Unit guide HRM 328 Strategic Human Resources Management
Unit Guide

HRM 328

Strategic Human Resources Management

S2 Evening 2014

Dept of Marketing and Management

Contents
Disclaimer
Macquarie University has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the information in this publication is accurate and up-to-date. However, the information may change or become out-dated as a result of change in University policies, procedures or rules. The University reserves the right to make changes to any information in this publication without notice. Users of this publication are advised to check the website version of this publication [or the relevant faculty or department] before acting on any information in this publication.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Associate Professor Louise Thornthwaite
Contact via louise.thornthwaite@mq.edu.au
Building E4A Room 653
Tuesday 3-5 pm
Tutor
Linda Yeomans
Contact via Email
TBA
Tutor
Isabelle Madore
Contact via Email
TBA
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
48cp including (HRM201 and (HRM250 or BBA250))
Corequisites Corequisites
HRM307
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is aimed at teaching students to apply knowledge and skills gained in human resources management (HRM) in an integrated way to real organisations. The unit reviews and applies theoretical perspectives on strategic HRM to existing case studies of business organisations and provides the intellectual and practical tools for students to evaluate various approaches to the conception, planning, implementation and evaluation of strategic policy and practice in the key functional areas of HRM. The major activity/assessment exercise during the unit is a group-based consulting project/review of contemporary HR issues requiring strategic responses in case study organisations.

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. Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  2. Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  3. Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  4. Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms
  5. Be an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. Consultancy services)

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Tutorial Participation 10% weeks 2-12
Individual Essay 30% Tues 16 September, 2014 by 5pm
Group Presentation 20% weeks 9-12 as scheduled
Final Examination 40% 17 Nov - 5 Dec exam period

Tutorial Participation

Due: weeks 2-12
Weighting: 10%

The tutorial programme is an integral part of this unit.  Tutorials give students an opportunity to clarify material covered in lectures and readings, explore and apply key concepts in discussion, exercises and case studies, and prepare for the assessment for this unit. 

Participation is based on:

(1)  demonstrating understanding in tutorials of required readings in weeks 1 to 6. Students will be given specific questions to consider in their reading and these will be discussed in class;

(2) active engagement in case study and role play discussions. This will require prior reading of distributed case studies so that students are prepared for the activities in class; and

(3) contributions to the question and answer/discussion sessions which follow group presentations.

Your mark will be calculated from the first tutorial through to the last tutorial in week 12.  Constructive involvement in activities is important. Mobile phones and the internet should be turned off during tutorials. Key issues in relation to expectations of students in tutorials are outlined in brief below.

1.  Quality of contribution:    Students should endeavour to make a regular and informed contribution to discussion.

2. Preparation: In order to make an informed discussion, students should complete the recommended reading and relevant chapters of the textbook.

3.  Tolerance: Group members should allow fellow students to express contrary views and be prepared to debate points in a reasoned and tolerant manner.

4.  Attendance: In order to participate, students must attend tutorials. However  students should note also that silent attendance is not sufficient to earn marks for participation.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms

Individual Essay

Due: Tues 16 September, 2014 by 5pm
Weighting: 30%

This assessment item is an individually written assignment in which students will be required to critically analyse a particular strategic human resource issue or issues, using concepts covered in the Unit and scholarly literature to support their analysis. This essay has a maximum word limit of 2500 words. The essay topic will be posted on ilearn in week 2.

The assessment criteria are outlined in the essay marking rubric located on ilearn. Students are expected to use at least 10 scholarly references in their analysis. Scholarly references generally include refereed journal articles and academic books/chapters. Students may use sections and subsections,in organising their essay but are not required to do so. This is purely a matter of choice! The objective is to produce a piece of individually written work that is organised in a logical and coherent manner, addresses the essay question in a focused way and uses scholarly references to support and substantiate the analysis.

The essay must be submitted by 5pm Tuesday 16th September (week 7) in hard copy to BESS (Building E4B) - there will be a HRM328 box available for submission.

Extensions/penalties

No extensions will be granted, except in accordance with University policy. Late assignments will be accepted up to 72 hours after the submission deadline. There will be a deduction of 20% of total available marks made from the total awarded mark for each 24 hours 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.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms

Group Presentation

Due: weeks 9-12 as scheduled
Weighting: 20%

In the tutorials, students will be formed into groups for the purpose of completing a case study exercise. Groups will have an absolute maximum of 4 members.

Each student group will be allocated a case study (organisation) and required to look at a specific strategic HRM issue which requires research and practical recommendations. The allocated organisation provides an opportunity to research key strategic HRM capabilities that align with business strategy.  It is important that students note, this is a strategic HRM project and NOT a detailed research project into broader aspects of the allocated organisation. 

