SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN624011
Module Leader Patricia Lang
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Human Resource Management
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

Sustaining high organisational performance in local, national and international contexts is crucial to organisations today. This module investigates research-led evidence on linkages between HRM and organisational performance and how 'black box' research can be conducted in diverse organisations. Human capital measurement will be explored. Further, the module will develop students' ability to critically evaluate theories related to the management of organisational and employee performance. Major tools and techniques focusing on developing and managing performance processes at both a strategic and operational level in organisations will be assessed in relation as to how they might add - value to organisational performance in challenging international and local environments. This module aims to explore how managers in organisations might optimise individual and collective performance to achieve strategic goals through effective performance management policies and procedures. It will critically analyse the roles of key stakeholders such as HR professionals and line managers in managing organisational and employee performance. Students should develop a critical awareness of the importance of ethical and cultural issues in relation to the management of people and performance in a variety of international and organisational settings.


Introduction to module HRM and Organisational Performance e.g. high performance working; 'black box' research; developing human capital measures; employee engagement; psychological contract; social exchange theory; committment Performance Management e.g. performance management: trends and developments; systems and cultures; models, underlying theories and critiques; evaluating performance; measurement criteria; performance feedback and appraisal processes; evaluating performance management systems; stakeholder roles; problems and issues; legal, cultural and ethical dimensions; Performance Management Techniques Feedback, appraisal; PDP's; competencies and objective setting; motivation, recognition and reward, PRP Managing Under-Performance Managing culture and behaviours for high performance through HR interventions e.g. absence management, capability process.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to: -1. Critically evaluate linkages between HRM and organisational performance; 2. Critically appraise the importance of performance management strategies and processes in achieving effective performance across different organisations, nationalities and cultures;3. Evaluate frameworks, models and theories relevant to performance management;4. Critique a range of approaches/ interventions used to obtain effective employee performance in a variety of organisational and geographical contexts;5. Analyse strategies for managing under-performance within organisations;6. Demonstrate effective HR professional skills in performance management

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures will provide leading-edge thinking regarding the underlying theoretical concepts and principles of developing and managing performance along with current and new insights from the field of professional practice. This will be supplemented and underpinned by use of GCU Learn through directed reading, e-learning and web-based resources e.g. videoa clips and podcasts related to each topic area allowing a deepening of student learning. Much of the materials provided will be research based, with seminars utilised to explore application of theory into practice using case studies; problem-based learning scenarios; experiential exercises and group discussions centred on the main processes associated with effective performance management. Different organisational settings will be explored i.e. public, private and voluntary sectors; domestic and international contexts and cultures and where appropriate, industry experts will be used to offer international and practitioner perspectives. For all students there will be two summative assessments. The first assignment will be a c.500 word summary of the final second assignment (15%). Feedback will normally be available within three weeks of submission. The second will be a 2,500 word assignment (85% of the total) which involves the investigation and critical analysis of a particular aspect of performance management, including a critical review of research and best practice applied to an organisational setting (either in own organisation or through an appropriate organisational case-study). This assessment structure will provide students an opportunity to articulate knowledge and understanding of the generic principles of performance management through critical review of research and through critical evaluation of practice in an organisational setting. The module contributes to attributes highlighted by PRME. For example, employer social responsibility, ethical considerations such as treating employees in a fair and transparent manner (e.g. allocation of bonuses), managing procedural and distributive justice. This module is appropriate to students with a desire to enter a career in HR and/ or who wish to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how to develop effective employee and organisational performance in specific contexts. Management skills (for example, giving feedback, appraisal and managing under-performance) will be developed in classroom sessions. Students will be formally assessed on their management of a performance hearing/ under-performance issue. Students will complete a skills based activity which will be marked on a pass/fail basis. For all students, skills development and assessment will take place in the classroom during a development workshop (or equivalent).

