SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN220392
Module Leader Pauline Munro
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Human Resource Management
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The effective management of human resources is now widely recognised as not only an employment differentiator but also as an important contributor to organisational success. High commitment HR strategies and high performance HR systems can demonstrably impact on an organisation's effectiveness/success and bottom line. At the same time, the contemporary working environment in which HRM is formulated and practised has never been more important, dynamicand complex. It is in this environment that this module aims to analyse the current phenomenon that is HRM in terms of: the alignment of HR strategy to business strategy; contextual influences on HR strategies and policies; exigent, strategic HR issues and developments; and paradigmatric analysis of approaches to strategic HRM. Thus the module develops critical evaluation of HRM in its entirety, encompassing international HRM, together with relevant employability skills.


There are four strands to the syllabus as set out below with their indicative content. 1 Alignments between HR strategy and business strategy - business strategy and HR strategy formulation; - strategic fit of HRM in organisations; - organisational power and authority. 2 Contextual influences on HR strategies and policies - strategic HR interventions due to, eg - internationalisation and globalisation; - economic factors and industry-based competition; - privilege and disadvantage in work. 3 Exigent, strategic HR issues and developments, eg: - changing attitudes to work; Generation Y careers; - senior and line managers in HR; - international HRM; - technology and HR; - strategic human resource development. 4 Holistic approaches to strategic HRM, eg: - universal HRM and the resource-based view of the firm; - labour process theory; - a postmodern perspective; - evaluation of strategic HRM.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:1 analyse alignments between HR strategy and business strategy;2 critically discuss the nature and impact of contextual influences on HR strategies and policies;3 evaluate the nature and significance of exigent, strategic HR issues and developments; and4 critically analyse holistic approaches to strategic HRM.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

In the subject sphere of strategic human resource management, the thrust of the pedagogical strategy is to develop independent, critical thought and analysis. This is done through a combination of academic depth inm, and functional application of, the subject. The lectures, which in themselves adopt a critical and evidence-based stance, provide a platform for seminar work where learning activity is highly student-cent4red. In assuming a critical and broad standpoint beyond conventional western-centric HR prescriptions, the content is relevant to home and international students. Across both lectures and seminars, which are block taught, the content is not only contemporary but also industry illustrated and informed. Industry experts contribute to the module in making presentations that are the basis of the module assessment. Following on from expert lecture contributions, group based seminars evaluate the material presented in conceptual and practical terms. Individually, students then develop this class based work to produce a management brief on a related HR issue/development. In this industry grounded way, students have the opportunity to develop their links with industry and employability skills. The module relates both to an HR and managememnt/business carer orientation. The module is supported fully by the Blackboard VLE where, for example, podcasts of expert presentations are made available. Another support is the one hour per week designated for self-selected student 'drop-in' clinic with a member of the module team for academic guidance on the module.

Indicative Reading

Selected chaptrers from the following texts: Boxall P and Purcell J, (2007), 2nd Ed, Strategy and Human Resource Management, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Kew J and Stredwick J, (2008), 2nd Ed, Business Environment: Managing in a Strategic Context, London: CIPD Leopold J and Harris L, (2009), 2nd Ed, The Strategic Managing of Human resources, London: Financial Times - Prentice Hall McKenna E and Beech N, (2008), 2nd edition, Human Resource Management: A concist analysis, London: Financial Times - Prentice Hall Millmore M, Lewis P, Saunders M, Thornhill A and Morrow T, (2007), Strategic Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues, London: Financial Times - Prentice Hall Robinson I, (2006), Human resource Management in Organisations, London: CIPD The Aston Centre for Human Resources (2008), Strategic Human Resource Management: Building research-based practice, London: CIPD Thompson P and McHugh D, (2009), Work Organisations: A Critical Approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Watson T J, (2006), 2nd Ed, Organising and Managing Work: Organisational managerial and strategic behaviour in theory and practice, London: Financial Times - Prentice Hall Some of these texts may become available as e-books. Tutor and student selected journal articles from, eg Career Development International, Employee Relations: An International Journal, Journal of HRM, Personnel Review, The International Journal of Human Resource Management Full copy journal articles, eg Maxwell G, (2009), 'Mentoring for Enhancing Females' Career Development: The Bank Job', Equal Opportunities International, vol 28, issue 7 Broadbridge A, Maxwell G and Ogden S, (2009), 'Selling Retailing to Generation Y Graduates: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities', International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, vol 19(4) Maxwell G, (2008), 'A Postmodern Perspective on Race Equality at Work in the UK: Positing an Explanation for the Rehetoric-Reality Divide', The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, vol 8 no.3 Maxwell G and Farquharson L, (2008), 'Senior Managers@ Perceptions of the Practice of Human Resource Management', Employee Relations, vol 30 issue 3, pp304-322 Indicative Research Sources Chartered Institute of Personnel and development: Institute for Employment Studies: International Labour Organisation: Society for HRM, USA:

Transferrable Skills

* Strategic envisioning * Critical thinking, analysis and evaluation * Information sourcing and inquiry skills * Oral and written communication * Independent and group work * Development of professional HR skills including personal development and career planning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 90.00
Seminars (PT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Directed Learning (FT) 32.00
Independent Learning (PT) 90.00
Directed Learning (PT) 32.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% 4000 Word Management Brief on industry-related, self-selected HR issue/development.