SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN624102
Module Leader Ronnie Caddow
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Human Resource Management
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme Entry requirements

Summary of Content

This module develops a critical appreciation of the management of employment relations from the lens of Management, Employees and third parties such as Trade Unions and Government in national, international, collective and individual contexts. This module will support learners in gaining a comprehensive and analytical understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates, both at a national and international level. This module will also provide the opportunity for learners to critically apply the key theoretical concepts, knowledge and behavioural competencies which are central to the management of employment relations practices both in unionised and non-unionised organisations of varying sizes and types, for example public and private sector, indigenous and multinational. Finally the module will provide the opportunity for learners to assess the impact of contextual changes on selected employment relations practices and organisational performance from a managerial perspective. 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 syllabus is organised as follows: The changing context of employment relationships The employment relationship through the lens of Employers, Employees and third party groups such as Trade Unions and Government The impact of local, national and global contexts which shape employment relations climates. Comparative Employment Relations in Key International Economies Precarious and exploitative employment relationships, cultural and legislative diversity and variance. Theories and perspectives on employment relations Industrial, Psychological, Economic and Legislative frames of reference Conflict, Power , Control and Authority Representation and resolution gap The roles and functions of the parties in employment relationships. Employees Employers and Management as an agency of Employers Employee and Employer representative bodies Third party organisations such as ACAS and the CAC Strategic employment relations process Collective and Individual Employee Voice Third Party Intervention, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Managing change Design and implementation of operational employment relations procedures that mitigate risk Individual and collective grievances. Trade Union Recognition redundancy handling. Employee Relations and Organisational Performance Effect of employment relationships on Employee Engagement Effect of employment relationships on Employer Branding

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Critically evaluate traditional and contemporary conceptual frameworks that underpin employment relationships2. Evaluate the impact of local, national and global contexts shaping employment relations climates.3. Critically discuss the varying roles and functions of the different parties responsible for controlling and managing employment relationships including evaluating management practice in precarious and exploitative relationships 4. Critically discuss the significance of organisational level employment relations processes that support and enhance organisational performance, including the design and implementation of policies and practices in the areas of employee voice and conflict resolution.5. Critically analyse the significance of employment relations procedures that help mitigate organisational risk, including the design and implementation of policies and practices in the areas of trade union recognition, collective and individual grievance, dismissal and redundancy.6. Evaluate the integration of employment relations processes and how they impact on policy, practice and organisational outcomes such employee engagement and employer branding.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will feature an integrated multi-dimensional approach to teaching and learning. The purpose of which is to develop deep learning, indicated by the ability to abstract meaning from constructs, form linkages between related constructs and practice, and reframe experience . In order to achieve this, students will be encouraged to read widely as well as being provided with the opportunity to apply concepts and theories in class exercises and international case studies. In addition, within seminars students will be encouraged to draw on their distinctive experiences within international and organisational cultures, sectors and industry contexts. As well as providing learners with the opportunity and impetus for individual learning they will also be encouraged and facilitated to learn via team working. This will provide the opportunity for learners to share ideas and knowledge and well as providing them with the opportunity to challenge their existing ideas and perspectives. Teaching and learning will carried out predominantly in workshops, complemented by guided and independent research. GCU Learn will be used to support the learning experience of students by providing them not only with the workshop content, but also links to academic journals and relevant web sites. A digitalised chapter of text will be provided for each workshop and use made of podcasts, video clips and links to on line resources. The summative assessment will be a 3000 words critical analysis submitted in week 15 of an ER process (e.g. Collective Bargaining/ Strike action) and an ER stakeholder (e.g. Management/Trade Unions/Government) derived from a student selected current or recent dispute. Students will have the opportunity to submit an outline of their assignment in week 9 which will be peer assessed utilising provided exemplars as benchmarks.