Allocation of Company Case studies & SHRM topic will occur during the week 4 tutorial.Group presentations will be scheduled according to the SHRM topic canvassed - between week 9 and 12 (see class schedule on ilearn) Note. No change of schedule or extensions will be granted unless the group provides a written request to their tutor (copying in the Convenor) at least one week prior to the tutorial in which they are scheduled to provide their presentation. Any rescheduling will only be granted under exceptional circumstances. 

Each group will be required to give a presentation on their case study findings and recommendations. The presentation requires students to use scholarly literature on the particular SHRM topic as a basis for considering the particular case study organisation's approach to managing people. Students must also provide a set of two or three recommendations for improvements to the company's approach, with a reasoned explanation. Group should also view the Q & A period following the presentation as an opportunity to canvass views about the practicality of recommendations, implementation issues that may arise and so forth, and experiences that other class members may have had with policies being proposed. 

The presentation should take the form of a Twenty (20) minute presentation and talk to be followed by a short Q and A (approx 5 mins). The group should hand a summary of the presentation to the lecturer at the beginning of the talk.

Information you must provide in your Presentation includes:

  • A brief introduction to the company(very brief)
  • the business strategy of the company (justified)
  • the company’s approach to the functional area of HRM
  • critical analysis of the policies, practices and overall HR strategy in the relevant area
  • recommendations for improvement in the company’s SHRM strategy.

In  the research for  their  presentation,  students  shoul draw  o sources they can obtain about the company both online and in print eg the company's annuareport, articles in business magazines, newspapers, and other press articleananotheindependenreports which can build an understanding of the company and the environment in which it is operating. You may also find if you search the library database, that there are articles which contain research on the relevant company in academic journals as well as in HR practitioner journals and business magazines. When using practitioner journals, student should remain conscious that articles generally express particular views rather than being balanced, researched scholarly publications. Business magazines such as Harvard Business Review and Forbes, and the Australian Financial Review, as well as HR Monthly (from AHRI) and journal articles are often a great source of such practices! But, groups must remain practical - and consider such issues as cost, labour skills, market, politics and other challenges in implementing SHRM practices.  Please note, you must not approach a company directly - unless of course you are an employee there already

Detailed assessment criteria are also outlined in the Presentation Marking Sheet which will be lodged on ilearn in week 3.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms
  • Be an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. Consultancy services)

Final Examination

Due: 17 Nov - 5 Dec exam period
Weighting: 40%

A two hour exam will be held during the university exam period.Students will be required to answer a combination of short questions and longer essay-style questions. As a guide, these essay-style responses are expected to be a minimum of 2 pages in length.  Note: Exam questions will be assessing students' understanding of both the theoretical concepts covered in the  course, functional areas of SHRM, and issues associated with management and organisation of SHRM in different and corporate contexts.

Exam attendance: The university exam period for Session 2, 2014 is from 17 November to 5 December.. You are expected to present yourself for examination at the time and place designated in the University Examination Timetable. The timetable will be available in draft form approx 8 weeks before the commencement of examinations and in Final form approx 4 weeks before the commencement of the examinations.   http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au/exam

Thonlexceptions to sitting an examination at the designatetime are cases of documented illness ounavoidabldisruption. In these circumstances yomawish to consideapplying foSpecial ConsiderationThe University’s policy on  thespecial consideration process is availablat: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/special_consideration/policy.html  If a Supplementary Examination is granted as a result of the Special Consideration process the examination will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official examination period. 

The Macquarie University examination policy details the principles and conduct of examinations at the University. The policy is available at: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/examination/policy.htm

IT  IS  NOT  POSSIBLE  FOR  THE  LECTURER  TO  MOVE  THE  EXAM  TIME - PLEASE DO NOT ASK.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms
  • Be an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. Consultancy services)

Delivery and Resources

Classes

This Unit is taught through lectures and tutorials. Classes are held each week of semester unless the class falls on a public holiday. Each lecture is two hours and tutorial, one hour. Lectures provide not only a consolidated account of major concepts and issues in relation to each topic - they also include discussion, questions and answers, brainstorming and other activities. The powerpoint slides posted on ilearn provide the framework for the material covered in classes, but are not and are not intended to be a complete record.

The timetable for classes can be found on the University web site at: https://timetables.mq.edu.au.

Students should attend lectures and tutorials. This is not a distance education course. Attendance will be taken. If students do not attend classes, it is assumed that they will undertake considerable independent research to make up for material covered in classes.