Indicative Reading

Core/Essential Texts: Aguinis H. (2013) Performance Management, 3rd edit, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, U.S. Guest DE, Paauwe J & Wright P. (2013) Managing People and Performance, Wiley-Blackwell, UK Hutchison S. (2013) Performance Management UK, CIPD Recommended Text: Armstrong M. (2018) Armstrong's Handbook of Performance Management 6th edition UK, Kogan Page Bach S. and Edwards MR (ed.) (2013) Managing Human Resources, 5th ed., UK, Blackwell Bhscol D, Schuler R. and Ibraiz T. (2012) International Human Resource Management, Routledge UK Boselie P. (2014) Strategic Human Resource Management: A Balanced Approach, 2nd edition, UK, McGraw-Hill Boxall P. and Purcell J. (2015) Strategy and Human Resource Management, 4th edition, Palgrave MacMillan, UK Brewster C., Houldsworth E, Sparrow P. and Vernon G. (2016) International Human Resource Management, 4th edition, UK, CIPD Burton-Jones A and Spender J.C. (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Human Capital, Oxford, Oxford University Press CIPD/ Mercer (2005) Human capital reporting: An internal perspective - a guide, CIPD/ Mercer, UK Dowling P, Festing M and Engle A.D. (2013) International HR Management, UK Cengage Learning Grunberger N. (2013) Human Capital Oriented Performance Management, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform Haslberger A. Brewster C. and Hippler T. (2014) Managing Performance Abroad, UK Routledge Huust. (2015) People Data: How to use and apply Human Capital Metrics in your Company, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Houldsworth E. & Dilum J. (2007) Managing and Measuring Employee Performance, Kogan Page, UK Leopold J. & Harris L. (2009) The Strategic Managing of Human Resources, Pearson, UK, Chpts 7-8 Massy J and Harrison J (2014) Evaluating Human Capital Projects: Improve, Prove, Predict, UK, Routledge Mone E.M. and London M. (2010) Employee Engagement: Through Effective Performance Management, Routledge, Hove, UK Paauwe J. Guest DE & Wright PM (2013) HRM and Performance: Achievements & Challenges, UK, Wiley Purcell J. et al. (2009) People Management and Performance, Routledge, Chapters 1-4 Purcell J., Kinnie N., Hutchison S., Rayton B. & Swart J. (2003) Understanding the People and Performance Link: Unlocking the 'black box', CIPD, UK Scullion H. and Linehan M. (2005) International Human Resource Management: A critical text, UK Palgrave MacMillan Smither J.W. and London M. (2009) Performance Management Putting Research into Action, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, US Sparrow P. (2009) Handbook of International Human Resource Management: Integrating People, Process and Context, UK Wiley-Blackwell Stahl GK, Mendenhall ME and Oddou GR (2012) Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour, 5th edition, UK Taylor and Francis Taylor S. (2008) People Resourcing, 4th edit., CIPD, UK, Chpt 14 &15 Thorpe R and Holloway J. (eds) (2008) Performance Management: Multi-disciplinary perspectives, Palgrave MacMillan, New York Truss C, Delbridge R, Alfes K, Shantz A. and Soane E. (2014) Employee Engagement in Theory and Practice, London, Routledge Varma A. et al. (2008) Performance Management Systems: A global perspective, Routledge, UK Watkins R. and Leigh D. (2010) Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace Volumes 1-3, ISPI/Pfeiffer, U.S. Indicative Journals Employee Relations; Human Resource Management Journal; International Journal of Human Resource Management; International Journal of Public Sector Management; International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management; International Journal of Service Industry Management; International Journal of Training and Development; Journal of European Industrial Training; Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies; Journal of Management Development; Leadership; Journal of Managerial Psychology Management Learning; Management Today; Personnel Review; People Management; Personnel Psychology; Public Performance and Management Review Databases: <> e.g. FAME Indicative Web Sites: <\> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: b7 critical thinking, analysis and synthesis; b7 effective problem solving and decision making; b7 knowledge and understanding of HRM subject area; b7 effective oral and written communication; b7 effective self management; b7 independent and team working; b7 interpersonal skills; b7 research and IT skills; b7 planning, monitoring and evaluating own learning and development. b7 Specific performance management skills e.g. effective performance appraisal interviewing and feedback.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Skills event (FT) 8.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 66.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 15.00 45% HR assignment 500 words Week 6
Course Work 02 n/a 85.00 45% HR assignment 2,500 words Week 12
Course Work 03 n/a 0.00 45% Alternative Skills Test Workshop (Pass/Fail) Week 9