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BUS 850 – Management of People at Work

2014 – MQC S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Moderator
Louise Thornthwaite
Contact via louise.thornthwaite@mq.edu.au
Unit Convenor
Adrineh Mitchell
Contact via adrineh.mitchell@mq.edu.au
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
BUS651 or MKTG696 or admission to MIntRel or MBiotech or admission to MCom or MIntBus or MEc or MActPrac prior to 2011
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit provides students with contemporary knowledge and skills concerning the effective management of people at work. The unit reviews the key systems required for organisations to effectively manage their people in the context of their overall business strategy and the allied managerial skills required for successful implementation. A particular focus of this unit is the requirement for students to critically evaluate real organisational practices against contemporary theory as well as long established principles.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  2. Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  3. Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  4. Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  5. Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for
  6. Develop concrete, proactive and reflective approaches in order to become an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. consultancy or recruitment services)

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
1. Early-term in class test 10% 31 March 2014 (Week 5)
Group presentation 20% As per agreed schedule
Essay 30% 30 April 2014 (Week 7)
Final examination 40% Final Examination Period

1. Early-term in class test

Due: 31 March 2014 (Week 5)
Weighting: 10%

Students will be provided with a peer-reviewed journal article prior to the test. The test will include short answer questions generated on the basis of the given article. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of main HRM theoretical concepts and models and their applications to practice (based on the textbook materials, case studies, lectures and class discussions). Short answers will be assessed for clear and argumentative academic writing.

Extensions/Penalties

No supplementary tests will be performed unless special consideration applications are approved.

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas

Group presentation

Due: As per agreed schedule
Weighting: 20%

Groups are to present an assigned topic in a nominated company.

Groups are formed and allocated to their topic and presentation date in week 2. Each group is required to present an overview of the particular HRM practices and associated issues pertaining to their nominated organisation.

The groups assume the position of an external management consulting firm hired to research the organisation’s HRM practices and their strategic implementations and provide professional recommendations. Each group will follow the same delivery template:

·         General overview of the company’s activities

·         Theoretical underpinnings of the particular HR practice (i.e. performance management)

·         Brief analysis of the strategic choices of the company

·         Overview of the general HR practices in the researched company with a strong emphasis on the designated HRM practice.

·    Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the designated HRM practice in the researched organisation including relationship between HRM practices and strategic choices

·         Recommendations for the organisation

The time limit for the presentation is 30 min. It is to be followed by 10-15 min. Q & A session.

The presentation will require students to critically analyse the SHRM issues in their designated company using the academic literature from a variety of sources. The group’s recommendations are expected to demonstrate advanced knowledge of SHRM theory and its application to the real cases. 

Detailed assessment criteria are outlined in Presentation Marking Sheet (to be provided in week 3).

Extensions/penalties

No extensions will be granted. Requests to postpone/rearrange time of presentations’ delivery

will be accepted no later than a week prior to a scheduled presentation. A penalty of 5% of the

awarded mark will apply for each complete 24 hours period that the presentation is late unless

the application for special consideration for each group member is approved.

 

 



This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  • Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for
  • Develop concrete, proactive and reflective approaches in order to become an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. consultancy or recruitment services)

Essay

Due: 30 April 2014 (Week 7)
Weighting: 30%

This individually written essay allows students to critically analyse current SHRM theories and provide examples of their practical applications. The essay aims at assisting students in developing and demonstrating postgraduate level research skills including critical analysis and academic writing. The word limit of the essay is 2500 words.

Assessment criteria is outlined in essay marking rubric.

Extensions/penalties

No extensions will be granted. Late assignments will be accepted up to 72 hours after the submission deadline. A penalty of 20% of the awarded mark will apply for each complete 24 hours period that the submission is late unless the application for special consideration is approved.



This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  • Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for

Final examination

Due: Final Examination Period
Weighting: 40%

A two hour exam will be held during the university exam period. Students will be required to answer both short essay questions and short answer questions. As a guide, essay responses are expected to be a minimum of 2 pages in length. Students will be assessed on their ability to analyse and argue the relevance and application of HRM principles in key areas of practice to particular company contexts. 

