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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.

Outline Content

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 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035) AND The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08036)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Organisational Behaviour 2 (BUST08028)
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 2024/25, 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 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 60% Collaborative portfolio (Group) - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
40% Self assessed guided report (Individual) - 4,000 words - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessments within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
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

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality.

Understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Act with integrity, honesty and trust in all business stakeholder relationships, and apply ethical reasoning to effective decision making, problem solving and change management.

Understand oneself and others, through critical reflection, diversity awareness and empathic development, in order to maximise individual and collective resilience, and personal and professional potential.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.

Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures and tutorials will take place in Semester 2.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Debora Gottardello
Course secretaryMiss Quinny Jiang
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