HRMU9RB: Strategic Human Resource Management

Semester: Autumn

Level: 10

Credit Value: 20

Module Coordinator: Dr Seemab Farooqi, Management, Work & Organisation Division

Contact Hours: 22 hours lectures, 8 hours seminars

Assessment: 50% Examination; 35% Coursework; 15% Seminar Participation

Module Overview:

This module introduces students to the concepts and practice of strategic human resource management (SHRM) as distinct from HR/personnel management. The module covers both theoretical and practical approaches to SHRM; how the policies and practices of SHRM change the scope and knowledge of both HR practitioner and line manager roles. The effects of SHRM in current practice are considered as are the challenges for the future.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to understand and evaluate:

Definitions and Theories. Definitions of Strategic HRM. Similarities and differences between definitions, objectives and assumptions of SHRM and HR/Personnel Management. Comparisons between the prevailing practice of HR/Personnel Management and SHRM. Empirical evidence for the existence of SHRM.

Theoretical and Practical Issues in Human Resource Management Strategy. The relationship between Human Resource strategies and Corporate Strategy. Models of HRM strategy: Integrated approaches; Resource-based approach; universal or unique HRM strategies; SHRM as an organizational change strategy.

Key Practice Areas of Strategic HRM. The main functional activities of SHRM and their alignment within an integrated framework. The effective adaptation of Recruitment, Selection, Training and Development, Financial Reward Systems and Employee Involvement within Strategic HRM models and practices. HRM and cultural change. HRM and Partnership.

The Place of Ethics in Strategic HRM. The use of different/shifting ethical frameworks as management rhetorics; The neglect of ethics in Strategic HRM.

The Role and Skills of HR practitioners in Strategic Management. Developing economic indicators; Developing partner relationships and collaborations with line managers; new careers paths for HR specialists. How to access strategic knowledge and experience.

Strategic HRM’s contribution to business / organizational performance. Methods of assessment; The balanced score-card; Developing HR performance criteria.

Strategic HRM’s Current Status and Future Prospects. Overall status of theories, definitions, and practice of Strategic HRM. Potential for the wider adoption of HRM strategy and techniques. Limitations to the application and introduction of Strategic HRM. Priorities for the future of Strategic HRM and HR profession and its practitioners.

Reading Lists:

Boxall, P. (2012). High‐performance work systems: what, why, how and for whom?. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources50(2), 169-186.

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2000). Strategic human resource management: where have we come from and where should we be going?. International Journal of Management Reviews2(2), 183-203.

Crawshaw, J. R., Budhwar, P., & Davis, A. (2014). Human Resource Management: Strategic and International Perspectives. London: Sage.

Guest, D. E. (2011). Human resource management and performance: still searching for some answers. Human Resource Management Journal21(1), 3-13.

Legge, K. (2005). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities. (Anniversary Edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Milmore, M., Philip, L., Saunders, M., Thornhil, A., & Morrow, T. (2007). Strategic Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues. London:Prentice Hall. 


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.

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