature of professional work and professional status for medical laboratory specialists. He is guest editor with Debby Bonnin, for a special issue of the South African Review of Sociology that examines what sociology of professional work may look like in a South African context. Shaun’s work on the human resources development of seafarers and medical laboratory specialists has been published in a range of journals. His current area of interest is in critical management studies (CMS) and the implications of CMS for teaching and learning in the discipline of Human Resources Management. Shaun is currently a senior lecturer in the Discipline of Human Resources Management in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance.

Dianne Muthen
Senior Administrative Officer
College Office : T & L (CLMS)
Tel : x1408
J-Block, Westville Campus

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