ASB 3101 Human Resource Management - Answer

Throughout the module, you will be exposed to various activities associated with HRM, such as recruitment and selection, training and development, dealing with work-place relationships etc. Think about how HRM relates to you: have you applied for a graduate job; have you been an employee; how have you been paid at work; how have you dealt with work-related conflict, perhaps during group-based assignments at university? These are all potential areas for you to reflect on. You are required to write a reflective essay that

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ASB 3101 Human Resource Management: Assignment Guidelines:

Individual Assignment: Reflective Essay (60%)

 

The reflective essay will take the form of individual reflection upon some aspect of your personal experience of human resource management.

 

(a) makes use of relevant theory to provide a detailed analysis of one aspect of your personal experience of HRM and

(b) considers the implications of your analysis for the effective management of human resources within organisations.

 

In practice, this means answering four simple questions (these may even be the headings you use in your individual assignment!):

 

  1. What happened to me eg during a job interview, training session, appraisal meeting, or during group work? Give brief details of the context.
  2. What worked well/not so well? Why might this have happened? What did I learn? What would I do differently next time?
  3. What theories of HRM can explain what happened?
  4. What could line managers and/or Human Resource professionals do to ensure things (continue to) work well in future and/or prevent such problems?

 

For example, your reflective essay may address one of the following topics:

 

1.    Job interviews, assessment centres

2.    Induction to a new organisation

3.    A training and development session, e-learning package

4.    A performance review with your supervisor/line manager

5.    A grievance with a colleague

6.    Being selected for a talent development programme

7.    Conflict within your group (at university or work organisation)

  1. Cross-generational working
  2. Issues surrounding group leadership/management (or a lack thereof!)
  3. The impact of culture on group work

 

You need not be constrained by this list and should focus on an HRM topic that you are interested in researching (and writing about) in detail.

A high quality reflective essay will involve:

·         Meeting the terms of reference (objectives a and b) by answering the four questions presented above

·         Excellent presentation and layout (style and structure)

·         The ability to undertake constructive/honest self-reflection (openness, clarity and realism of reflective critique)

·         The ability to analyse and provide explanations, linking to relevant literature

·         An overall grasp and understanding of the HRM activities involved

 

Assignment guidelines:

  • This essay should be word-processed 
  • Its length should be around 3000 words (10% allowance, and excluding references and appendices)
  • The essay must be properly structured, including an introduction, main body with appropriate sub-headings, conclusion and reference list.
  • It must include correct and appropriate referencing, including Tables/Figures
  • Requests for extensions will ONLY be granted due to SERIOUS personal mitigating circumstances, supported by appropriate evidence (eg medical certificate)

 

 Marking Scheme for individual essay (assessment criteria)

A ‘first class’ performance will include …           A ‘failed’ performance will include…

 

INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY

 

Clear objectives for the essay

 

No objectives or agenda stated

Appropriate structure and focus

 

Messy, fragmented structure, lacks focus

Addresses all aspects of assignment brief

 

Fails to address all aspects of assignment

Excellent presentation, free from errors

 

Poor presentation, spelling/typing mistakes

Correct referencing throughout

 

Inadequate/incorrect referencing in text and list of references

Appropriate review of relevant literature

 

Superficial, descriptive & limited literature review

Presents ‘new’ material

 

Merely re-presents lecture notes

Excellent personal content eg thoughtful, critical, well researched, & referenced

 

Poor personal content eg no critical reflection, research, inadequate /incorrect referencing,

Demonstrates clear grasp of personal action and how this relates to HRM

 

Demonstrates little understanding of personal action and relation to HRM

Uses real examples from experience, to relate theory to practice

 

Makes no attempt to use any examples or draw on experience


Group assignment: Team Presentation (40%)

 

The module assignment will take the form of a team presentation. Based upon the module content, and your own reading and research, produce an audit critically evaluating graduate HR strategies, policies and practices in the organisation of your choice.   

 

For this assignment, you will need to:

 

  • Select a suitable organisation – one that recruits graduates and from which you can access relevant HRM information (for example, one you have worked for, had an internship in, belongs to your family/friend, or one you have been able to find detailed information about on the internet).
  • Briefly identify the organisation’s business strategy
  • Analyse the organisation’s approach to its graduate workforce, critically analysing its HR policies/practices as they relate to the four key areas of HRM (where possible!) and the concepts of vertical and horizontal integration
  • Based on your analysis, identify any areas that could be improved and provide recommendations
  • Make a 10-minute PRESENTATION (Powerpoint, poster or video) for the student conference, with two or more team members presenting.

