Developing an International Workforce (HRMP010)

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.


Module Co-ordinator

Dr Linda Perriton





Credit value


Contact hours

20 contact hours


50% Group assignment
50% Class Test

This module provides students with the conceptual and practical tools to understand their role and work within business organisations that operate with international staff and/or internationally. It builds on current trends in the internationalisation of work, occupations and activities in order to deliver HR services successfully. The programme develops knowledge and understanding of the nature and characteristics of the HR profession, strategy and management praxis in an international context.

The module 'Developing an International Workforce' is an elective module introducing students to the challenges of developing an international workforce in a context of working on international assignments and living in different cultures, and/or the experience of managing international and multicultural teams in a domestic, foreign or multi-national context. It seeks to complement and deepen understanding of, but not duplicate, core modules of the MSc IHRM.

The module introduces students to the subject of workforce learning and development in an international context. It aims to provide a critical introduction to the human resources issues concerning learning and development from both individual and organisational perspectives.

Students examine the principle learning and development methods and techniques used in human resources management and how they differ between individuals and the contexts in which they are applied. They analyse the organizational contexts and processes in which learning and development take place, including the relationships between an organization’s business strategy and its learning and development activities. Wider influences on learning and development, including the effects of the changing nature of work, labour markets and training policy, are also discussed. Different international approaches to workforce learning and development are then considered. The nature of management development within the context of learning and development and talent and career management are also discussed and analysed.

The module explores the process of selecting, preparing and supporting managers on international assignments; and examines the different roles and development needs of managers and staff operating in international and multicultural contexts. Finally, it considers the implications of working with an international team, including where the team is made up of employees working permanently or temporarily in different countries, and the challenges this creates.

Module Objectives

The module aims to enable students to:

  • Understand the importance of developing managers and professionals with an international role.
  • Analyse principle learning and development methods and techniques and how they differ between individuals and the contexts in which they are applied.
  • Explore the HR methods involved in developing managers and professionals who can operate effectively in international organizational contexts.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the students will be able to:

  • Specific knowledge and understanding of current developments in the subject.
  • Understand the theories, processes and methods involved in learning and developing for effective international managers and professionals.
  • Analyse the relationship between individuals and organisations in workplace learning and development.
  • Analyse the identification of needs, practice, and effectiveness of approaches to workplace learning and development.
  • Appreciation the need for learning and development to be sensitive to cultural differences and the broader social, political, moral and economic context in other countries and areas.
  • Generic and cognitive skills
  • Develop, present and communicate arguments logically in written and verbal form.
  • Work individually and in groups.
  • Develop and apply critical thinking.
  • Analyse the relevance of debate and discussion, based upon different views and perspectives.

Preparatory Work

Introductory reading:

Dowling, J. Festing, M and Engle A.D. (2013) International Human Resource Management, Cengage, Andover.


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