Social Work Value Sensitisation - The Crux of Holistic Human Resource Management Education

November 11, 2022

The pandemic arising out of COVID 19 has forced the education system to become increasingly more innovative. Developing skills and knowledge for crafting business strategies help students to redefine their aspirations needed for a sound career. The pandemic has certainly been disruptive to the batches of 2020 and 2021 who go by the name “COVID batches” but the lessons learned by the academic community has certainly enriched the system. Though the on-line classes are off, the offline classes are back and enriched by the lessons learned from the pandemic especially with regard to disruptions, building on experimental learning and involving students in learning while working.

Modern management programmes are now moving towards producing not just good managers but leaders who can lead across functions and through crisis. The need of the hour in management education is leading across boundaries, which requires analytical thinking, collaborative skill, problem solving and communication. Thus, new age leadership skills are critical to the success of managers. Management graduates need to hands on-doers rather than planners and policy makers.

In the past, the pedagogy was based on lectures, memorising facts and going through predetermined routes. In today’s management education, the requirements are broad. The management student is required to have broad knowledge across disciplines, a curious mind, steadfast confidence and eventually build on high calibre ethics and value sensitisation and confident leadership.

The most essential component of management education is to build value sensitisation with critical thinking. The primary goal of management education is to equip students with ethical leadership traits that will be internalised and nurtured throughout life.

The NEP-2020 has an inbuilt feature of a multi-disciplinary approach which if used judiciously can enrich management education and build budding managers as well groomed individuals taking up managerial roles. If we take management education, we have a plethora of degrees which offer some sort of management education. We have MBA’s PGDBM’s M.Com, M. HRD, MSW-HRD etc. Though these courses introduce a variety of disciplines, they are having their domain area along with components of managerial subjects.

Let us take the Master of Social Work Programme that has its thrust area of Social Work and focuses on Human Resource Management as a specialisation. The course focuses on how to balance HR Management skills along with social objectives. Here, they give a lot of importance to non-class room learning through field work in an industrial setting, which is concurrent – having 2 to 3 days of field work in a week set aside for field work practicum. Such a training programme builds in students a social sensitivity which ought to be the hall mark of any HR professional.

The Social Work paradigm in HR management should focus on integration of the conceptual analysis of HR management along with social leadership whereby the socio-economic issues the individual are subjected thereby making the approach employee centric and holistic in nature.

The MSW programme gives a lot of importance to non-class room learning through field work in an industrial setting throughout the two year degree programme. The MSW programme with the primary methods of social work like case work, group work and community development build in the students social sensitivity. The pedagogical approach in MSW-HR is industry engagement, faculty – student – industry collaboration for research based education. This type of practical and live research linking theory to practice has the pedagogical approach of industry engagement and faculty-student approach. This approach is industry oriented learning that has basic theoretical concept and greater exposure to situation in real time situation along with faculty guidance.

The Human Resource Management training in the prism of social work education is more hands-on and experimental learning and makes the education more relevant to industry. The experiential learning shortens the learning curve and enhances the employment factor. The learning particularly takes place in the workplace environment and helps the student build flexibility, critical thinking, adaptability, problem solving skills that will give them a head start in their budding careers. Apart from building skills, it has a built in approach to have effective networking that furthers one’s careers.

The pedagogy of the social work curriculum is that each student is mentored individually by the faculty field work supervisor who monitors and mentors the grooming of his/ her students in all components of field work, it includes academics, personality development, sensitisation that enhances his learning as well as his employability quotient. The social work set up train’s students differently from the typical classroom setting by integrating academics with practical fieldwork concurrently and with experimentally learning. This type of holistic approach provides a forum for students to nurture their ideas, creates a support system comprising of faculty mentor and the mentor from industry.

By Dr P G Aquinas
Dr P G Aquinas is the professor and chairman Post Graduate Department of Studies and Research in Social Work, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotrhi. He can be contacted at
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Comment on this article

  • Maria, Mangaluru

    Mon, Nov 21 2022

    Social work values and ethics with Human Resource Management specialisation plays a vital role in liaison between management and Employees. Sir, well expressed, effective article.

  • Vinay, Dharwar

    Tue, Nov 15 2022

    Well articulated Sir...!! Social work had and has a very essential role to play in the needful hours of humanitarian assistance. Social work, indeed is a profession which not only looks into particular challenges faced by individuals or groups, but infact it deals with each and every profession were human beings directly or indirectly involved towards development/ progress...!!

  • Lionel Fernandez, Mangalore

    Sun, Nov 13 2022

    Well written article. Grooming the youngsters to be more relevant to the industry is the need of the hour.

  • Prof. Pradeep, Mysore

    Sat, Nov 12 2022

    Eye opening writing sir. Every HRM practitioner and Social Work academician must read this article. More number of conferences and seminars need to be organized on this issue.. Thanks a lot to Prof. Paul Aquinas..

  • Noufal, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 12 2022

    Great pedagogy for an important course in the current era depending on the critical headline "The course focuses on how to balance HR Management skills along with social objectives" Leading such a philosophy is a kind of challenging issue but under your leadership it is guaranteed to reach its goals.

  • Dr. Sasikumar C, Kasaragod

    Sat, Nov 12 2022

    This article by Dr. Aquinas gives a comprehensive understanding of the filed work practice of MSW curriculum. It also throws light into the changes happened in the pedagogy. The article is worth reading.

  • Dr.Abdul wahb, Shivamogga

    Sat, Nov 12 2022

    Dear sir, i appreciate your efforts and intrest in the area of HRM and social work, as my practical knowledge most of social work HR professionals were forgot social work values and not showing much intrest in implications of socail work competencies. In this regards your article is too significant in the present days we expect more writings to promote social workers in the area of HRM. I wish you all the best sir.

  • Rita, Germany

    Fri, Nov 11 2022

    Social work is good explained .Many years back about 60years back it was unheard and looked liked it is not important .Today it has changed and very important .Pedagogic ?Who knew about it ?Good article .

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