Strategic Human Resource Management

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Strategic Human Resource Management

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Human Resources, Management

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This is an advanced module in Strategic Human Resource Management, which examines how companies manage people at work, and appraises the relationships between strategy, HRM and performance.

    Decisions and choices in human resource management (HRM) have to take into account the priorities and objectives of the organisation, while also accommodating the needs and expectations of its employees. This module explores the tensions and dilemmas associated with trying to balance these two perspectives. It focuses on HRM options and choices that are ?strategic? because they involve thinking about how to respond to commercial imperatives, growth opportunities and business change. Students are expected to be able to understand links between the business models adopted by a firm, and the associated HR choices and activities.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    1. To critically evaluate approaches to the strategic management of people in organisations
    2. To explain how HRM can contribute to improvement of organisational performance
    3. To explain the objectives and nature of specific areas of strategic HRM practices
    4. To critically evaluate the tensions and dilemmas associated with strategic HRM
    Additional outcomes:
    The module content should help students navigate the graduate labour market in the UK, and by understanding more fully what future employers are likely to expect of them during the recruitment process, they should be better prepared as they enter the professional workplace. Students are encouraged to develop and apply creative as well as critical thinking.

    Outline content:
    1. Introduction to strategic HRM
    2. SHRM approaches: strategic-fit
    3. SHRM approach: HR advantage
    4. SHRM practices: e.g. strategic staffing, strategic talent management, strategic performance management, strategic rewards
    5. Designing HRM systems and architecture
    6. Implementing HRM and performance impact

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The material will be covered through a combination of lectures, case studies and tutorials. A strong emphasis will be placed on student participation and on activities and discussions in classroom. In case studies during lectures, companies? approach to HRM will be presented and discussed to provide an opportunity to learn from real examples. In tutorials students will work in small groups through activities designed to increase their understanding of the core topics, including learning by doing and using creative problem-solving techniques.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 20
    Tutorials 4
    Guided independent study 126
    Total hours by term 150

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam 70
    Written assignment including essay 30

    Other information on summative assessment:
    One piece of written work of 2,300-2,700 words. Students will be required to make recommendations about a firm's approach to managing its human resources with reference to the academic literature.

    Relative percentage of coursework:
    Coursework has a weight of 30% in the final assessment mark. Penalties for late submission of coursework will be in line with University policy.

    One 2-hour unseen written paper with a weight of 70% in the overall assessment of the module

    Feedback on group work:
    Students as a group will be required to present their discussion outcomes in tutorials and feedback on the presentations will be given to improve the performance of coursework.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By written examination only. Re-examination for Finals takes place in September of the same year.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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