 

Students are expected to present themselves for examination at the time and place designated in the University Examination Timetable. Documented illness or unavoidable disruption are the only exceptions when students can apply for Special Consideration. Consult Final Examination Policy for further details.  

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  • Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for
  • Develop concrete, proactive and reflective approaches in order to become an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. consultancy or recruitment services)

Delivery and Resources

 Classes, Teaching and Learning Activities

  •  Number and length of classes: 3 hours face-to-face teaching per week, consisting of 1 x 3 hour lecture combined with group case study presentation and class discussions.
  • Delivery of classes will be performed in the interactive workshop format to maximise learning opportunities. Lectures will consist of substantial discussion, question and answers, brainstorming and group focus activities.

 

 

Students’ Responsibility for Learning

  • Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning by reading the relevant chapter in the textbook or other compulsory readings where indicated.
  • Students are expected to read and research each topic in advance, participate in class and tutorial discussions and maintain a strong interest in current issues and changes in HRM.

 

Attendance

  • Please note that while there is no mark for attendance, students are expected to attend all weekly classes, unless excused. Given the nature of this course, attendance should be considered mandatory.
  • Attendance will be taken in the weekly classes. Medical certificates must be provided if you are not able to attend a class.
  • Warning: Failure to do so may affect your learning outcomes and performance in this Unit.

 

Class ethics

  • Students are expected to arrive on time, and not to leave until the class ends.
  • Students must be quiet during classes, unless of course when class participation is required.
  • Mobile phone must be turned OFF. Students who disturb or disrupt in class will be asked to leave. 

 

Late Submission of Assessment Tasks 

No extensions will be granted. Late tasks will be accepted up to 72 hours after the submission deadline.  There will be a deduction of 20% of the total available marks made from the total awarded mark for each 24 hour period or part thereof that the submission is late (for example, 25 hours late in submission – 40% penalty). This penalty does not apply for cases in which an application for special consideration is made and approved                                                                                                          

 

Resources

Required and Recommended Texts and/or Materials

Recommended textbook for this subject (available from Co-Op Bookshop) is:

Stone,R.J., (2013) Managing Human Resources, 4th Edition. Wiley & Sons, Milton QLD.

 

Journals recommended for HRM study include:

  • Academy of Management Journal
  • Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Human Resource Management Journal
  • Journal of Industrial Relations
  • Work, Employment and Society
  • International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • Personnel Management
  • Personnel Review
  • Labour & Industry

 

Strongly recommended books which cover a number of topics in the course include:

  • Armstrong, M. (2011) Armstrong's Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management, Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Boselie, P. (2010) Strategic Human Resource Management: A Balanced Approach, McGraw Hill, Berkshire.
  • Boxall, P and Purcell, J., (2011) Strategy and Human Resource Management, 3rd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2007) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Legge, K. (1995) Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities, Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Marchington, M. and Wilkinson, A., (2002) People Management and Development: Human Resource Management at Work, 2nd ed, CIPD, London.
  • Mello, J. (2010) Strategic Human Resource Management, Cengage Learning.
  • Salaman, G. Storey, J., and Billsbery, J., (2005) Strategic Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice, Sage, London.
  • Schuler, R. and Jackson, S., (2007) Strategic Human Resource Management, 2nd ed, Blackwell.
  • Storey, J., Wright, P., and Ulrich, D., (2009) The Routledge Companion to Strategic Human Resource Management, Routledge, Abingdon.
  • Taylor, S. (2011) Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management, CIPD, London

 

Technology Used and Required

Research Databases

Key research databases for your study of human resource management include Ebscohost: Academic Search Elite and Business Source Premier. Also search the websites of well-known consulting organisations such as Watson Wyatt, PWC, Deloitte, DDI, Hewitt Associates etc.

 

Learning technologies 

Students are required to use word processing, Power Point, Turnitin and iLearn.

 

Unit Web Page

Macquarie uses iLearn as a software tool to manage teaching and learning practices: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/. To log on, you must first obtain a logon password from IT services or the library then click through to BUS850. Please check this site each week for possible lecture slides. Other announcements and material will be posted on the site during the course. Readings and cases for the course can be either found through the iLearn website and/or accessed online via the library website (BUS850 online readings). In addition to the required textbook for this unit, students should familiarise themselves with the relevant sections of the library.

