HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
This course examines the significance of human resource management (HRM) in organisations and employment. It explores the links between product market strategies and their `fit` with HR strategies, the role of HR planning in workforce management, and HR polices such as employee participation and involvement, including the role of trade unions in employment relationships. It examines the regulation of labour markets, employment discrimination and conflict and resistance at work, before turning to specific HR practices such as recruitment and selection, training and development and pay and performance management. Controversial issues such as illegal working, aesthetic labour and corporate social responsibility are also included. While the course will focus principally on the UK (insofar as practices are necessarily grounded in national cultures and institutions), it will draw on the experience of other countries as appropriate, and analyse the role of the European Union and global industrial relations frameworks to position HRM properly in its international context.
AIMS OF THE COURSE
The aim of the course overall is to provide students with a critical understanding of theory, policy and practice in the field of HRM. Students are expected to gain a broad appreciation of the major themes and debates in the field. While the main emphasis is on the nature of HRM policies and practices in organisations, the course also explores the contextual labour market and political factors that shape HRM policy choices. The objective is to give students an understanding of the main concepts and models that underpin HRM, as well as a critical assessment of the relationship between theory and practice in HRM in contemporary workplaces.
LEARNING OUTCOMES – INTELLECTUAL
On completion of the course you should be able to:
- understand the implications of changes in the labour market, organisational structures and political regulation for HRM policy choices
- demonstrate a detailed understanding of the major analytical concepts and models in HRM, including notions of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ HRM; normative models of HRM; strategy and ‘fit’ in HRM
- distinguish trends in employee management in a range of workplaces, including unionised, non-union, manufacturing and services sectors
- explain the rationale for a range of specific HRM policies and practices, such as recruitment and selection, appraisal and rewards, and diversity management
- assess the problems associated with the design and implementation of HRM policies and practices, as well as their impact on employees
LEARNING OUTCOMES – GENERIC SKILLS
- develop written work which relies upon theory and evidence
- offer a reasoned and critical argument in seminars
- participate in class discussion and debates
- employ both quantitative and qualitative evidence in an argument