SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MMN624098
Module Leader Afroditi Dalakoura
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Human Resource Management
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Postgraduate entry qualifications (or equivalent).

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to enable students to further develop their ability in applying analytical, investigative and communication skills to demonstrate their academic and professional competence. This is achieved by enabling them to critically apply the principles of the research cycle to investigate organisational human resource questions or issues.


Introduction to research The role of theory and research in the context of HR; and awareness of national and international trends in HR Research Background Evaluating secondary sources e.g. both literature based and secondary data; understanding the challenges and limitations of research; ethical and professional considerations Methodology Research philosophies and methodological choices Compare and contrast the relative merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations Aim and Objectives Generating and refining research aim, objectives and questions Setting and assessing the boundaries of research Research Methods Qualitative and quantitative techniques for generation of empirical data e.g. focus groups, interviews, questionnaires Sampling strategies: identification of research population and sample Data analysis: the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques to reduce, analyse and present data Constructing a clear and written argument By evaluating secondary sources Data retrieval and management Academic writing and writing conventions e.g. citations, referencing Student Conference - presentation of proposal plans to tutors and peers Tutor support meetings (*) (*) Appointments with tutors arranged independently.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Identify and justify a business issue that is of strategic relevance to the organisation2. Critically analyse and discuss existing literature, contemporary HR policy and practice relevant to the chosen issue3. Compare and contrast the relative merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations4. Undertake a systematic analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative information and present the results in a clear and consistent format5. Draw realistic and appropriate conclusions and make justified and costed recommendations6. Develop and present a persuasive business report7. Write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The main element of the module develops the student's capacities as an independent, experiential learner with appropriate support from tutors (through one-to-one sessions), fellow students and work / placement colleagues and managers. A placement within an organisation is arranged for full time students to allow them to access work based learning and to provide an appropriate context for investigation. This module features formal inputs on research topics and project management, with exercises and discussion to deepen learning thereby enabling students to transfer their learning to their continuing professional practice. 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. Students on the International HRM programme will be required to demonstrate an internationalisation element in their Research Proposal and Business Investigation Report, 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. GCU Learn will be used extensively in order both to make materials widely accessible but, more importantly to continue to foster the ethos of continued collaboration in the attainment of learning from, and with others, through discussion groups. 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. 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. There are 2 pieces of assessment for this module. The Research Proposal (15%) is both formative and summative. Students receive feedback on the proposal before proceeding to conduct the empirical work for the Business Investigation Report which contributes 85% of the module. Students also receive feedback on the Report following the appropriate assessment board which is compiled from the feedback and comments from two moderators.

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: Critical thinking and problem solving Knowledge and understanding in the context of the topic Time Management Independent working Information retrieval and research skills Information sourcing, analysis and evaluation Group working IT skills Learning style and orientation to learning Professional/Employability Skills Identifying learning needs Providing advice and guidance to managers Using statistical techniques Project Management. Personal drive and effectiveness Professional and ethical competence Continuing learning Adding value through people

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (PT) 8.00
Assessment (PT) 80.00
Lectures (FT) 8.00
Seminars (PT) 16.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Practicals (PT) 6.00
Independent Learning (FT) 184.00
Seminars (FT) 16.00
Independent Learning (PT) 184.00
Assessment (FT) 80.00
Practicals (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (PT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 0.00 85.00 45% Business Investigation Report 7,000 words. Week 14.
Coursework 1 0.00 15.00 45% Research Proposal 1,000 words