Unit Schedule

A Unit schedule is includes as a separate document on ilearn. This is where students will find the weekly schedule of lectures and tutorials as well as details of the required reading.

Required and Recommended Reading

Please note: This is a capstone course. Students are required to take considerable responsibility for their own learning. It is expected that every student will already know how to locate materials in the library, using e-journals and other resources. There is a textbook set for the Unit (see below) but this does notcover every topic. A detailed reading list pertinent to each topic is located on ilearn. Students are responsible for locating these readings in the library – teaching staff will not be doing this basic research task for students. Readings with an asterix are those which provide the most substantial cover of a topic and/or the most crucial issue(s). Students need to make their own judgments about how much reading they do, and which readings they select.

Textbook

Boxall, P and Purcell, J., (2011) Strategy and Human Resource Management, 3rd ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Additional Recommended Reading

On the ilearn site, students will find a Reading List which contains recommended readings for each topic covered in the Unit. The Unit relies heavily on recent scholarly journal articles and also classic theoretical and research publications.

There are also a number of excellent texts on the subject which cover some, but rarely all the topics in the course. Strongly recommended books include:

  • * Boselie P., (2010), Strategic Human Resource Management: A Balanced Approach, McGraw-Hill, Berkshire. (*)
  • * Armstrong, M. (2011) Armstrong's Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management, Kogan Page Publishers.
  • 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.
  • * Millmore, M, Lewis, P. et al (2007) Strategic Human Resource Management, Prentice-Hall, Essex.
  • 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.
  • Stone, R., (2010) Managing Human Resources, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.
  • Storey, J., Wright, P., and Ulrich, D., (2009) The Routledge Companion to Strategic Human Resource Management, Routledge, Abingdon.

Note. * where this book examines topics covered in the course, the relevant chapter is listed in the reading guide.

Journals recommended for HRM study include:

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

Key research databases for your study of human resource management include:

  • Ebsco host: Academic Search Elite Business Source Premier
  • Psychology and behavioral sciences collection

Also search the websites of well-known consulting organisations such as Watson Wyatt, PWC, Deloitte, DDI, Hewitt Associates etc. These can be an excellent source for information on contemporary techniques and practices.

Technology Used and Required

Access to a personal computer is required in order to access announcements, course documents and learning materials on ilearn. Students should check ilearn at least once a week. Messages may also be posted to your Macquarie University student email accounts, so these should be checked at least weekly also.

Unit Web Page

The  web  page  for  this  unit  can  be  accessed  via  http://ilearn.mq.edu.au Please check the ilearn site at least weekly for announcements and  to  access teaching and learning materials loaded onto the site as the course progresses.

Research and Practice

This unit provides practice in applying research findings in your assignments.  It also provides opportunities to conduct your own research through journal articles, texts and online data bases. 

Satisfactory completion of this Unit will require:

  • participation in group work
  • attendance at classes. Note. It is assumed that students who fail to attend are undertaking considerable independent study to make up for material not accessed through classes.

Unit Schedule

A Unit schedule is included as a separate document on ilearn. This is where students will find the weekly schedule of lectures,  tutorials and details of required readings.

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/

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 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.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Individual Essay
  • Group Presentation
  • Final Examination

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Individual Essay
  • Group Presentation
  • Final Examination

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms
  • Be an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. Consultancy services)

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Individual Essay
  • Group Presentation
  • Final Examination

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the importance of thinking strategically about HRM from different theoretical perspectives and the implications for the roles of HR professionals
  • Identify key strategic areas of HR practice and their potential contribution to the success of the organisation in terms of value, performance and employee wellbeing
  • Understand the role of HR metrics, measurement and evaluation in strategic decision making.
  • Think critically about the challenges facing HRM in specific contexts including industry sector, multidivisional and multinational firms
  • Be an informed and critical consumer of HR products (e.g. Consultancy services)

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Individual Essay
  • Group Presentation
  • Final Examination

Changes from Previous Offering

The assessment of this Unit has been changed from the previous offering in order to provide a better balance between individual and group work. There is now an individual essay worth 30% which provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of critical analysis in responding to a question which draws on concepts covered in the Unit and practical issues and challenges facing strategic human resource management. The previous Group Case Study Report and Presentation (40%) has been replaced with a group presentation (20%) which focuses on specific SHRM functional areas as applied to particular companies.

Research and Practice

RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

  • This unit uses research by Macquarie University researchers (references provided in iLearn)
  • This unit gives students practice in  applying research findings through evidence-based analysis in assignments 
  • This unit gives students the opportunities to conduct your own research

Changes since First Published

Date Description
15/01/2014 The Prerequisites was updated.