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Strategic HRM/HUMAN RESOURCE STRATEGY Module/Module description and scheme of work (2015)

Module Aims:

1 To identify the range and distinctive characteristics of HRM techniques available to organisations.

2 To critically evaluate current practice.

3 To assess the implications of social, economic, technological and political change on people management.

4 To analyse the strategic role of HRM in operational activities.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Critically evaluate the conceptual framework contributing to the HRM perspective.

2. Understand how to shape the HR strategy of an organisation in support of its business strategy.

Indicative content:

1 The context of HRM: social, demographic, technological, economic and political factors. International influences.
2 The theoretical and philosophical foundations of HRM. The roles of the line manager, the HR manager and outsourcing.
3 HR strategy and planning
4 Managing employee performance and development
5 Employee relations.
6 Reward theory in practice.
Reading List
Beardwell J and Claydon T, (2010) Human Resource Management, 6th Edn, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow

Torrington D., Hall L. and Taylor S., (2011) Human Resource Management, 8th Edn, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow

Marchington M. and Wilkinson A., (2012) Human Resource Management at Work, 5th Edn, CIPD, London

Boxall P., and Purcell J. (2011) Strategy and HRM, 3rd Edn, Palgrave, London
Mullins L., and Christy G., (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 10th Edn, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow


People Management
Useful websites


A written assignment of 3000 words in the form of an informal report. A full briefing will be given.

Employment Skills:

C1, C2, IT1, IT2 and PS1
Assignment title:
Employability skills assessed: C1, C2, IT1, IT2, PS1

Learning outcomes assessed: 1. Critically evaluate the conceptual framework contributing to the HRM perspective.
2. Understand how to shape the HR strategy of an organisation in support of its business strategy.

Assignment brief:
“Implementation of HR strategy has been weak, yet the ability to turn strategy into action quickly is among the qualities of the most successful organisations….”
Torrington et al (2009 p249)
There has been much debate in both Academic and HR Professional Journals questioning the linkage between HR Strategy and Organisational Strategy, and raising the basic question as to whether HR has, or should have, a strategic role in Organisations.
Your task is to write a report which analyses, in both practical and theoretical terms, the relationship between an organisation’s HR Strategy and its Organisational Strategy. In undertaking this analysis you should illustrate your arguments using examples of HR practices taken from the topics we are covering during the module.

Suggested starting points for reading:
Amstrong, M. and Taylor, S. (2014) Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 13th edition. London: Kogan Page.
Beardwell J and Claydon T, (2010) Human Resource Management : A Contemporary Approach, 6th Edn, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow
Farnham, D. (2010) Human Resource Management in Context. 3rd edition. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. London
Marchington, M and Wilkinson A. (2012), Human Resource Management at Work – People Management and Development. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. London

Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S., and Atkinson, C. (2014), Human Resource Management, 9th edition, Pearson, London

Journal Articles

Martell, K. and Carroll, S.J. How Strategic is HRM? Human Resource Management, 1995, Volume 34, Issue 2

Sareen, P. and Subramanian, K. E-HRM: A Strategic Review.International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 3

Sheehan, C. A model for HRM strategic integration. Personnel Review, 2005, Volume 34, Issue 2

Thompson P. The trouble with HRM, HRM Journal Vol. 21. no 4, 2011, pp355-367

People Management Magazine – ‘back’ copies available in the UCS Library

Assessment Criteria:
Level 6 (Level 4 & 5 plus the following) 1st 2:1 2:2 3rd
6a) In-depth critical analysis and evaluation of subject material. High level consistently and accurately applied. Good level appropriately applied throughout. Some evidence of skills regularly applied. Skills occasionally applied.
6b) Thorough understanding and application of theory to practice. Highly developed integrated, clearly articulated and reasoned links made. Consistent, accurate and logical links made. Definite, regular and logical links between theory and practice. Occasional appropriate links between theory and practice.
6c) Originality and independence of thought and approach Consistently evident. Good evidence. Some evidence. Very occasional evidence.

Specific Assessment Criteria:
1 Critical analysis and evaluation of the concept of HR Strategy,
and how it links to organisational strategy.
2 Evaluation to be undertaken in the context of a range of models of Strategic HR.
3 Demonstrate understanding of how the implementation of a range of HR
Practices can contribute to HR’s strategic role.
4 Analysis to be supported by full academic referencing (UCS Harvard)



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