Doctor of Psychology, TSU Professor, Head of Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Labor and Organization Psychology, and the Founder of the First HR Consulting Organization in Georgia – PMC, Ia Kutaladze, will talk about the need for and activities of the Human Resource Management Center (PMC), which turns 20 this year!
TELL US ABOUT SETTING UP PMC.
PMC was established in 2000 with the support of the Eurasia Foundation. It was a kind of startup, whose services turned out to be interesting and viable for the market. However, we have never been dependent merely on market demand: we’ve been proactive, we’ve been trying to create, advocate and introduce new services.
When our organization started operating, the demand for human resource management services was low, with the field of personnel management mainly limited to the staff chancellery. It was a difficult and transitional period, as the country shifted from a “Soviet economy” to a market economy amid intense political controversy. Most still did not clearly see the strategic role of human resource management and the associated organizational processes in business development.
Consequently, promoting awareness and understanding the critical importance of HRM became part of our work. At all business meetings, we sought to make clear to the decision-makers the role of effective and rational HRM policies and practices in the success of the organization. We assisted organizations in setting up human resource management departments, methodological support, selection of HRM specialists, and professional development.
This period was especially valuable for me, and I especially value those people with whom I started this business. We never paid special attention to advertising our work; on the contrary, we did our work quietly, modestly, but we were always focused on quality.
AND YOU FOUND MEETINGS WITH POTENTIAL CLIENTS WAS NOT ENOUGH, AS IT WAS ALSO NECESSARY TO PREPARE THE LABOR MARKET.
Yes. Clearly, there was a need to train human resource management professionals who would be employed and make a significant contribution to the success of organizations that faced a lot of challenges. We published the first Georgian language textbook in human resource management, so the professional literature based on the latest knowledge for that period became available to everyone. We conducted intensive trainings in the field of human resource management, both for private and public institutions.
However, it was necessary to train a new generation of professionals with academic knowledge in this field, to provide academic education, as in European countries and the United States. It was during this period that the Ivane Javakhishvili University Faculty of Psychology, Master of Labor and Organization Psychology, and then doctoral programs, were established.
TELL US ABOUT FUNDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CENTER.
All the projects I talked about were implemented with the support of the Eurasia Foundation. During that period, many international aid missions arrived in Georgia. It was with the support of international donor organizations, and thanks to their involvement, that these projects were implemented and our organization was founded.
WHAT IS THE KEY TO PMC’S SUCCESS?
We’ve been in this market for 20 years. The prerequisite for this is our current work, professional services and business ethics. Almost all important organizations in the private and public sector today have been and / or are our clients at different times. However, to be honest, the key to PMC’s success is still a team based on shared values, trust, commitment, responsibility, and a creative and motivated young generation that is always looking for new approaches and new ideas.
I’m very glad that there are many HR consulting companies in Georgia today. This indicates the development of the field. We maintain our niche – we maintain a systematic view of organizational processes. PMC still actively monitors the dynamic development of labor and organization psychology and HRM, scientific research, new theories, and new paradigms, and seeks to bring important findings to the Georgian HR market.
A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH AND TRAINING QUALIFIED STAFF WAS IMPORTANT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HR SECTOR. TELL US MORE ABOUT IT.
Since the 90s, I’ve been working for the Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. I am the head of the master’s and doctoral programs in labor and organization psychology. I should mention that TSU was the first to develop these programs (and for years it was the only one).
A large number of labor and organization psychologists and human resource management professionals are graduates of our program. My and my colleagues’ university activities are focused on educating and supporting a new generation of professionals, training HRM specialists who have a fundamental knowledge of psychological concepts and theories relevant to human resource management, properly developed research skills, and high professional ethics.
To date, I have been the supervisor of several doctoral and dozens of master’s theses – we try to explore the most topical issues. I can honestly say that this is one of the most important and valuable things in my life. I am happy that my masters and doctoral students also work in the Human Resource Management Center. Communicating with them is especially valuable to me, I also learn from them and gain interesting experiences.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR PMC?
20 years is neither too much nor too little. We’ve been able to make a modest contribution to the development of the field of labor and organization psychology and human resource management in our country. Today, when many HR consulting firms operate in the market, and new master’s programs are created in different universities, we still aim to be distinctive, offering new services based on research, complex knowledge and scientific analysis, and, as always, we strive to be one step ahead of current market demands.