Towards a model curriculum for graduate human resource management studies

James Stuart POUNDER, Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates
Mohamad AL SAKKA, University of Kalamoon, Syria

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a graduate human resource management (HRM) curriculum for a university in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The curriculum reflects the core knowledge areas identified by the two major professional bodies in the HRM discipline.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper employs literature to justify the importance generally of education in the HRM discipline and specifically in the UAE context. It then summarizes a program development approach that synthesizes core areas defined by the US Society for Human Resource Management and the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Findings - The curriculum resulting from the program development process arguably constitutes a model curriculum for graduate studies in HRM. This proposition is tested with reference to focused survey of UAE HRM practitioners and is further explored with reference to the Syrian environment.

Research limitations/implications - More work has to be done to confirm the relevance of the curriculum to other contexts. Furthermore, there needs to be research on desirable components of an undergraduate curriculum.

Practical implications - In regions of the world where the HRM discipline is in its infancy, the curriculum describes in this paper can provide a useful blueprint for the development of education, training, and academic programs in HRM.

Originality/value - The value of this paper is in the identification of a set of core modules or subject areas that reflect current best practice in HRM. It is unique in attempting an initial confirmation of the relevance of these core modules in a Middle Eastern setting.