module specification

HR5057 - People Management and Performance in Contemporary Organisations (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title People Management and Performance in Contemporary Organisations
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Group presentation of 20 mins
Coursework 80%   Individual essay of 2,500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Tuesday Afternoon
Spring semester City Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The Management of People is a vital aspect of any manager’s job, whether they are Entrepreneurs; Line Managers; Operations, Marketing, Production, Logistics, Human Resource or Managers of any other specialist discipline. Successful Management & Leadership can make a huge difference to the well-being and thus the performance of an individual. This ultimately assists the organisation to meet its strategic objectives. This module seeks to introduce the Non-HR student to the field of Organisational Behaviour (OB), Human Resource Management (HRM) and related People Management (PM) activities & interventions from a generalist perspective. It is intended that this will give them the vital insight into various aspects of people management regardless of their professional outlook.

The module provides a thorough grounding in the essential elements of organisational design (OD) and HRM within contemporary organisations.  In such contexts, people management policies and practices delivering innovation, adaptability, creativity, change and quality are seen as essential elements in organisational effectiveness and in helping to meet the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders.  

The challenges to organisations and to effective people management presented by developments in markets, technologies and by social and political change are explored in detail and through examination of a variety of material: case studies, e-enabled HR examples and academic and practitioner literature. The module considers options available to managers in responding to and in some cases, anticipating these challenges.

Module aims

This module aims to introduce students to the principles of managing people and performance in contemporary organisations, particularly those networked and virtual organisational spaces where management assumes a particular dynamic and complexity.   A further aim is for students to appreciate the complexities of this where pressures operate on organisations to be competitive and customer-focused at the same time as they seek flexibility, engagement and commitment from groups of staff.  

It will achieve this by first providing a broad understanding of the environment in which organisations operate, the principles by which they are structured and managed, and some of the major psychological issues involved.   The module will also enable students to explore and critically analyse a wide range of key issues related to the design, management and development of contemporary organisations including those related to organisational culture, structure, power and control, the effective management of change and the learning organisation.   The module will then focus on the nature and contribution of people management initiatives and interventions using live case examples to illustrate these issues.

As well as detailed knowledge, the module also aims to develop the following skills:

  • Academic and business communication
  • Researching and referencing, using the Harvard system
  • Constructing academic papers
  • Working in teams
  • Critical thinking
  • Personal reflection.


Context of Work Employment

  • Introduction to related topics: Psychology; Sociology; Anthropology; OB; HRM
  • History of Work & Field of HRM

The Employment Relationship

  • Labour Markets; Supply-Demand; Traditional Industrial and Contemporary Employee Relations  

Nature of Contemporary Organisations

  • Organisational Theories and Perspectives on Classical and Contemporary Organisations; Organisational structures, culture and change; Job design;  Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Managing People

  • Managing Self; Management Styles; Groups; Motivation

Resourcing the Organisation

  • Recruitment and Selection; the War for Talent

Managing High Performance

  • Employee involvement and engagement; Commitment versus Control; Appraisal and Managing Performance; Managing Talent; Careers

Learning, Training and Development

  • The added value of Learning and Development; Employability; The Learning Organisation; Learning Styles


  • Complexity of Payment Systems and Equity; Current issues; Total Reward

Learning and teaching


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Understand the challenges presented by the contemporary macro environment for the design of organisations and the effective management of people
  • Identify and evaluate the choices available to organisational decision-makers in terms of organisational design and assess the contribution of organisational structures and cultures to effective organisational performance
  • Demonstrate the importance of people management initiatives and interventions to the effectiveness of contemporary organisations
  • Identify appropriate people management and organisational interventions for a variety of competitive situations
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply people management tools to help resolve an area of organisational concern

Assessment strategy

The module includes two assessments over the 15 weeks

  1. 20min Group presentation
  2. Individual academic Essay of 2,500 words


Armstrong, M. (2009) Armstrong's Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-based Guide to Delivering High Performance.  London, Kogan Page.  (available as an e book)
Bloisi, W.  (2007)  An Introduction to Human Resource Management. Maidenhead, McGraw Hill.
Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2007) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (4th ed), Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
Boxall, P. & Purcell, J. (2011) Strategy and Human Resource Management (3rd Ed.), Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
Cameron, S. (2007) The Business Students Handbook; Learning Skills for Study and Employment, Harlow, FT/Prentice Hall
Clegg, S., Kornberger, M. and Pitsis, T. (2008) Managing & Organizations, London, Sage.
Foot, M. & Hook, C. (2011) Introducing Human Resource Management, (6th ed.), Harlow, FT/Prentice Hall
Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2010) Organizational Behaviour, (7th ed.), Pearson Education.
Kew, J. and Stredwick, J. (2013) Human Resource Management in a Business Context, London, CIPD.
Korczynski, M. (2002), Human Resource Management in Service Work, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.
Marchington, M. & Wilkinson, A. (2012) Human Resource Management at Work, London, CIPD.
Noon, M. and Blyton, P. The Realities of Work, (3rd Ed.)Basingstoke, Palgrave.
Mullins, L.  (2010)  Management and Organisational Behaviour.  (9th ed.) Harlow, Pearson.
Muller-Carmen, M., Croucher, R. and Leigh, S. (2008) Human Resource Management: A Case Study Approach, London, CIPD.
Murton, A., Inman, M., and O’Sullivan, N. (2010) Unlocking Human Resource Management, London, Hodder Education.
Purcell, J. et al. (2009), People Management and Performance, London, CIPD.
Taylor, S. (2008) People Resourcing, (4th ed.) London, CIPD.
Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S., and Atkinson, C. (2009) Fundamentals of Human Resource Management; Managing People at Work. Harlow, Pearson.
Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson, C. (2011), Human Resource Management.  (8th ed.) Harlow, Pearson
Woods, S. and West, M. (2010) The Psychology of Work & Organisations, Cengage Learning Business Press.

Selected Electronic Sources

Selected Journals
Harvard Business Review, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Journal, People Management, Personnel Review