Human Resource Research Paper Instructions
This assignment asks you to select a human resource issue/topic currently faced by businesses that you would like to
learn more about and then research about the topic. Once you have gathered information, you will write a Research
Paper that: describes the issue/topic, presents a detailed analysis of the issue, and then compares and contrasts the
issue from both the manager side and the employee side. There are three deadlines:
1. Select a topic and five supporting articles due Monday March 17 by 10 pm (this is the Weekly Assignment
due on March 17). A list of potential topics has been provided but you are welcome to select any topic you
like as long as it has some connection to a current human resource issue, our course, AND your area of study
(i.e. hospitality, dietetics, management). Make sure your topic is SPECIFIC. After you have picked your
topic, you are asked to find one popular press article and four academic articles that describe how this issue
is currently impacting a business related to your chosen field. Popular press articles can be found in business
magazines or newspapers that are mainstream reputable sources (e.g., New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street
Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) You will use your popular press article to investigate the issue in more
specific detail and to help you justify that this is a Human Resource issue that impacts businesses.
a. An example: I want to investigate sexual harassment issues in restaurants. I do a search of popular
press articles and I find lots and lots and lots of articles. I review many of them and I decide that this
article is very interesting to me:
After reading this article I decide that I want to specifically look at how to encourage employees to
report issues of sexual harassment before those issues can negatively impact the overall operation
(as the article describes). So – my topic isn’t “Sexual Harassment” or “Sexual Harassment in
Restaurants” as that is way too broad and would result in an overwhelming search of more
information. Rather my topic is “Ways to Encourage Prompt Reporting of Sexual Harassment Claims
in Restaurants”.
b. Once I have my topic, I do more research. I look at the “Link to SF State Resources for Paper” link on
iLearn and I search for more articles and references that are related to my specific topic. I review
these materials and I start to organize information that helps to explain the topic or issue. I gather
the APA citations for each reference I find (for more help on APA formatting I find the “Link to
Purdue Owl for APA formatting” link on iLearn. I find at least 4 academic articles (more are ok) that
provide additional information about my topic and offer insight on how a business would deal with
this issue. (See the HR Article Review worksheet posted on iLearn for more information)
2. Draft an outline and create a reference list due Wednesday April 1 at 10 pm. Create an outline of your
paper with main topics and sub topics clearly organized. You must list at least 6 sources in APA format as
well in this submission (See the Outline worksheet posted on iLearn for more information)
a. 1 source should be the class textbook
b. 1 source should be the popular press article you found
c. 4 sources should be from scholarly sources or academic journals (see the list of scholarly sources for
some options of where to look for articles)
3. Write a detailed research paper and submit an electronic copy to iLearn by 10 pm on Monday May 4. A
paper copy is due at the BEGINNING OF CLASS on Tuesday May 5. That means BEFORE 9:30. Papers
received after 9:30 am on Tuesday will have 10 points deducted. Assume that the reader of the paper is a
business owner or senior level manager. Your paper should present a clear analytical review of the human
resource topic you have chosen. Your paper should include:
a. An introduction and conclusion
b. A clear description of the issue or topic. Explain why the topic is a something worth investigating
(you can reference your popular press article here). Present a review of the issue/topic and inform
the reader of how it came to be. Describe how the issue/topic matters. Why is it an issue or
c. Compare and contrast the issue using specific information or details (with appropriate sources) from
both the manager side and the employee side of the issue. Why would this issue/concern matter to
a business? To an employee? What impact would this issue have on the business or on the
d. What action should manager or owners take in regard to this issue/topic to resolve the issue? Use
sources throughout this section to justify your thoughts. THIS SECTION SHOULD BE DETAILED and
should reference Human Resource centered strategies to address the issue/topic.
The purpose of this paper is for you to identify a current issue or topic in Human Resources that a business in your field
or discipline would face. Students are expected to research to learn how to stay current on HR related topics as it is a
critical need for a manager, as is the knowledge of how to strategically plan for the Human Resources function.
The paper requires you to develop a clear analysis based on current research of a topic or issue in Human Resources.
You want to conduct a scholarly review of the literature, and you must have a minimum of four citations from scholarly
sources (see the attached list of sample scholarly sources). Your reference page will include at least 6 total references (4
scholarly sources, the class textbook, the popular press article). Keep in mind that this paper is an analysis of the
topic/issue and is not merely a summary of the bibliographic list of resources. Your paper must use scholarly references
and it must be written in a narrative format synthesizing the research from your citations, which must be in presented in
APA format (this means you need both in text citations and a reference page). The paper should be NO LONGER than 5
pages and include at the least the following:
1. Introduction and Purpose of the Paper
2. General Findings of the Research (including definition of the issue)
3. Business Recommendation (with evidence that the solution recommended is a good one)
4. Conclusions
5. Reference Page (this is NOT included in the 5 page limit)
Grading Rubric
Topic / issue description (40%)
Does the paper present a clear description of the issue or topic? Explain why the topic is a something worth investigating
(you can reference your popular press article here). Present a review of the issue/topic and inform the reader of how it
came to be. Describe how the issue/topic matters. Why is it an issue or concern?
