Business and management studies

Work, Employment and Human Resource Management in Context

Module code: 782N1
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module introduces you to the core issues HR managers deal with as part of the larger social, economic, cultural and political contexts of the modern world of work and employment.

You will pay close attention to both the socio-historical development of dominant forms of work organisation in capitalist economies and also the contextually embedded and variable nature of employment relationships.

You'll be shown how the HR function is affected by both internal and external factors across organisations large and small – profit-seeking, third sector, public sector and multinational.

You will examine internal and external factors, including:

  • understandings of HR
  • the practice of HR professionals
  • the transformation of dominant HR practices
  • the organisational position of the HR function
  • the nature and history of modern management paradigms
  • the dynamics of markets and pressures for competitiveness in markets
  • demographic, social and technological changes that transform work and labour markets
  • the flows induced by globalisation and their impact on the policies of national and transnational governance structures.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the socio-historical development of the managerial and business environment in which contemporary organisations exist and where HR professionals work, and the way organisational and HR strategies are informed by internal and external environmental factors under advanced capitalism.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness and systematic understanding of a range of forces that shape and impact HR strategies and practices including demographic, social and technological trends; the forces of globalisation; government policies and legal regulation, and the macro-trends in the organization of work and the employment relationship.
  • Critically evaluate the roles and activities of HR managers and other organisational leaders in the way they respond to changing economic, social, cultural, historical and political contexts, including market and competitive forces.