Human Resources Management (HRM)

| December 19, 2015

Core reading for teaching block 1:

Truss, C., Mankin, D. and Kelliher, C. (2012) Strategic Human Resource Management, Oxford, Oxford University Press. (A broad text,

accessible and with plenty of examples. Has a mainly managerialist orientation.)

Other recommended texts particularly relevant to teaching block 1:

Bemberger, P., Biron, M. and Meshoulam, I. (2014) Human Resource Strategy: Formulation, Implementation and Impact, Abingdon, Routledge.

Boxall, P. and Purcell. J. (2011)Strategy and Human Resource Management, 3rd ed., Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.(Probably the most

useful single book on strategy as applied to HRM.)

De Wit, R. and Meyer, R.(2010)Strategy Process, Content, Context: An International Perspective, 4th ed., London, Thomson.

Farnham, D.(2015) Human Resource Management in Context: Strategy, Insights and Solutions, 4th ed., London, CIPD. (Comprehensive and useful

text by expert writer. Aimed at postgraduate CIPD students, but suitable for final year undergraduates. Useful for assignment 1 in

particular, and now in a new edition.)

Hall, D., Pilbeam, S. and Corbridge, M. (2013) Contemporary Themes in Strategic People Management: A Case-based Approach, Basingstoke,

Palgrave.

Journals

The following journals are among the most directly relevant to this unit. Some or all issues are available electronically, unless it is

specifically stated below that a particular journal can only be consulted in hard copy on the first floor of the University Library. Check

the library catalogue and e-journal listings for available formats and locations.

British Journal of Industrial Relations
Economic and Industrial Democracy
European Journal of Industrial Relations
Human Relations
Human Resource Management Journal
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Journal of International Business
People Management
Transfer (journal of the European Trade Union Institute; mixture of hard copy and electronic access).
Work, Employment and Society

Internet

Please see the relevant section on weblinks in the unit Moodle site for a large number of links. Here is a commentary on a few of the

useful sites for this unit.

XpertHR: http://www.xperthr.co.uk (Invaluable database of HR-related articles and features. Log into it through Shibboleth, using your

university log-in.)

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: http://www.cipd.co.uk (main UK organisation for human resource practitioners)

Eurofound: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/As well as being relevant in its own right, this is also the parent website for the European

Observatory of Working Life and the European Monitoring Centre on Change (particularly relevant to the sessions on change management).

International Labour Organisation: http://www.ilo.org

ETUI Labourline: http://labourline.org (a searchable database of references run by the European Trade Union Institute, accessible in

either English or French).

BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk (the BBC news website is generally useful for business and employment news).
Case study assignment (assessment for teaching block 1: 40% of total unit marks)

Read the Hartley Electronics Ltd case study that is reproduced as Appendix 1 at the end of this handbook. The case is Case Study 5.1 in

Farnham, D.(2015) Human Resource Management in Context: Strategy, Insights and Solutions, 4th ed., London, CIPD, pp. 199-200, from which

it has been reproduced by acknowledgement. For assignment 1, you are asked to take on the role of an external consultant and to write a

report to the chief executive that:

1) identifies the main human resource problems facing the companyand, more importantly,

2) provides a reasoned argument justifying whether the company should adopt a ‘best practice’, ‘best fit’ or resource-based view of

the firm model of HR strategy to achieve a long-term solution to these HR problems.

A few cautionary notes: things to avoid for this assignment

You are not being asked to do the five tasks that follow the printed case study on pp. 200-201 in the Farnham book. Please address the two

tasks given above for this assignment.

Both for our purposes, as well as for the original case study from which the above is drawn, Hartley Electronics Ltd is intended to be a

fictional case study and the scenario given is also fictional. Any similarity with any real company of the same, or a similar name is

entirely unintentional. Don’t incorporate any additional information that refers to any such company.

Assessment criteria

Assignment 1 is intended to assess learning outcomes 2-7 inclusive. The assessment will be assessed generally in line with the generic

university grading criteria for FHEQ level 6 work, which are reproduced for reference later in this unit handbook.