 

Changes From Last Offering

There is a change to the early term quiz based on MCQs to an early-term in class test which asks students to critically evaluate a journal article and answer a number of short answer questions. This change was made as a result of the unit moderator’s recommendation and subsequent discussion with MQ lecturing staff.

A change has been made to the textbook in consultation with previous and current moderator.

Unit Schedule

 

Week No. and Date

Lecture Topic

 

Resources

 

Week 1:

03/03/2014

Lecture: Conceptual foundations; where from and where is HRM now?

Text Chapter 1

Week 2:

10/03/2014

HRM Strategy: The Best Practice and best fit views

Text, Flight Centre Case, & additional readings

Week 3:

17/03/2014

HRM Strategy: The Resource based view

Text, SWA Case & additional readings

Week 4:

24/03/2014

Environmental shapers of HRM, with a case focus on the law on OHS

Text & additional readings

 

Week 5:

31/03/2014

Job analysis, Recruitment and Selection.

1 hour short answers’ test

Text & additional readings

Week 6:

07/04/2014

Performance Appraisal and Management

Text  & additional readings

 

             12/04/2014 – 27/04/2014

              MID SEMESTER BREAK

 

Week 7:

28/04/2014

Employee Learning and Development

Essay submission deadline

Text  & additional readings

Week 8:

05/05/2014

Career Management

 

Text & additional readings

Week 9:

12/05/2014

Diversity Management

Text & additional readings

Week 10:

19/05/2014

Managing Compensation

Text  & additional readings

Week 11:

26/05/2014

Ethics and HRM

Text & additional readings

Week 12:

Make up class

31/05/2014

Make up class in lieu of Queen's Birthday Public Holiday on 9/6.

Change Management and Evaluating the HR Function

Text & additional readings

Week 13:

2/06/2014

Course review and conclusion. Exam briefing

Revision

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy  http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy.html

Grading Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/grading/policy.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Grievance Management Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/grievance_management/policy.html

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Grades

Macquarie University uses the following grades in coursework units of study:

 

·         HD - High Distinction

·         D - Distinction

·         CR - Credit

·         P - Pass

·         F – Fail

 

Grade descriptors and other information concerning grading are contained in the Macquarie

University Grading Policy which is available at:

 

http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/grading/policy.html

 

For further information, please refer to the following link:

http://universitycouncil.mq.edu.au/legislation.html

 

Grade Appeals and Final Examination Script Viewing

 

If, at the conclusion of the unit, you have performed below expectations, and are considering lodging an appeal of grade and/or viewing your final exam script please refer to the following website which provides information about these processes and the cut off dates in the first instance. Please read the instructions provided concerning what constitutes a valid grounds for appeal before appealing your grade.

 

http://www.city.mq.edu.au/reviews-appeals.html

 

Attendance at Macquarie City Campus

 

All Students are required to attend at least 80% of the scheduled course contact hours each Session.  Additionally Macquarie City Campus monitors the course progress of international students to ensure that the student complies with the conditions of their visa relating to attendance.

This minimum level of attendance includes all lectures and tutorials. Tutorial attendance will be recorded weekly.  If any scheduled class falls on a public holiday this will be rescheduled as advised by your Lecturer. Attendance at any mid-Session or in-class test is compulsory unless otherwise stated.

 

Unavoidable non-attendance due to illness or circumstances beyond your control must be supported by appropriate documentation to be considered for a supplementary test.  Other non-attendance will obtain zero for the test. You should refer to the section above on Special Consideration for more details about this.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Support at Macquarie City Campus

Students who require assistance are encouraged to contact the Student Services Manager at Macquarie City Campus. Please see reception to book an appointment.

Macquarie University provides a range of Academic Student Support Services. Details of these services can be accessed at http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

At any time students (or groups of students) can book our Student Advising rooms on Level 6 by emailing info@city.mq.edu.au with a day and time and nominated contact person. There are additional student study spaces available on Level 1.

