HR4052 - Managing People in Organisations (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Managing People in Organisations|
|Module level||Certificate (04)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2021/22||
This module provides an introduction to the management of people in organisations, or as it is commonly known ‘Human Resource Management’. It is aimed at students from a variety of disciplines, and not just those looking to pursue a career in HRM. Ultimately, the management of people is often the responsibility of line managers and supervisors so it is important that all graduates of Guildhall School of Business and Law are equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement this effectively in practice. This module will take a critical perspective, illuminating to students not only the ways ‘good’ people management can contribute to performance and employee well-being but also the potential problems implementing this in practice.
Prior learning requirements
Standard university requirements for Level 4 entry
● Introduction to the HRM: meanings and context (LO1)
● Recruitment methods (LO1)
● Selection methods (LO1 and 2)
● Equality, diversity and inclusion (LO1)
● Skills, training and development (LO1)
● Motivation and rewards (LO1)
● The psychological contract and employee engagement (LO1)
● Professional skills for people management: team-working, negotiation and coordination (LO1 and 2)
● Leadership style (LO1 and 2)
● International differences in organisations and management (LO1 and 2)
● Assignment advice: academic writing and referencing
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The formal delivery of this module will include three contact hours per week. The contact hours will include a two hour lecture, which sets out the basic principles around the meaning and nature of people management practices that organisations employ, plus a dedicated lecture on the professional skills that people managers need in practice. These lectures will be supplemented by a one-hour seminar, which are delivered at the course level, that allow for more close analysis of the issues in an interactive format. For example, seminars will draw on case studies, videos and scenario activities. We also aim to allow students the chance to prepare a mock interview schedule that is structured around an industry specific person specification – to make them aware of the need for a structured interview to ‘find the perfect employee’ but also the practical challenges around operationalising this. We hope that practicing this type of activity will ensure our students enter into the workforce as fully equipped people managers who are trained to manage effectively, and without unwittingly engaging in biased and unfair practices.
Importantly, this module serves a number of diverse courses and the aim of the seminar activity is to allow for flexibility in the specific issues covered. This means that industry specific aspects of people management practices could be focused on as part of seminar activity, allowing for flexibility in the design – and preparing students for the industrial context in which they will serve as future people managers. The assessment will be coordinated around this as such (see section 13).
Discussion and debate are activity discussed in both the classroom and via Weblearn. Students will be encouraged to reflect on how the themes discussed in the lectures and seminars applies to their own experience of people management in practice. This will be particularly useful in the seminar sessions where students will have the opportunity to reflect on how the broader issues around people management discussed in the lecture, translate at an industry level respective to their course.
Students have a responsibility to prepare for forthcoming lectures to ensure they fully understand the concepts and issues being discussed, and so they can participate fully in debates and discussions. The course team will identify suggested readings (book chapters) to set the background for the lecture material. There may also be specific readings for the seminar (case studies, journal articles etc.) which students may also have to prepare for. These will be made available in the module specification online via weblearn.
Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students are given the opportunity to consider their approach to tasks and discussions whilst simultaneously having the opportunity to reflect upon informal feedback that may be given from lecturers on ideas and concepts spoken of in class and, on assessments submitted.
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
1. To understand and evaluate the meaning and nature of a range of relevant people management practices that organisations can implement to effectively manage the workforce.
2. To develop knowledge and skills to function as an effective people manager
Whilst the fundamental aim of the module is to equip students with a basic understanding of the core issues around the management of people such as recruitment and selection, motivation and reward or leadership and engagement, it also aims to develop some of their professional skills as effective people managers in practice (subsequent points). It will introduce students to issues around cross-cultural differences in global and multinational companies (the reality of the current professional context), under the premise that ‘knowledge is power’ and that a better understanding of how these differences may materialise will better enable students to adapt to these in practice. It will similarly examine theoretical issues around leadership and team working and ask students to reflect on their own ‘style’ including strengths and weakness, and therefore illuminate the areas they need to develop on (i.e. as part of their undergraduate studies).
The module will take a critical perspective in that students will be encouraged to consider the implications of people management decisions on the experience and well-being of their workforce (particularly issues around equality, diversity and inclusion), and students are encouraged to reflect on the social effects of their decisions in this specific arena.
Seminars will use a mixture of case studies and scenarios to ensure students have sufficient opportunity to apply their knowledge in solving real people-related issues, thus helping develop their analytical and creative thinking skills. For example, students may be asked to prepare a structured interview around an industry relevant person specification, with the objective of finding the ‘perfect candidate’. These types of activities are designed to ensure students have the opportunity to ‘try out’ the theories discussed in the classroom in applying them to real life problems in practice.
There will be one formative assessment where students can receive feedback on their work. For example, an exercise where students design a structured selection process, relevant to their respective course and potential future sector of employment.
There is one summative assessment for this module. This will be an individual workbook containing weekly exercises for completion by the student and will be focused on materials covered in the seminar (to allow for course specific people management issues to be examined where appropriate).
This will not only test students understanding of the issues in people management, allowing for difference at industry level (LO1) but will also ask students to reflect on the professional ‘people management’ skills they have developed on the module (LO2). For example, reflective of their leadership and team working style, or how ‘difficult’ it is to construct a structured interview to select the ‘perfect employee’.
The workbook is based on seminar activities so students will receive formative feedback on their ideas from teaching staff in class on a weekly basis – so attendance is paramount to get the most out of this module. Seminar leaders will offer support for academic writing and referencing and there will be the opportunity for formative feedback on the assignment.
1. Huczynski, A., Buchanan, D.A. and Huczynski, A.A., 2013. Organizational behaviour (p. 82). London: Pearson.
2. Redman, T., Wilkinson, A., and Dundon, T. 2016. Contemporary human resource management: Text and cases. Pearson Education.
Edwards, M.R. and Bach, S., 2012. Human Resource Management in Transition. Managing Human Resources: Human Resource Management in Transition, pp.1-17.
Harzing, A.W. and Pinnington, A. eds., 2010. International human resource management. Sage.
Healy, G., Kirton, G. and Noon, M., 2010. Inequalities, intersectionality and equality and diversity initiatives. Equality, Inequalities and Diversity. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp.1-17.
Kirton, G. and Greene, A.M., 2015. The dynamics of managing diversity: A critical approach. Routledge.
Marchington, M., Kynighou, A., Wilkinson, A. and Donnelly, R., 2016. Human resource management at work. Kogan Page Publishers.
Taylor, S., 2018. Resourcing and talent management. Kogan Page Publishers.
Wilton, N., 2016. An introduction to human resource management. Sage.
British Journal of Industrial Relations
Human Resource Management Journal
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Work Employment and Society
Online resources and websites
Work and Employment Relations Survey