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MBA Marketing vs Human Resource Management – A Quick Guide
by Bhanu Kaushik January 23, 2020

Human resource management (HRM or HR) is the field of management science which deals with the strategic management of an important asset in any business, which is – people.

Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1911 in his famous book – The Principles of Scientific Management first laid down the importance of “people” in the functioning of the business.

He was a mechanical engineer who wanted to improve industrial efficiency, especially in manufacturing jobs.

His focus on “labor” as an “input” into the manufacturing process, was considered pathbreaking and yet it raised many humanitarian eyebrows much later.

Taylor’s book led to the foundation of an important aspect of management that is people management or Human Resource Management.

It emphasizes on handling human resources in a way that they gain a competitive advantage for the business.

Human resource management helps in striking a perfect balance between the laws of the land and the requirements of collective bargaining.

MBA-Marketing-vs-Human-Resource-Management

The objective of a human resources team is to ensure – growth and development of employees in a way that benefits the organization, recruiting the right talent, maximizing the employees’ performance, strategizing organizational policies, change management and communication. Human resource management also takes care of reward and recognition, employee benefits, compensation, promotion, training, diversity and all other metrics associated with people.

Initially, HRs were viewed as the policemen with a stick whose work was either transactional or purely for the purpose of enforcement of policies.

But with time and research, human resources became a more strategic function which gave an organization its competitive advantage.

When the knowledge industry came into existence, the businesses were no longer about the product or service or machinery, and it was about the people who worked.

Without the efficiency of its people, the knowledge industry would be doomed.

Later with research, HRs started playing a very strategic role in a business.

Critical functions such as succession planning, change management during mergers and acquisitions, talent retention, diversity, and inclusion have since been handled by the human resource team.

People are not only unpredictable, but they are also ambiguous, but they are the most important resource of any business.

Thus it is a very complicated task of dealing and managing people.

Companies hire only managers with the required expertise, that is managers with knowledge and degree of HRM for this critical function.

Achieving employee commitment and psychologically connect with employees is a difficult task.

Every company wants their employees to stay with them because the cost of an employee leaving is huge and it includes the cost of training, the cost of hiring, and the price paid if the new hire is a misfit.

Why MBA in HR? Who should choose?

Every student who has completed the first year of MBA can opt for a specialisation in Human Resource Management.

However, certain attributes in a person make them better HR professionals than others, even with the same education. Some of these attributes are:

-> People management

-> Excellent communication

-> Orientation to business needs

-> Analytical skills

-> Strategic thinking

-> Planning and organizing

-> Conflict resolution

Key modules

Some of the key concepts taught in MBA pertaining to the Human Resource Management program are:

  • Organizational Change and Development
  • Industrial relations and Labour laws
  • Competency Mapping
  • Strategic HRM
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation Benefits
  • Knowledge Management
  • HR analytics
  • Organization Behavior (OB)
  • International HRM
  • Psychometric Testing
  • Training and Development

Why Critical for Business?

As already mentioned, the people are the most critical resource of any business.

To ensure that the organization achieves success through its business goals, it needs to value and enrich its people or employees.

The right talent must be hired; they must be trained, significantly motivated, justly evaluated, and given constructive feedback for further improvement.

Not only that, the people in any organization is not a stagnant resource. To be able to generate a sense of attachment for their work can increase their retention.

This extremely important task of strategically managing the talent base of the organization is done by the HR team. Hence it is critical to the running of a business.

Career options

Human resources, unlike popular belief, is a multifaceted role and has multiple opportunities within an organization.

In order to gain that strategic edge over other organizations, each company invests in their HR function so as to ensure maximum emphasis goes to the most critical asset of any business, which is its “people.”