 

You have been allocated into tutorial groups fitting your timetable (see your Personal Timetable on the intranet).  There will be 3 tutorials, which are compulsory. The tutorial in week 3 will be used to discuss the individual assignment and introduce the group activity. By week 6, you should have created your own assignment team or, if you wish, have been assigned to a group by the module leader. The tutorials will be used to monitor team performance and progress (see below) and will provide a forum in which teams can seek support from the module leader. For this assignment, you will need to:

  • BY WEEK 3 – start thinking about some ideas for the group activity and how you would like to join a team (eg self select or be allocated)
  • BY WEEK 6 – organise yourselves into teams of 5-6 students, providing names and Bangor email addresses; discuss and agree selected organisation with module leader. Details of meetings/discussions should be recorded in written notes in case of later disputes and brought to tutorials!
  • BY WEEK 9 – present progress on your team activity and produce a DRAFT presentation.

 

A high quality team assignment will involve:

  • Meeting the terms of reference
  • Excellent presentation and layout (style and structure) of both elements
  • The ability to work effectively in a group/team to research an organisation and its HR policies
  • The ability to analyse and provide explanations, linking to relevant literature
  • Demonstrating an overall grasp and understanding of the HRM literature

 

Assignment Guidelines

  • The activity will be presented during a student conference in Weeks 11 and 12 lectures (Tuesday 6th and 13th December). Due to the nature of Self and Peer Assessment, all students must attend both conference sessions.
  • Throughout weeks 6 – 9 each team is required to meet in a physical or virtual space at least once each week to determine individual and group objectives and discuss progress on any previously agreed activities.
  • These meetings must be documented using the form provided (see page 5), or something similar. Each team will submit these forms to update the module leader on their progress during weeks 6 and 9.

 

As this module will involve working in assignment teams/groups:

·         Team composition may be organised by students or the module leader (recruitment & selection!).

·         Selection of activity and allocation of tasks will be organised by students (motivation and job design!).

·         The assignment requires the oral presentation of your activity and accompanying materials, such as a poster, Powerpoint slides, and/or handouts. It is up to you to decide task allocation taking into account individual strengths and weaknesses (opportunities for development?)

·         One team member should assume leadership and responsibility for submitting the minutes of weekly meetings (management/leadership!)

·         One team member should assume leadership and responsibility for submitting a file of the presentation (slides, poster etc) on TurnItIn by 4.00pm on 5th December, BEFORE the conference.

·         The presentation will be (partially) marked through Self and Peer Assessment (SAPA) and guidelines will be provided during tutorials (performance appraisal).

·         The module leader will provide one overall (aggregated) mark for the presentation which, in the absence of any documented evidence to proceed otherwise, will be awarded to all team members (group reward!). The purpose is to encourage and develop interdependence and this will be marked favourably.  However, if students wish to have their work marked individually, this should be clearly stated at the beginning of the presentation, with student names against each section.  This will result in a lower ‘group’ mark.

  • Students must organise and manage the allocation of work amongst team members to ensure each member contributes to the achievement of the final mark (motivation & reward!). 
  • Students are required to manage the performance of team members, taking appropriate action if individuals do not contribute appropriately (communication, power, and conflict resolution).
  • However, where such efforts are unsuccessful and the actions (or non-actions) of team members have or are likely to seriously impair the performance of the group the matter should be referred to the module leader.The matter will then be investigated and appropriate action will be taken. Students who are found to have not participated actively within their groups will receive a mark commensurate with their individual effort (potentially zero!).

 

 

Marking Scheme for team assignment (assessment criteria)

 

A ‘first class’ performance will include …           A ‘failed’ performance will include…

GROUP PRESENTATION

Clear objectives

 

No objectives stated

Appropriate structure and focus

 

Messy, fragmented structure, lacks focus

Addresses all aspects of assignment brief

 

 

Fails to address all aspects of assignment

Excellent presentation, free from awkward pauses, errors

 

Poor presentation, awkward pauses, spelling/typing mistakes

Correct referencing throughout summary

 

Inadequate/incorrect referencing

Appropriate review of relevant HR literature

 

Superficial, descriptive & limited literature review

Presents ‘new’ material, complementing lectures

 

Merely re-presents lecture notes

Excellent empirical content eg thoughtful, critical, well researched, & referenced

 

Poor empirical content eg no critical reflection, research, inadequate /incorrect referencing,

Demonstrates clear grasp of HR

 

 

Demonstrates little understanding of HR

Uses real examples, or experience, to relate theory to practice

 

Makes no attempt to use any examples or draw on experience

Demonstrates the ability to work effectively as a team

 

The mere collection of individual sections, patched together

 

 

Example of a Weekly Meeting Form

 

Minutes for the ABC Team, ASB 3101, HRM module

Date:                                       Academic Week:

Location:  (Main Arts Group Work Room, Yahoo Messenger etc)

Attending: (A, B, C)

Apologies:

 

1.Introduction (purpose of meeting eg discuss and agree assignment organisation, allocate tasks etc)

 

2. Summary of activities to date (Progress on agreed activities? What has been achieved? Any difficulties? Actions to resolve these?)

 

3. Summary of discussion during meeting (future activities, targets etc)

 

3. Action points:

i)             A agreed to … by … Signed ...

ii)            B agreed to … by … Signed ...

iii)           C agreed to … by … Signed ...

 

4. Date and location of next meeting

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