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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Human Resource Management 2 (BUST08027)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 real-life organisations and HR policy and practice.
Course description 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 the EU and multinationals) on organisations 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; and equality and diversity.


Introduction: The Economic & Labour Market Context

Key Stakeholders 1: Management
- Best practice/high commitment approach to HRM
- Best fit/Resource based view of HRM
Key Stakeholders 2: Trade Unions
- Trade unions & collective bargaining
Key Stakeholders 3: The State
- A feature of employment law: National Minimum Wage
Key Stakeholders 4: Global Actors
- European Work Councils - Information & Consultation with Employees
- Multinationals & HRM

- Recruitment and selection
- HRM & Employer branding
- Remuneration systems
- Equality & diversity
- Work-life balance
- Training & development
- Workplace discipline, grievance and dismissal
- Employee involvement & engagement
- Managing Careers
- Managing Conflict

Student Learning Experience

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 Studies, 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 group discussion. Topics are allocated in advance to allow adequate preparation, and include predominantly focus on organisational 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035) AND The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08036)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 1 introductory level Business Studies course at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Individual essay 30%

The degree examination will contribute 70% of the overall marks. The degree examination will be composed of a choice of four questions, from which you will be required to answer TWO.
Feedback Generic feedback on your coursework, together with individual marks, will be available on Learn on DATE (to be confirmed). You will also be able to review your individual feedback electronically via Grademark on Learn from SAME DATE.

Your examination marks will be posted on Learn (together with generic feedback and examination statistics) as soon as possible after the Boards of Examiners' meeting (normally early-mid June). During the summer months (i.e. mid/end June-end August), you may come into the UG Office (Room 1.11, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place) to look at your examination scripts. Non-Honours students are permitted to take examination scripts away with them from the UG Office

Continuing students will also be given the opportunity to review their examination scripts early in the new academic year in Semester 1 (i.e. in October).
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain how wider institutional frameworks shape the nature of HRM at the organisational level.
  2. Critically discuss current managerial and public policy approaches towards key employment matters.
  3. Understand and discuss the changing context in which HRM takes place, highlighting the factors external and internal to the organisation that shape HRM.
  4. Understand and discuss how different aspects of HRM are put into practice within organisations both in the UK and at an international level.
  5. Critically assess the interrelationship between HR practices and workers at an individual and collective level.
Reading List
Reading is an essential part of the course and students who rely solely on lecture material are unlikely to perform adequately.

For ease of access and reliance on up-to-date materials the course highlights a lot of electronic sources (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.

There are multiple copies of both books in the Main Library and both are available for purchase at Blackwell's.

However, much of the course is specifically built around current periodicals, given the fast-changing nature of this field of study. The following journals are especially recommended:

Human Resource Management Journal.
British Journal of Industrial Relations (BJIR).

Other journals that contain much of relevance to the course include: Employee Relations, Journal of Management Studies, People Management (formerly Personnel Management), Personnel Review, Work, Employment and Society, International Journal of HRM and New Technology, Work and Employment.

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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 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.
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures will take place in Semester 2.

Tutorials take place weekly from Weeks 3 to 10 inclusive in Semester 2 (apart from Flex Week, Week commencing the 15th February 2021, Creative Learning Week).
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Debora Gottardello
Course secretaryMiss Anne Cunningham
Tel: (0131 6)50 3827
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