module specification

MN7181 - People and Organisations: Principles and Practice in Global Contexts (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title People and Organisations: Principles and Practice in Global Contexts
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
155 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Individual student blog
Coursework 70%   Individual 4,000 essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This core module captures the crucial importance of people as a route to organisational success. The module explores the ever changing and fast paced contextual environment within which the contemporary organisation must function; in particular it examines contextual issues around globalisation, diversity and cross cultural management; and discusses how organisational human resource management practices can respond effectively.  The module seeks to emphasise the powerful, strategic and pivotal role HRM can play in building and sustaining organisational capabilities and acknowledges the intersectionality of cross cultural management.

Module aims

This module has five specific aims.  First, to bring together those factors that are relevant to any consideration of ‘management in a global context’, and specifically those areas within the external and internal environments that impinge upon and influence management decision-making. 

Second, to emphasise the dynamic and complex nature of the environments that people management operates within, changes which have different effects on organisational stakeholders. These effects in turn impact on the power balance and resources available to managers and the essentially political context in which they have to operate.

Thirdly, understanding global employment relationship – a fundamental social, psychological and legal relationship – which is key to appreciating how work, the workplace, and the role and functions of HR, are changing in the 21st century. The module seeks to unravel why these changes are taking place and why understanding them is so important for HR practitioners and managers in general.

Fourthly, the module seeks to identify on the practical implications of an increasingly globalised environment for the ‘’A-Z of HR’’ and people management policies, practices and strategies, especially within the context of increased internationalisation of work.

Finally, the module allows participants to reflect on their own approach to interpersonal communication, management styles and people management philosophies.


Exploring self

  • Practitioner and personal
  • Reflection and analysis
  • VLE
  • Blog
  • Exploring employment context
  • Theorising HRM & people management
  • Changing contexts (economic, social, legal, technical)
  • Engage in practitioner forum

Organisations and power

  • Power
  • Organisational culture
  • Conflict at work
  • Resolution
  • Pluralism
  • Unitarism
  • Voice
  • Research conflict or diversity in own sector

Informed practice

  • Engagement (employee engagement)
  • Managing diversity and inclusion
  • Strategic approaches to HRM
  • Reflect on engagement in online fora

Learning and teaching

Delivery of the module is based on a mix of lectures, seminars, and discussion groups supported by weblearn materials and directed learning activities. Students will be issued with a module handbook, and guidance on readings, most of which will be available through the Learning Centre, others through weblearn. All participants will be required to read relevant materials in advance of seminar sessions in order that these can be student-led.

The 2nd assessment will include a short reflective statement of personal learning and the contribution made by the module to the student’s professional development

The learning,  teaching and assessment strategy for this module will enable students to develop their capabilities in digital literacy and information handling appropriate to professional/master’s level study as outlined in the Open University Digital and Information Literacy Framework (DILF: available to view at  )

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module you will be able to:

  1. Identify and assess the external factors – economic, political, legal, social and technological – impinging upon organisations, the content of work and the employment relationship and the implications of these for effective management, organisational processes and decision-making.
  2. Articulate the importance of wider global issues for people management practices and approaches to HR in MNC’s, and the need to adopt a cross cultural management approach in developing and implementing global strategy.
  3. Provide examples of how people management strategy contributes to organisational effectiveness; undertake analyses that contribute to strategy formation and that facilitate and inhibit the implementation of strategy and demonstrate how effective people management can contribute to organisational performance.
  4. Interrogate and analyse organisations from a ‘diagonal perspective’, critically assessing fundamental issues of power, voice, organisation culture, systems and structures.
  5. Develop a greater awareness of specific management styles, including reflection on the ‘self’ as manager and leader.
  6. Appreciate the strategic importance of strategic HRM, including employee engagement, managing diversity, reward management and employment relations.
  7. Appreciate the importance of a considered and planned approach to the management of change and contribute to an effective change management programme within international contexts.


Blyton, P. & Turnbull, P. (2004). The Dynamics of Employee Relations. (3rd Edition). Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. (2011). Strategy and Human Resource Management, (3rd edition) London: Palgrave.

Boxall, P., Purcell, J. and Wright, P.  (eds.) (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bratton, J., Gold, J. (2007). Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. Basingstoke; Palgrave MacMillan.

Brewster, C., Sparrow, P., Vernon, G. and Houldsworth, E. (2011). International Human Resource Management (3rd edition). London: CIPD.

Briscoe, D., Schuler, R. and Tarique, I.  (2012). International Human Resource Management: Policies and Practices for Multinational Enterprises (4th edn). Abingdon: Routledge.

Clegg, S., Courpasson, D. and Phillips,N. (2006) Power and Organizations.  Newbury Park, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Dickmann, M. and Baruch, Y. (2011) Managing Global Careers.  Abingdon: Routledge

Edwards, T. and Rees, C. (2011). International Human Resource Management: Globalisation, National Systems and Multinational Companies. Harlow; Pearson.

Erickson, M., Bradley, H., Stephenson, C. and Williams, S. (2009). Business in Society. Cambridge; Polity.

Farnham, D. (2010). Human Resource Management in Context. London; CIPD.

Frege, C. and Kelly, J. (eds.) (2013). Comparative Employee Relations in the Global Economy. London; Routledge.

Gilmore, S and Williams, S (2009). Human Resource Management. Oxford; Oxford University Press.

Harzing. A-W. and  Pinnington, A.  (eds) (2011). International Human Resource Management (3rd edn). London: Sage.

Lawler, E. and Boudreau, J. (2015) Global Trends in Human Resource Management, Palo-Alto: Stanford University Press.

Kew, J. and Stredwick, J. (2013). Human Resource Management in a Business Context, (2nd  edn). London: CIPD.

Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2012). Human Resource Management at Work, (5th edn).  London: CIPD.

Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J. and Boydell, T. (2006). A manager's guide to self-development. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Rees, G. and French, R. (eds.) (2013) Leading, Managing and Developing People. London: CIPD.

Rose, E. (2008). Employment Relations: Continuity and Change – Policies and Practices (3rd edn). London: Prentice-Hall.

Tjosvold, D. and Wisse, B. (Eds) (2009) Power and Interdependence in Organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Watson, G. and Reissner, S.C. (2010) Developing Skills for Business Leadership. London: CIPD.

Werner, S., Schuler, R.S and Jackson, S. E. (2012). Human Resource Management International Edition (11th edition). Cincinnati: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Williams, S., Adam-Smith, D. (2010). Contemporary Employment Relations: A Critical Introduction. Oxford: OUP

Vance, C. and Paik, Y. (2011). Managing a Global Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities in International Human Resource Management. New York: ME Sharpe.

Varma, A. and Budhwar, P.S. (2014). Managing Human Resources in Asia-Pacific. Abingdon: Routledge.