Managing the Human Resource

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






Credit value


Contact hours

29 hours


100% coursework


Managing the Human Resource seeks to introduce the main concepts and practices involved in the subject of Strategic HRM and touches on some of the theories and debates which surround it.  It asks ‘what is HRM?’ questions its strategic importance, explores its inherent contradictions and examines the impact of HR practice upon the individual, management and organisation. During the course we will examine the theory and, perhaps more importantly, how this actually relates in practice.  Through the study of both prescriptive and critical literature, along with case study analyses and participative workshops, we can make sense of the daily dilemmas faced in managing the inherent complexities of dealing with the human in human resource management. The teaching approach is an analytical one in that its mission is not to re-invent ‘best practice’ HRM but to identify practice in action through interrogation of theory and exploration of empirical studies. Our main concerns will be an examination of the context in which HR practice must operate and the impact on employees and organisations.  

Learning outcomes

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

  • develop a critical understanding of a range of contemporary human resource management issues;
  • demonstrate an overall understanding of the principal frameworks within which HRM issues are debated;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the different preoccupations and insights of HRM practice;
  • appreciate that concepts can be avenues for new insights, but can also create blind spots for both debate and practice;
  • demonstrate the capacity to work through complex ideas.
  • apply knowledge of human resource management in attempting to understand contemporary management, work and organisational issues;
  • offer a critical appreciation of research studies and themes that can be used as a tool kit for day-to-day HRM practice;
  • make critical judgement regarding claims made in written and oral formats.




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