Strategic Management of Work and Human Resources
University of Reading
Area of Study
Human Resources, Management
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits6
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units8
Hours & Credits
Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Module version for: 2016/7
Summary module description:
This module examines the main concepts, principles and contemporary practices that are part of the strategic management of work and people in organisations.
Modern organisations have developed and utilised a range of practices to manage work and people strategically. This module explores contemporary practices in managing work and human resources in organisations and critically examines key assumptions and principles underlying those practices. It focuses on individual practices in relation to the development and enhancement of an employee?s attitudes and behaviour in the organisation. The link between these strategic practices and individual performance will be explored by considering different attitudinal theories as mediators within this relationship. Students are expected to understand the objectives and nature of practices in managing work and human resources, and anticipate their potential outcomes.
Assessable learning outcomes:
1. To explain the conditions of individual performance in managing work and human resources
2. To evaluate the relevance of main approaches in work design to a particular strategic context
3. To explain key principles and practices in employee staffing and development and the dynamic nature of human development
4. To evaluate the alternative approaches in performance management in a particular strategic context
5. To explain the principles in reward system design and evaluate the relevance of a reward system to a particular strategic context
6. To explain the contexts and practices of employee voice and participation
The module content should help students navigate the graduate labour market in the UK, and by gaining a better understanding of 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.
1. Introduction to HRM and the conditions of individual performance (lectures 1 and 2)
2. History and alternative approaches to work design (lecture 3)
3. Strategic employee staffing (lecture 4)
4. Strategic employee development (lecture 5)
5. Strategic performance management (lecture 6)
6. Principles of motivation and reward system design (lecture 7)
7. Practices of employee voice and participation (lecture 8)
8. Critical evaluation of practices in managing work and human resources (lectures 9 and 10)
Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The material will be covered through a combination of lectures and tutorials, where theoretical knowledge will be applied in a series of case studies. A strong emphasis will be placed on student participation and on activities and discussions in the 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 outlined above, including learning by doing and using creative problem-solving techniques.
Guided independent study 124
Total hours by term 150
Summative Assessment Methods
Written Exam 60%
Written Assignment Including Essay 40%
Other information on summative assessment:
One piece of written work of 3000 words. Students will be required to critically analyse a firm's approach to managing its work processes and human resources and its impact on employees? attitudes and behaviour. Students will also be asked to make recommendations based on this critical analysis.
Relative percentage of coursework:
Coursework has a weight of 40% 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 60% in the overall assessment of the module
Formative assessment methods:
Feedback on group work in tutorials:
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.
Written feedback will also be provided to students who submit a 300-word draft of their coursework before the submission of their actual final coursework essay.
Length of examination:
Requirements for a pass:
A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 40%.
By written examination only. Re-examination for Finals takes place in September of the same year.
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.