XAHR International Conference: HR irreplaceable as people management critical to businesses

An International Conference on the theme ‘Organisational Metamorphosis for Innovation, Inclusion and Agility’ by Xavier School of Human Resource Management (XAHR) on 28th-30th January, 2019 in the Xavier City Campus witnessed the participation of student-teacher community of the Xavier fraternity, as well as eminent speakers from academia and various industries in the domain of Human Resource.

Keynote session of the conference delivered by Prof. Arup Varma (Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University, Chicago) was attended by Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J. (Vice Chancellor & Director, XUB), Dr. Snigdha Pattnaik (Dean, XAHR), Prof. Arup Varma and Prof. Sanket Sunand Dash (Assistant Professor, XAHR). Before this, Prof. Arup Varma (conducted a pre-conference workshop on the theme, “Diversity and Inclusion: Bridging the Library – Boardroom Divide”.

After inaugurating the session, Dr. Pattnaik and Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes addressed the gathering on the importance of organizational coexistence and reinvention, and shared their understanding of creating space for metamorphosis, in line with the theme for the conference, “Organizational Metamorphosis for Innovation, Inclusion, & Agility”. Prof. Varma in his keynote address stated how despite changes in the external environment, organizations cannot replace the HR function, as in the end, it is people management.

 Day 2 witnessed Dr. BB Mohanty (HOD (retd.) PM&IR, Utkal University), Dr. Aquil Busrai (CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting) and Dr. Tania S Rath(Assistant Professor, XAHR) discussing the theme – ‘Inclusion. Dr. Rao started the session by pointing out to various factors like VUCA, disruptive technology, social changes and the entry of millennials into the workforce that were causing an impact in today’s organization, and mentioned that Collaborative Work design is the key. Dr. Tania raised the question as to why would ‘care’ work not be considered as part of the productive work and be left out of consideration in many domains. Mr. Aquil B stressed that exclusivity is something that happens sub-consciously and we being aware of the same, must work consciously to overcome it. Dr. Mohanty stressed on two dimensions to be considered while bringing change in the organization namely Personal Dimension and Organizational Culture and stressed on Executive support and leadership, Communication and Involvement as the important things needed to bring about inclusion in the organization.

The second session was addressed by Mr. Rajeev Bhadauria (Group Director HR, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.) wherein he shared that technological advancements change governance, climate, and geopolitical norms and insisted on utilizing self-propelled inspiration as a replacement for motivation.

The third session on Day 2 witnessed Pradeep Dasan (VP & Head – Talent Acquisition and TalentManagement, Nayara Energy Ltd.), Dr. GP Rao (Founder and Managing Partner, Good People Relations LLP)and Ms. MalvikaNaik (Former GM – HR, IOCL) discussing the theme ‘Agility’, moderated by Prof. (Dr.) Arup RoyChaudhury (Assistant Professor, XAHR). Mr. GP Rao, the first speaker for the session described agileorganizations as ones that go through creative destruction to remove incumbent practices in order to welcome changes and identified an agile workforce as one which is more receptive to learning and feedback.

The first session of the third day was a plenary address by Dr. Paul Hempel (Professor at City University of Hong Kong) and  commented at the appearance of the western models of innovation as being useful at the structural level, whereas considerable adaptation is required at the implementation practical level in non- western context. This valuable address was followed by Paper Presentations by research scholars and students of MBAHRM course. The next event was a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Girish Balasubramaniam wherein he asked the panel to elucidate on the models of innovation and how does innovation take place. Ms. SubhashiniAcharya, (Learning Leader – R&D India, Schneider Electric) gave her viewpoint on the need for leveragingdifferent resources and depending on others for innovation. Mr. Iyer spoke on the importance of the purposefor innovation in an organisation and further laid stress that it needs to be focussed and in tandem with theindustrial structure. Mr. Mishra shared his experience in the industry as he emphasised on innovating internally in an organization, for there are no separate Research and Department work in the IT sector. The Valedictory session began with Fr. E.A Augustine S.J (Registrar, XUB) addressing the audience on the need for organisations to bemore innovative, rather than being shaped by it. The Chief Guest, Ms. Praveena Kala (CGM, SBI) in her address suggested that “change is the only constant and only those organisations survive which learn to live with change”. The session ended with Prof. Dr. Andrew Dutta proposing the vote of thanks.