Specific assessment criteria include the following.

• Your report shoulddemonstrate critical awareness of the three theoretical perspectives outlined above from relevant literature and

how the perspectives can be applied to the case study.

Further information. In the second part of your answer you should concentrate mainly on one preferred approach out of the three

perspectives. However, you should initially justify why you are focusing on your chosen approach in preference to the other possible

perspectives and indicate why you think this approach is more applicable to the case than the other two. After identifying what you think

are the main HR problems (and why), provide a brief critical review of the potential advantages and disadvantages of each approach in

relation to the case, provide a justification for choosing one approach. Then apply the approach to the case study, critically assessing

how it may contribute to providing a long-term resolution to the HR problems you identify.

In identifying what you consider to be the main HR problems in the first part of the task, it is preferable to discuss relatively few

problems in greater depth than to discuss lots of HR issues superficially.

• Your report should be no longer than 1,500 words max. (excluding footnotes and reference list) and include an accurate, actual

word count.

• Your report should conclude with a recommendation justifying a particular course of action, which should follow logically from

your preceding argument.

Further information. Remember that the assignment is essentially a report and should be written in report rather than essay format. For

further general guidance see ASKHandout WA12a: Reports and essays – key differences, available from:
http://www.port.ac.uk/departments/studentsupport/ask/handouts/. (You do not, however, need to go to extremes of numbering paragraphs and

sub-paragraphs, and please try to avoid using bullet point lists.)

University generic grading criteria for FHEQ level 6 final year undergraduate work

80+
As below plus:
 Outstanding work – contains accurate, relevant material, demonstrates understanding of complex subject matter & is able to view it

in a wider context. Shows originality & confidence in analysing and criticising assumptions, is aware of the limits of knowledge. Likely

to add new insights to the topic & approaches the quality of published material
 Evidence of extensive research, uses & presents references effectively
Outstanding quality in terms of organisation, structure, use & flow of language, grammar, spelling, format, presentation,

diagrams, tables etc

70-79
As below plus:
 Outstanding work – contains accurate, relevant material, demonstrates understanding of complex subject matter & is able to view it

in a wider context. Shows originality & confidence in analysing and criticising assumptions, is aware of the limits of knowledge
 Evidence of extensive research, uses & presents references effectively
Excellent in terms of organisation, structure, use & flow of language, grammar, spelling, format, presentation, diagrams, tables

etc

60-69
As below plus:
 Very good work – contains most of the information required, is accurate & relevant & demonstrates understanding of the subject

matter & attempts to view it in a wider context. Shows some originality of thought with good critique & analysis assumptions, is aware of

the limits of knowledge
 Well researched, good use & presentation of references
Very good in terms of organisation, structure, use & flow of language, grammar, spelling, format, presentation, diagrams, tables

etc

50-59
As below plus:
 Work that attempts to address the topic with some understanding & analysis, key aspects of the subject matter covered
 Research extends to primary sources. Appropriately cited and presented references
 Satisfactory presentation with respect to presentation, organisation, language, grammar, spelling, format, presentation, diagrams,

tables etc
The majority of students might normally be expected to fall within this range.

40-49
 Adequate work which attempts to address the topic with limited understanding & analysis
 Some research using texts, Internet & key reference sources with reference citation and presentation according to convention
An attempt to follow directions regarding organisation, structure, use & flow of language, grammar, spelling, format, diagrams, tables etc

30-39
FAIL Anything which is inadequate in most or all of the following: length, content, structure, analysis, expression, argument, relevance,

research and presentation. Work in this range attempts to address the question/problem but is substantially incomplete and deficient.

Serious problems with a number of aspects of language use are often found in work in this range

<29
FAIL No serious attempt to address the question or problem, and/or manifests a serious misunderstanding of the requirements of the

assignment. Acutely deficient in all aspects.

Category: Essay

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