module specification

HR5002A - Human Resource Management in a Global Context (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Human Resource Management in a Global Context
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   In-class test
Coursework 80%   Essay (3,500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Morning

Module summary

As the title suggests the module is locally and globally focused. It starts with general HRM concepts but builds up to discuss the pressing issues faced by organisations in managing people both in the UK and across boundaries.  The module introduces the student to the external aspects that influence the strategic approaches taken by organisations in the effective management of their human resources. It will look at contemporary issues that face HRM in challenging and turbulent times and seeks to look ahead as to the people management challenges that might lie ahead in the future and how these might be managed. This module is very closely mapped with the CIPD unit Managing and Co-ordinating the HR Function at Intermediate level and goes on to develop a more comparative, critical and evaluative approach of HR interventions.  That is, whilst the module will look at different theoretical approaches it will also require the student to engage with current and ‘real life’ factors, debates, dilemmas and events that are occurring in the world of work (home and away) in the duration of the module. Assessment is on-going and carried out throughout regular intervals (approximately every third stage of the module delivery).

Module aims

The aim of the module is to take the student through a journey from understanding the basics of HRM, building on areas covered in the first year and how external factors influence its make up; current issues faced by HR practitioners and those in the employment market right through to what might lie ahead for the profession and those within it. Thus the module will look at the past, present and future of HR. It aims to be a challenging and critically engaging module with the students’ need to understand the employment market at the core of the learning programme.  The module aims to build on the introductory HR units previously delivered, providing more detailed insights into how the external environment impacts on the business and how HR operates within this. With the workplace becoming more internationalised, global people management issues will be introduced. Within this, due consideration will be given to developing a comparative outlook of cultures, people management, ethical and business aspects of managing human resources across traditional boundaries. The unit is designed to encourage students to adopt a critical outlook of the business world with particular focus on local, global and comparative themes. The student will become accustomed to the changes faced and the impact these have on HR and how HR can provide workable solutions to address the challenges faced. The module aims to develop student competence in several areas including: Active Reading; Research; Academic Writing & Literacy; Communication via written and oral presentation; Problem and Decision Making and Commercial Awareness


The module incorporates a number of key themes. These include the following:

  • Basic national model of UK HRM
  • Political, economic, socio-cultural & technological context of HRM
  • The Competitive Environment
  • National/regional/global impacts on the historical development and contemporary practice of HRM in the UK
  • Role, status and power
  • Changing nature of people & skills, flexibility, change and engagement
  • Demographics and Social trends
  • The responsible organisation: ethics; CSR and new forms of diversity
  • Strategic HRM
  • The Globalisation of HRM
    - Introduction and comparison of people management in a variety of countries
  • - International forms of working and managing diversity

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching strategy will encompass a combination of lectures, seminars workshops and online work. This will include tutor led lectures, student class discussions, case studies, individual and group exercises to enable students to enhance their understanding of the themes and topics as well as developing their ability to look at and analyse the wider context of HRM. Sessions will be supported by web based resources.

Learning outcomes

On the completion of this module, students will:

  1. Be able to explain the purpose and key objectives of the HR Function and how these are delivered in contemporary organisations.
  2. Understand the main internal and external factors impacting on the organisation and what steps might need to be taken and why in the wake of the changing social, political and employment arena.
  3. Understand the role HR plays in effective people management and how HR interventions contribute to enhanced individual and organisational performance and ultimately the bottom line.
  4. Understand the growing concern for ethics and professionalism within HR and the wider organisation.
  5. Understand the issues, debates and dilemmas faced in the effective management of people, from a local, comparative and global perspective.
  6. Develop an appreciation of both similarities and differences in the management of Human Resources across boundaries.

The module outcomes are in alignment with the CIPD unit Managing and Co-ordinating the HR Function at Intermediate level.

Assessment strategy

The module will have two formal assessments:

  1. In-class test – 40 minute multiple choice examination
  2. Written coursework – 3,500 word essay (online submission)

The in-class test will provide an opportunity to check understanding and application of key concepts covered so far in the module. The final written coursework will extend the opportunity for the students to develop and show their potential to critically think by using analysis, synthesis and evaluation to address central themes of the module.


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Asia Pacific Business Review
Industrial Relations Journal
Diversity & Inclusion
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Journal of Management Studies
Far Eastern Economic Review
Labour Research
Human Resource Management Journal
Personnel Review
Harvard Business Review
Work, Employment and Society