Macquarie University Campus Wellbeing also has a presence on the City Campus each week. If you would like to make an appointment, please email info@city.mq.edu.au or visit their website at: http://www.campuslife.mq.edu.au/campuswellbeing

StudyWISE provides:

·         Online learning resources and academic skills workshops http://www.mq.edu.au/learning_skills

 

·         Personal assistance with your learning & study related questions

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://informatics.mq.edu.au/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

IT Help at Macquarie City Campus

 

If you wish to receive IT help, we would be glad to assist you at http://informatics.mq.edu.au/help/ or call 02 9850-4357.

 

When using the university's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students and it outlines what can be done.

 

Students must use their Macquarie University email addresses to communicate with staff as it is University policy that the University issued email account is used for official University communication.

 

Students are expected to act responsibly when utilising Macquarie City Campus IT facilities. The following regulations apply to the use of computing facilities and online services:

 

·         Accessing inappropriate web sites or downloading inappropriate material is not permitted.

·         Material that is not related to coursework for approved unit is deemed inappropriate.

·         Downloading copyright material without permission from the copyright owner is illegal, and strictly prohibited. Students detected undertaking such activities will face disciplinary action, which may result in criminal proceedings.

 

Non-compliance with these conditions may result in disciplinary action without further notice.

 

If you would like to borrow headphones for use in the Macquarie City Campus computer labs (210, 307, 311, 608) at any point, please ask at Level 2 Reception. You will be required to provide your MQC Student ID card.  This will be held as a deposit while using the equipment.

 

For assistance in the computer labs, please see a Lab Demonstrator (usually they can be found in Lab 311, otherwise ask at Level 2 Reception).

 

 

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas

Assessment tasks

  • 1. Early-term in class test
  • Group presentation
  • Essay
  • Final examination

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the elements of strategic thinking that drive appropriate systems and methods for managing people effectively at work
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation
  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  • Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for
  • Develop concrete, proactive and reflective approaches in order to become an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. consultancy or recruitment services)

Assessment tasks

  • 1. Early-term in class test
  • Group presentation
  • Essay
  • Final examination

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply alternative techniques and practices in key strategic HR areas
  • Analyse an organisation’s accountabilities in different areas of HR
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of various HR practices and how they might improve the effectiveness of HR in organisations that they work for
  • Develop concrete, proactive and reflective approaches in order to become an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. consultancy or recruitment services)

Assessment tasks

  • Group presentation
  • Essay
  • Final examination

Research and Practice

 

Research used in this Unit

This unit uses research from internal (Macquarie University) and external sources, both theory oriented and industry (case study) based, for example:

Danford, R. & Palmer, I. (2002). Managing for high performance? People management practices in Flight Centre. The Journal of Industrial Relations, 44(3), 376-396. (Internal/industry)

Paauwe, J. & Boselie, P. (2003). Challenging ‘strategic HRM’ and the relevance of the institutional setting. Human Resource Management Journal, 13(3), 56-70. (External/theory)

In the unit, both classic and most recent research works are used, for example:

Barney, J.B. & Wright, P.M. (1998). On becoming a strategic partner: The role of human resources in gaining competitive advantage. Human Resource Management, 37(1), 31–46. (Classic)

Kotter, J.P. & Schlesinger, L.A. (1979). Choosing strategies for change. Harvard Business Review, March-April, 106-114. (Classic)

Riach, K. (2009). Managing ‘difference’: Understanding age diversity in practice. Human Resource Management Journal, 19(3), 319–335. (Recent)

Rousseau, D.M. & Barends, E.G. (2011). Becoming an evidence-based HR practitioner, Human Resource Management Journal, 21(3), 221-235. (Recent)

 

Connections between the content of the unit and current research

  1. Lectures are designed on the basis of the textbook recommendations and relevant research studies uploaded to a corresponding lecture in iLearn.
  2. The early-term in class test connects current research, the content of the unit with the learning outcomes and graduate capabilities. Specifically, the students are asked to apply critical thinking in evaluating the peer reviewed journal article describing HR practices in organisations as they answer a number of short answer questions.
  3. The assessment criteria of the group presentation and the individual essay include research criterion which judges students’ ability to relate research findings to their practical cases; to demonstrate broader literature knowledge and to critically evaluate HR practices using relevant and rigorous research.