UCC HR Research Centre opens to bridge gap between academia and industry

By Business & Finance
21 May 2018
Human Resource Research Centre, HRRC, human resource, workplace
Professor Bill Roche (UCD), Paula O’Sullivan (Fexco), Professor Anthony McDonnell (HR Research Centre, UCC), Mike Crowley (Pfizer), Dr Ronan Carbery (HR Research Centre, UCC) and Oonagh Buckley (Workplace Relations Commission) (Photo: John Sheehan Photography)

Last week saw the opening of the HR Research Centre (HRRC) at UCC’s Cork University Business School (CUBS), which will see cutting-edge research take place in preparing both employees and employers for the work environment.

What is the HRRC and what research will it conduct?

The Human Resource Research Centre (HRRC) is co-directed by Professor Anthony McDonnell and Dr Ronan Carbery. It has already begun the process of reaching out to industry through a series of quarterly public events aimed at HR professionals.

The HRRC launched as part of a public lecture event, which consisted of workplace dispute resolution reform.

This research delves into topics such as why union membership numbers are depleting and why a shift has occurred in employees resolving disputes individually rather than collectively.

A two-way learning process between the research centre and industry partners will allow for dynamic partnerships and relevant, up-to-date and accessible findings.

Skills have become the global currency of the 21st century. Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into economic growth and countries can no longer compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global society. — OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría

What are the facts?

Fewer than a quarter of employees are now members of trade unions.

The general consensus is that now people wish to resolve their workplace disputes individually rather than as part of a collective as they become more and more aware of their individual rights.

The launch night

Last Wednesday night was the official launch of the HRRC at UCC’s Brookfield Health Science Building.

A lecture from Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), occurred on the night, discussing how dispute resolution has moved away from collective negotiations to individuals taking action based on their individual rights.

Discussants on the night were Mike Crowley, HR Director, Pfizer Ireland; Paula O’Sullivan, Global HR Director, Fexco and Bill Roche, Professor of Industrial Relations and Human Resources, UCD.

The future

Later this year in September, Professor Carol T. Kulik, University of South Australia Business School, will be invited to the HRRC to discuss the topic of gender diversity and how organisations can address this.