It is now commonplace to claim that employees are a key resource in the search for improved organisational performance. The objective of this taught course is to provide an understanding of contemporary theoretical and analytical issues in the management of human resources and the role this may have in organisational success. The aim of this MSc is to provide a critical theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding of human resource management. Graduates as prospective entrants to HRM roles, as 'thinking performers', should be able to address performance and delivery of sound personnel/HR practice and services. The course provides opportunity to evaluate theoretical frameworks relevant to the study and practice of human resource management under conditions of change. Students will examine a range of HRM approaches, techniques and methodologies, and manage their personal development, in terms of transferable intellectual and employability skills, as appropriate for continuing learning in a professionally related career. The course is designed for those who wish to become human resource practitioners in academic, consultancy or commercial settings. Practitioners seeking a more in-depth Master's qualification in human resource management, rather than an MBA, will find the course of interest.
Theory and Practice in Management
Main topics of study include: introduction of management; overview of management thoughts; modern management environment; modern management challenge (1): globalisation, big business and the impact; modern management challenge (2): corporate social responsibility; planning and decision making; strategic management: industrial analysis approach and resource based view; managing organizations; managing human resources; leadership; managing knowledge and innovation.
Human Resource Management: Contexts, Concepts and Policy
Main topics of study include: HRM/HRD contexts and imperatives; the changing nature of work and employment; HRM/HRD influence on organisational strategy and change; the claims and substance of HRM theory; the role of the personnel specialist and the CIPD; employee contracts; personnel information systems, recruitment and selection; performance review and staff appraisal; remuneration policy and practice, motivation and satisfaction; grievance and disciplinary handling. HRM and organisation culture/development, training and development strategies. Staffing costs, HRM service delivery (quality evaluation) and outsourcing including use of IT. Overview of HRM and ethics, professionalism, equal opportunities.
Knowledge, Innovation and Learning
Main topics of study include: the module will explore learning at the individual, organisational, and societal levels. It will consider issues relating to the management of learning processes, including developments such as the learning organisation, knowledge management, and communities of practice. Following from this, the module will explain some of the basic ideas associated with innovation theory; technological strategy; intra-firm knowledge flows; and the development of networks for the transfer of knowledge. As part of this discussion, the course will reflect upon relatively new developments in the field, including knowledge transfer both in the global and regional economy; disruptive innovation; and the role of epistemic communities.
Understanding Business and Management Research
Main topics of study include: the notion of research and the issue of knowledge claims; the role of theory in management and business domain; epistemology and ontology assumptions in positivism and social relativism/constructivism; empiricism; research methods and techniques; research designs (i.e. experimental, longitudinal, case studies, comparative); application of qualitative and quantitative methods to management problems; using extant information and data sets to model complex management problems; the potential and limitations of case study research and survey research methods; planning a research project (writing a research proposal; the role of literature review and secondary research); practical considerations for a research epistemology, method, techniques and execution; criticality and ethical issues, trusting the knowledge claims of others.
International and Comparative Human Resource Management
Main topics of study include: international business and management HR issues; the elements of an international human resources strategy and implementation in local contexts and cultures; cross-cultural and multi-cultural issues arising from HRM in the UK; international versus domestic HRM; Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-American approaches, Japanese perspectives and influences; managing HRM in Europe - commonalities and differences, the EU and its influence on HRM; managing people in China/Southern Africa/India; Multi-national projects and teams; managing HRM across borders: recruitment issues and methods, employee development and the 'international manager'; supporting international/ multicultural teams at staff, project and board levels; payment systems, benefits and expatriate rewards; trends and comparisons in employment law systems; employee communications and involvement; information system support for international HRM; managing the pressures of an international job.
A research-based dissertation is an integral element of the programme to which considerable importance is attached. You are required to base your dissertation on empirical research into a human resources/employment relations problem or issue of your choice (subject to approval).
Dissertations are supervised by full time members of the academic staff of the School who have a wide range of research interests and expertise in the areas of human resource management, employment relations and organisational behaviour and change. The dissertation must be submitted by the end of the academic year during which you complete all of the taught modules of the course.
International Business Ethics, Sustainability and Corporate Governance
Main topics of study include: the relationship between business and society; foundations of ethical theory; cross-cultural ethics; Theories and concepts of sustainable development; corporate social responsibility; corporate governance; corporate reporting and accountability; sustainable production and extended producer responsibility; employees and ethics; consumer ethics; supply chain ethics; ethical and sustainable consumption; business and environmental justice; business responses to climate change; role and actions of the non-profit sector; role and actions of government.
Strategic Analysis and Management
Main topics of study include: perspectives on and key debates in strategyand strategic management; global, market and industry sector environments; competitor analysis; value adding and value chains; assets, resources, technologies, skills and distinctive competences; governance and stakeholder analysis; the balanced scorecard approach to objective setting; strategies for creating sustainable advantage; option generation and evaluation; the importance of strategy implementation and associated conceptual frameworks such as 7S; shareholder value creation; growth logics (internal development, mergers and acquisitions, alliances and networks formation; portfolios and parenting.
Taught modules are normally assessed either entirely by coursework or by a combination of coursework and formal examination.