Evaluation of the issue (40%)
Compare and contrast the issue using specific information or details (with appropriate sources) from both the manager
side and the employee side of the issue. Why would this issue/concern matter to a business? To an employee? What
impact would this issue have on the business or on the employee? How should companies manage or act in regard to
this issue/topic? Use sources throughout this section to justify your thoughts.
Sources (10%)
Were the sources informative and relevant to topic? Was the minimum number of sources utilized? Were sources used
to describe the issues in clear detail? Were they property cited using APA format (both in text and in a reference page)
Writing Proficiency (10%)
Is the paper free of spelling and grammar errors? Is there a clear purpose? Is the issue described in enough detail to
support the analysis? Does the paper have a professional introduction and conclusion that summarize the content?
Guidelines & Specification
The paper which describes the company should be no longer than five pages, double line-spaced, in 12 point Times New
Roman or Cambria font, with 1” margins. Any text submitted past the end of the fifth page WILL NOT BE READ OR
GRADED. To meet this page restriction, carefully edit and parse your word to maximize meaning in every sentence.
• Include your #SFSU ID in the document header – DO NOT put your name(s) on the written assignment. Any
individual that submits a paper with a name will lose 10 points
• You must have page numbers at the bottom of each page
• Five (5) page maximum of written text (not including the reference page). All references referred to in the writing
must be properly cited in APA format both in text and in a reference page at the end of the document.
Scholarly Journals
The following list of journals is a partial list of acceptable scholarly journals to be used as potential sources for all
research papers. The SF State library does not subscribe to all of these journals. Wikipedia is NOT a scholarly source.
Please utilize the “Link to SF State Resources” link posted on ilearn as a starting point for your research.
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Review
Administrative Science Quarterly
Personnel Psychology
Training and Development Journal
California Management Review
Organizational Dynamics
Decision Sciences
American Sociological Review
Abnormal and Social Psychology
Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making
Journal of Management Studies
Journal of Applied Psychology
Personnel Journal
Business Horizons
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Management
Human Relations
Monthly Labor Review
Industrial Relation
H. R. Magazine
Possible HR areas to Begin Your Research (this list includes many BROAD areas, you may need to narrow your focus
once you have researched). Your topic DOES NOT need to be on this list – but it DOES need to be HR related
Absenteeism: Cases, Remedies, and Prevention
Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Work
Americans with Disabilities Act: Current Status and Rulings for employees/employers
Application Blanks: Creation, Usage, and Legal Obligations
Behaviorally-Anchored Rating Scales
Behavior Modification Approaches
Contingent Workers/Workforce
Current Immigration Problems as a Human Resource Issue
Discipline and Disciplinary Action
Downsizing the Workplace: Problems and Solutions
Drug Testing Issues
Early Retirement Plans and Methods
Employee Assistance Plans
Employee Development Methods
Employee Handbooks: What You Need to Know
Executive Recruiting and Selection
Exit Interviews
Flex Time
Flexible Benefit Systems
Gig Workers
Grievance and Complaint Settlement Methods
Health Care Cost Containment Methods
HR Metrics
Human Resource Accounting
Human Resource Information Systems
Independent Contractors vs. Employees
Interviewing Methods in the Selection Process
Job Enrichment
Job Sharing
Legal Aspects of Pregnancy and Family Leave Policies
Management Development: Planning & Evaluation
Marijuana Legalization and Workplace Issues
Minimum wage changes: how do companies cope
Outsourcing the Human Resource Function
Paid Family Medical Leave
Peer Method of Performance Appraisal
Personality Tests and the Selection of Employees
Reducing Job Fatigue, Boredom, and Monotony
Privacy Concerns of Employees
Unions: Current and Future Status
Unlimited vacation as a benefit
Proper and Improper Termination in Today’s Economy
Reverse Discrimination and Affirmative Action Today
Self-Directed Work Teams
Status of Employer Liability and Current Trends in Reference Checking
Stress and Burnout: HR Solutions
Strikes: Management Strategies
The Use of the Polygraph (lie detector) in the Selection Process
Tipping as compensation: Rules and justice
Turnover: How much, How Little?
Wage Compression: Problems and Solutions
Women and the “Glass Ceiling”
Workforce wellbeing programs and employee privac