AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
George P. Shultz
The field of personnel management and industrial relations, since it involves the relationship of business problems to the changing social, economic, and legislative environment of our times, should be approached as an application of social science. The emphasis in present programs at the undergraduate and master's levels varies from training for job skills to training for general understanding of the problems characteristic of the field. Suggestions are made here for moving the emphasis in the direction of general understanding. At the doctoral level, more emphasis should be given to the basic intellectual disciplines underlying this field and to research.
The field of personnel management and industrial relations has grown tremendously over the past few decades in complexity, claims on public attention, and importance to management. A large volume of material about concepts, practices, legislation, institutions, and other matters related to the field has appeared. Combined with the prominence given to labor relations problems and labor disputes particularly in the years just following World War II, this material has led some people to regard the field almost as a distinct intellectual discipline. Such a view, which would lead to study of the field's content directly and in its own terms, is not justified. Though the field has much substantive content of its own, its fundamental analytic content is drawn from various disciplines within the social sciences and from the law. Exposure to, if not mastery of, these areas must be an integral part of an intellectually ambitious personnel curriculum. In fact, the nature, richness, and vitality of materials available and almost constantly coming to hand offer the teacher a fine oppor