Some of the various roles that organizations have within their HR function are as follows:

  • Compensation Manager
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Resource Management executive
  • Employment or Placement Manager
  • Staffing Director
  • HR Generalist or Talent engagement officer
  • Personnel Manager
  • Payroll Specialist
  • Director of HR Training and Development
  • Technical Recruiter
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Organizational development manager
  • Change Management officer
  • Disciplinary officer
  • Head HR
  • Shared Services

Marketing Management

Of all the branches available in the MBA, the most popular one is Marketing Management.

The reason being, the highest number of placements and the highest paying jobs are often offered to the students of this branch of MBA.

This obviously indicated two important facts. One, companies have a huge requirement for marketing management students.

Two organizations are willing to invest heavily and hire cream profiles for their marketing and sales team.

MBA in Marketing Management is a two-year post-graduation course in marketing and sales that perfectly caters to this need of the corporation. Thus, it is so popular among students as well as recruiters.

Marketing is not just about selling a company’s goods and services. The idea is to offer these products to customers in a way that they find it hard not to buy them.

Even after buying them, the customers come back for the same brand the next time.

This has led to companies to become more aware of consumer behavior, studying and analyzing trends and patterns, researching competitor products. In short, MBA in Marketing imbibes a lot of skills that would come handy in your future.

Businesses invest more and more on market research to identify that one single proponent who is incorporated in their product would make it sell more.

Globalization is the main cause of this. A monopoly is a thing of the past. Any and every business faces tough competition from global as well as domestic players in the market.

In this situation, a company must find a solution to survive and retain its business. Marketing is the team which can help it, do so.

Generating interest for a product through promotional activities such as advertising, teasers in the minds of customers, is a mandate for any business.

USP or unique selling property is what makes a product gain market share and mind share.

Not only is it enough to make a sale and encash the invoice, but a company must also ensure that it provides adequate customer support throughout the lifecycle of the product.

This is why, before sales and after-sales have both become so important.

An able competitive, strategic marketing team can help achieve these goals for the customers.

Marketing Management as a course in MBA has become undoubtedly a very popular choice among students.

Placement opportunities are huge due to the increasing demand for top-class marketing professionals who can escalate the business for an organization.

Students of MBA first complete the first year of general management topics and introduction to all specializations.

In the second year, the students who specialize in marketing study concepts related to market research, consumer behavior, sales Customer management and also some market analytics tools. 6 lacs to 20 lacs per year is the average salary of marketing management graduates from a good institute.

The salary may vary depending on the profile and current job scenario.

Some colleges offer dual specialization in Marketing along with another subject such as Human resources, entrepreneurship, operations, or finance.

Who should choose?

Some students prove to better and more successful in their marketing careers than others.

One of the main reasons is that they have the right “competency” for performing in a role in marketing. Some such desirable traits are:

  • Analytical bent of mind
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to communicate reasonably and confidently with clients and customers
  • Result Orientation
  • Innovative thinking
  • Dealing with ambiguity
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to make decisions in ambiguous situations

Key modules

Major concepts of marketing which are taught to MBA students in B-schools are:

  • Studying consumer behavior and choice of markets
  • Managing distribution, marketing channels and retailing
  • Developing marketing strategies and plans
  • Product and brand management
  • Integrated marketing communications
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Research
  • Pricing

Why critical for business?

It is not difficult yo understand why marketing is a backbone to a business.

The revenue generated from the sale of products owes itself to the efforts of marketing.

Without a good marketing team, an organization would run out of business in the face of cut-throat competition.

Career options

There are multiple profiles in which a marketing management student can work.

The largest recruiters of marketing MBA grads are – Construction, Food and Beverage, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, retail, and IT companies. Some of the roles in which they work are:

  • Market Research Analyst
  • Brand Manager
  • New Product Manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Sales manager
  • Promotion manager
  • Communication manager
  • Marketing executive
  • Advertising executive
  • PR Manager
  • Pre-sales manager

Further prospects

Most students take up a job in Marketing post completion of the course. However, some students also prefer to pursue further studies in this discipline and move into research.

MBA Marketing vs Human Resource Management

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