Graduate Produces Novel Research in the Human Resource Management Field

Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM) graduate Ms Rylla Pillay’s research on bibliometric and content analysis studies, that compares how knowledge is produced in this field of study, is the first of its kind within UKZN’s Management discipline.

Supervised by Professor Shaun Ruggunan, the study is titled: Bibliometric and Content Analysis of the South African Journal of Human Resource Management and the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology from 2006 to 2016. It focuses on the demographic, bibliometric and thematic trends in the field of human resource management and industrial psychology with the aim of diversifying South Africa’s research output.

‘I decided on the topic after Professor Ruggunan and I recognised the lack of inquiry into the demographic profiles of researchers as a problem and potential gap in understanding the state of knowledge production in these disciplines within South Africa,’ said Pillay.

The research highlighted the importance of secondary data and desktop research when it comes to conducting research.

‘The results revealed that while the research community should be advancing and improving the way research is done, the trends still reflect a traditional way of producing research. Furthermore, it showed that research output is still very skewed in terms of the demographic profiles of authors. Policymakers at universities and employers can use my research to adopt strategies to diversify the research output,’ said Pillay.

Pillay is not planning on slowing down and hopes to pursue a PhD next year.

‘A PhD allows you to acquire knowledge and leverage it to your advantage. If your findings are strong and relevant, other experts within the chosen area of academia will reference your work and your discoveries,’ she said.

Words: Thandi Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan