SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 45.00
ECTS Credit Points 22.50
Module Code MMN624078
Module Leader Afroditi Dalakoura
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Human Resource Management
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme Entry Requirements

Summary of Content

The Human Resource Management Research Project is an investigation of a substantial human resource management issue or problem, which demonstrates a critical awareness of management practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches. It offers students the opportunity to apply course concepts, theories and techniques, draw on internationally published literature and good practice, and develop and interpret knowledge about human resource management practice. The project may take the form of a case study strategy or alternatively explore through empirical research an aspect of the development of global trends in the human resource management literature and assess its implications for local practice. The project's subject matter involves theoretical and empirical investigation of organisational human resource management, focused on topics covered in the student's programme of study. Critical reflection of the project journey focused on the personal learning and development achieved, and implications for the study and the student's future professional development is required. Where relevant, students may be researching in an organisation, industry and/or in national and international contexts and their reflection should demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity drawing on the programme and placement experience. The Human Resource Management Research Project requires students to work independently. Each project will be supervised by an appropriate academic staff. Normally, the Human Resource Management Research Project will examine the issues outlined in the research proposal developed for the module Research Design & Critical Inquiry.


T here is no set syllabus for this module; the syllabus will vary according to the project's subject matter, which should be drawn from the taught modules of the student's programme of study. Regardless of topic, the project should demonstrate deep critical and integrative knowledge and understanding of the chosen subject matter. Such knowledge and understanding will be evidenced by robust and effective appraisal of appropriate theoretical concepts and international human resource management trends and practices, and relevant analysis and synthesis of appropriate data leading to practicable and value adding recommendations, or balanced assessment of implications, for professional practice. This academic piece of work should be underpinned by an appropriate methodological framework, reflected by considered, well defended and suitable design choices. Broad reflection of learning will be evidenced in the final research project.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Formulate a research project problem, conduct empirical research, present an intellectually robust and evidence based analysis, and develop appropriate recommendations2. Demonstrate a systemic and critical understanding of the relevant theory and professional practice pertaining to the chosen topic3. Compare and contrast the merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations, and design an appropriate methodological framework to meet the specified aim and objectives of the project 4. Appraise, reflect, interpret and synthesise the theory and evidence gathered to inform future professional practice5. Draws realistic and appropriate conclusions and make justified and costed recommendations6. Demonstrate the ability to plan, execute, analyse and synthesise autonomously and think reflectively, creatively and independently7. Write a reflective account of the project journey which is candid, mature, balanced and insightful which draws out personal learning points and prioritises future professional learning and development.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The Human Resource Management Research Project module is distinguished primarily by independent and individual learning in both the content and process of the project, which is reflected in the teaching and learning strategy adopted in this module. Accordingly, students are responsible for managing their learning journey and resources, and in initiating, developing and producing the final project. To facilitate effective independent learning, the module leader will conduct a briefing session prior to the commencement of the module. This session provides a mechanism to disseminate vital information concerning both the academic and administrative requirements of the module, and a forum for students to seek clarification or discuss issues that may be of concern. Students will also receive a personal copy of the Human Resource Management Research Project Handbook. Where feasible, a small number of previous students who have successfully completed this module will be invited to share their learning experience with current students. This is intended to reinforce key messages regarding the learning journey from a student perspective and also provide students the opportunity to learn from the prior experience of successful students in this module. The students' learning on this module is supported by an allocated academic supervisor, with an appropriate research/scholarly background in the area, with whom they will be required to meet regularly. The role of the supervisor is to support the development of the required conceptual maps and thinking processes that underpin the project and provide advice and guidance with regard to administrative, procedural and approach issues. Students will be informed of their respective supervisor prior to the workshop. In addition, GCULearn will be used to support the student's learning journey. Key material such as the programme's Ethics Form, Consent Form, staff contact detail and other relevant material will be posted on Blackboard for convenient student access. Communication with the Module Leader when required, and also that between students via GCULearn will be encouraged to facilitate the sharing of ideas and enable peer support. Staff supervising the projects will be encouraged to set up and facilitate student research discussion forums. To successfully undertake this module, learners will critically reflect on and apply theory to practice underpinned by an ethical and professional stance integrating PRME principles in order to provide the opportunity for applied learning and continuous professional development. Students on the MSc International HRM will be required to demonstrate an internationalisation element in their HRM Research Project, by: focusing on an international, cross-cultural topic; or/and stating an international or cross-cultural aspect in their aim; or/and situating the empirical research location other than in the researcher's country of domicile and/or culture and expressly recognising the researcher's positionality in their project/ report; or/and including a comparison/critique of international secondary sources in their literature review; demonstrating personal learning of, and insights into, national perspective/s, cultural awareness and sensitivity in the Reflection section. Assessment of the module is by a Final Project submitted at the end of the period of independent research. Each Project is marked and moderated by two tutors. Students will receive post-moderation feedback on the Project after it has been considered by the appropriate assessment board.

Indicative Reading

Additional sources and readings will be available on GCULearn Core/Essential Text: Anderson, V. (2013) Research Methods in Human Resource Management, 3rd ed., CIPD, London Wilson J. (2014) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project, Sage, London Recommended Text: Bee, F. & Bee R. (2005) Managing Information and Statistics, 2nd ed. CIPD, London Bell, J. (2005) Doing your research project. OUP, London Blaxter L, Hughes C and Tight (2010); How to Research; 4th Edition; Open University; Buckingham Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011) Business Research Methods.3rd ed. Oxford Press. UK Bryman A (2008); Social Research Methods; 3rd Edition; Oxford University Press; Oxford Cameron, S. & Price, D. (2009) Business Research Methods, a Practical Approach, CIPD, London Coughlan D. & Brannick T (2014) Doing Action Research in your own organization, 4th edition. Sage Publications, London Coughlan D., Drumgoole (eds.) (2004) online resource, Managers Learning in Acton: Management Learning Research and Education, Routledge Creswell, J. (2005) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Sage: London. Denzin N K and Lincoln Y S [Eds] (2011); The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research; 4th Edition; Sage Publications; London Denzin N K and Lincoln Y S [Eds] (2008); Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials; Sage Publications; Thousand Oaks California Easterby-Smith M, Thorpe R and Jackson P (2015); Management and Business Research; 5th Edition; Sage; London Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Dissertation, 3rd ed. Pearson Education Limited, Harlow. Flick, U. (2014) An Introduction to Qualitative Research, 5th ed Sage, London. Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2010) Research Methods for Managers. 4th ed. Sage: London. Huberman, A.M. & Miles, M.B. (2002) The Qualitative Researcher's Companion. Sage, London. d3 Dochartaigh, N. (2012) Internet research skills: how to do your literature search and find research information online. 3rd ed; Sage, Thousand Oakes, California Quinton, S. & Smallbone, T. (2006) Postgraduate Research in Business: A Critical Guide. Sage, London Robson C. (2016) Real World Research: A resource for users of social research methods in applied settings, 4th Edition, Wiley, Hoboken. Saunders, M.; Lewis, P. &Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students.6th ed. Pitman Publishing, London. *available as an e-book Seale, C. (2007) Qualitative research practice. Sage, London Silverman, D. (2010) Doing qualitative research. Sage, London. Silverman, D. (2011) Interpreting Qualitative Data, 4th edition, Sage, London Stake R. (1995) The Art of Case Study Research, Sage, London Yin R K (2014); Case Study Research: Design and Methods; 5th Edition; Sage Publications; Thousand Oaks California Journals: (selected articles) Academy of Management Journal Academy of Management Review Administrative Science Quarterly Advances in Human Resource Development. British Journal of Industrial Relations California Management Review Creativity & Innovation Management Employee Relations European Management Journal European Journal of Industrial Relations European Journal of Innovation Management Harvard Business Review Human Resource Development International Human Resource Development Quarterly Human Resource Development Review Human Resource Management (USA) Human Resource Management Journal International Journal of Human Resource Management Journal of Change Management Journal of Mixed Methods Research Journal of Organizational Change Management Leadership Organisational Dynamics Organizational Studies Personnel Psychology Qualitative Inquiry Sociological Research online Weblinks Additional web sources may be introduced during the module Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Website <> <> Comprehensive resource funded by ESRC to support researchers. Here you will find a single point of access to a wide range of secondary data including large-scale government surveys, international macro data, business micro data, qualitative studies and census data from 1971 to 2011. Please note that where journal articles are indicated as part of key reading they can be accessed through Emerald or Proquest Central on the Library website. A number of digitised readings will also be made available via GCULearn. The library has a subject guide for HRM & D material - books, journals, websites and databases.

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Students studying this module will further develop the following skills: -359? Interpersonal skills ? Analytical and critical thinking skills ? Creative thinking ? Cognitive and intellectual skills ? Data analysis and synthesis ? Problem solving skills ? Independent learning and self-management ? Time management ? Project management ? Ethical conduct

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars/Workshop (PT) 4.00
Seminars/Workshop (FT) 4.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (PT) 320.00
Tutorials (PT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 120.00
Assessment (PT) 120.00
Independent Learning (FT) 320.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Empirical Research Project (12000 words) Week 14.