Indicative Reading

Core/Essential Text: Gennard, J., Judge, G.,Bennett, T. and Saundry R (2016) Employee relations. 6th Edn London, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Core Text Released April 2016) Recommended Text: Atzeni,M.(ed) (2014) Workers and Labour in a Globalised Capitalism: Contemporary Themes and Theoretical Issues, London, Palgrave MacMillan Bamber, G.J. and Lansbury, R.D. (2016) International and comparative employment relations: globalization and the developed market economies 6th Edn, London, Sage. Beardwell,J.and Claydon, T (2010) Human Resource Management a Contemporary Approach 6th Edn, Harlow, Pearson Education. Blyton P. and Turnbull P. (2005) The Dynamics of Employee Relations, London, Palgrave Blyton, P.,Heery,E. and Turnbull,P. (eds).(2011) Reassessing the Employment Relationship, London , Palgrave MacMillan Burchill,F . (2014) Labour relations 4th Edn, London, Palgrave MacMillan Colling T. and Terry M. (Eds) (2010) Industrial Relations Theory and Practice 3rd Edn, Chichester, John Willey Collins,H.,Ewing, K.D. and McColgan, A. (2012) Labour Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Conway, N. and Briner, R.B. (2005) Understanding psychological contracts at work: a critical evaluation of theory and research. Oxford, Oxford University Press Coyle-Shapiro,J.A.M.,Shore,L.M.,Taylor,S.M. and Tetrick,L.E.(eds).(2004) The Employment Relationship :ExaminingPsychological and Contextual Perspectives, Oxford, Oxford University Press Dibben,P.,Klerck,G. and Wood,G (2011) Employment Relations a critical and international approach, London ,Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Doherty, N. and Guyler, M (2008) The essential guide to workplace mediation & conflict resolution: Rebuilding Working Relationships ,London, Kogan Page. Dundon,T.,Cullinane,N.,and Wilkinson,A.(2017) A very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Employment Relations,London,Sage. Frege,C and Kelly,J.(Eds) (2013) Comparative Employment Relations In The Global Economy, Abingdon, Routledge. Gall, G. (ed). (2009) Union revitalization in advanced economies: assessing the contribution of union organizing. Basingstoke , Palgrave Macmillan George, C. (2009) The psychological Contract , Maidenhead, Open University Press/ McGraw-Hill Gilmore,S. and Williams, S.(2013) Human Resource Management 2nd Edn, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Guest,D.A., Isaksson, K.and De Wite,H.(2009) Employment contracts, psychological contracts, and employee well-being, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Holley,W.,Jennings,K.M. and Wolters, R.S (2012) The Labor Relations Process 10th Edn, Mason, Ohio, South-Western Cengage Learning Holinshead,G. (2010) International and Comparative Human Resource Management, Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill. Lewis,D. and Sargeant, M. (2017) Employment Law The Essentials 14th Edn, London, CIPD. Morley, M.J., Gunningle, P (2006) Global Industrial Relations, London , Routledge. Noon, M. and Blyton, P. (2010) The realities of work. 4th Edn. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2011) Understanding employment relations. 2nd Edn, London, McGraw Hill. Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Taylor, S. (2015 )Human Resource Management10th Edn London , FT Prentice-Hall. Truss, C., Mankin, D. and Keilliher, C. (2012) Strategic Human Resource Management, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Williams, S (2017) Introducing Employment Relations: A Critical Approach 4th Edn, Oxford , Oxford University Press Wilkinson,A. and Redman,T.(2013) Contemporary Human Resource Management Text and Cases 4 th Edn, London, Pearson Willey,B. (2012) Employment Law in Context An Introduction for HR Professionals 4th Edn, London, Pearson, Longman. -567 Recommended Academic Journals Employee Relations Employee Relations Law Journal European Journal of Industrial Relations Industrial Relations Journal available International Journal of Conflict Management Journal of Industrial Relations The British Journal of Industrial Relations Key Websites - Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service - Dept for Business Innovation and Skills -Central Arbitration Committee - Trade Union Congress - Largest public sector trade union - Transport and General workers Union (UNITE) - Amicus Section of UNITE - A collection of resources on the changing nature of work and how workers are reacting. A comprehensive collection of 'blogs' on work. - Personnel Today - A collection of news reports on contemporary trade union issues. Updated regularly. -Information on the development of trade unions today - European Industrial Relations observatory: a collection of articles and information about Employee Relations in European States

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competenc e in the follow ing key areas: b7 Critical thinking and problem solving b7 Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject b7 Independent working b7 Negotiating and influencing b7 Professional and ethical behaviour b7 Adding value through compromise and co-operation b7 Communication, persuasion and interpersonal skills b7 Creative thinking

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (PT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Independent Learning to include 34hrs Directed Study. 74.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Lectures (PT) 12.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 0.00 100.00 50% Final assignment critically evaluating 1 actor and 1 ER process in an organisational case study. Week 15