The department of human relations or human resources is integral to any business. Students taking coursework in business administration or human resource management may be called upon to submit research papers on this vital topic. Choosing a research paper topic can be half the battle for many business students. Human resources is a diverse field, however, that touches many aspects of business, making it a fruitful area for research.
Adapting to the Changing Labor Supply
One of the major issues that human resource managers deal with on a regular basis is the ever-changing labor supply or workforce. In an Alverno College course syllabus, Professor Tom Funk notes the transition from Generation X to Generation Y as a driving force behind the changing labor supply. Students can find a wealth of research evaluating the ways in which human resource managers can implement strategies, as well as the policies designed to deal with this fluidity in the work force.
The way that workers and employers relate to one another is an important consideration for many businesses. The relations between various worker groups, such as labor unions, sometimes create great tension in some industries. For this reason, researching labor relations in the workplace and in the business world as a whole can also provide students with an effective research topic. Things to consider can include employment practices, the economics of labor markets, employment and labor relations law and forms of dispute resolution in labor relations.
Since human resource managers are in charge if payroll-related issues, another issue for students to explore is the way in which the labor supply plays a role in wage determination. While economics are an obvious angle for research, this particular topic can also be approached from a behavioral standpoint that examines how workers' compensation is affected by their own behavior and attitudes.
The Future of Human Resources
An ambitious paper topic that is probably most appropriate for graduate students, the future face of the human relations field can be mapped out by examining the way that the field looks today and the various trends that are currently causing it to change significantly. This topic has significant applicability for human resource professionals who can learn to anticipate the changes that will take place in the workforce and how to best prepare for them.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.