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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Human Resource Management 2 (BUST08027)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the nature and meaning of human resource management (HRM) set against the backdrop of institutional frameworks, recent changes in the economy and the labour market as well as contemporary organisational strategies. It has both a UK and an international focus and it treats HRM as a blanket term to describe the employment relationship in any organisation rather than focusing on HRM as a particular style of management. The course draws heavily on research analysing contemporary developments in HRM and employment, and wherever possible we draw out implications for organisations and HR policy and practice.

The course focuses on a number of key themes to provide a critical flavour of the subject. We adopt a broadly critical approach by i) questioning whether HRM leads to beneficial outcomes for workers as well as for employers and society and ii) offering insight into the practical and conceptual significance of change processes currently affecting HRM in Britain and overseas.

HRM 2 is especially suited to those who want an introduction to HRM and employment issues and are taking it as part of a degree programme where an understanding of HRM is seen as an important complement to their specialist studies. As such, it is appropriate for students from a diverse range of backgrounds - offering a critical (and essential) overview of HRM for students working towards a business degree as well as offering an essential foundational perspective for students studying for the Business with HRM degree.

Following an overview of the economic and labour market context, the impact of key stakeholders (i.e. management, unions, the State, and global actors such as EU and multinationals) on organizations and HRM policy formulation and practice is examined in detail. The remainder of the course considers HRM in key practice areas such as recruitment and selection; training and development; performance management; remuneration; work-life balance; workplace discipline; career management, equality and diversity and so on.

There are also weekly tutorials where each student (or a small group of students depending on the size of the tutorial group) is allocated a topic to present as a basis for subsequent group discussion. Tutorial topics predominantly focus on organizational case studies in order to allow students to consider lecture material from the practitioner angle. However, other approaches such as Web-based projects and practical and literature-based exercises have also been incorporated to enhance students┐ learning experience through tutorial discussions. In addition, students are required to submit an essay from one of two essay titles, on key management topics and/or debates.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Foundations of Business (BUST08025) OR Introduction to Business (BUST08026) OR Business Studies 1 (BUST08001) OR ( Industrial Management 1 (BUST08002) AND Techniques of Management (MAEE08002))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesFoundations of Business OR Introduction to Business equivalent.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Degree examination 70%; individual essay (2,500 words maximum) 30%. The degree examination will be composed of a choice of six questions, from which you will be required to answer TWO.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge & Understanding

On completion of the course, students should:
(a) be able to explain how wider institutional frameworks shape the nature of HRM at the organisational level;
(b) be critically conversant with current managerial and public policy approaches towards key employment matters;
(c) appreciate the changing context in which HRM takes place, highlighting the factors external and internal to the organisation that shape HRM;
(d) have acquired insight into how different aspects of HRM are put into practice within organizations both in the UK and at an international level;
(e) be able to assess the interrelationship between HR practices and workers at an individual and collective level.

Cognitive Skills

On completion of the course, students should:
(a) be able to discern and comment critically upon the chief economic and ideological premises driving government and managerial approaches to HRM and employment relations within national, regional and international contexts;
(b) display in written work developing abilities to digest, synthesise and critically evaluate contrasting perspectives from the literature in reaching sustainable conclusions.

Key skills

On completion of tutorial, reading and essay work, students should:
(a) have acquired proficiency in presentational skills and the ability and confidence to argue, challenge or critically defend their case in a small group setting;
(b) have improved their reading and study skills and examination technique;
(c) have acquired appreciation of the value and limitations of the Web as a research tool.

Planned Student Learning Experiences

The formal lectures provide an overview of the essential features of the subject, together with guidance on the content of recommended reading and current sources of additional information. Given the contemporary nature of the subject, reliance is placed upon current periodicals as the chief source of reading material (a range of top quality titles such as Human Resource Management, Journal of Management, British Journal of Industrial Relations etc.) are recommended.

The weekly tutorial topics are detailed in the course booklet. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. At each meeting one student/a small group of students will be responsible for preparing and presenting the tutorial topic as a basis for subsequent discussion. Topics are allocated in advance to allow adequate preparation, and include a mix of learning approaches including case studies, web-based exercises and literature-based assessments.
Reading List
Reading List:

Given the contemporary nature of the subject, reliance is placed upon current periodicals as the chief source of reading material (a range of top quality titles such as Human Resource Management, Journal of Management, British Journal of Industrial Relations etc.) are recommended (journal articles are available through the university library website). Additionally, key textbooks can be referred to for many of the course topics:

Bach, S & Edwards, M.R. (eds.) (2013), Managing Human Resources (5th Edition), Chichester: Wiley Ltd.

Williams, S and Adam-Smith, D (2009), Contemporary Employment Relations: A Critical Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sara Chaudhry
Tel: (0131 6)51 5672
Course secretaryMr Paul Kydd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3824
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