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Unit information: International Human Resource Management in 2016/17

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Unit name International Human Resource Management
Unit code EFIM30024
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Huw Thomas
Open unit status Not open

Management (EFIM10011)



School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit explores all three interpretations of international human resource management (IHRM), namely: (i) cross-cultural management, (ii) comparative employment systems and HRM, and (iii) the HR policies of trans-national and multi-national enterprises. The first approach focusses on the deep-seated cultural values that organisations need to recognise if they are to management people effectively in different countries. The second highlights how differences between nations, most notably institutions such as the body of local employment law, education systems, trade unions, employer associations and the like, will influence management practice in general and the management of human resources in particular. The third approach focuses on key areas of HR practice that influence the performance of international companies, such as recruitment, training, remuneration strategies and the like.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the process of managing human resources in international organisations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the context of IHRM, including the strategies and structure of firms, the institutions of host countries, the international regulatory environment, and international trade unionism and the new social movements.
  • Review and critically evaluate the effectiveness of IHRM, the impact of cultural values and ‘institutional embeddedness’.
  • Apply social, economic and political theories to questions pertinent to the management of human resources in an international context.
  • Read and interpret theoretical and research-based literature on IHRM and demonstrate an ability to communicate such information effectively.
  • Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and formulate policies relating to the management of workforces in international organisations, including conformance to international labour standards.

Teaching details

18 lectures and 9 classes

The unit will be taught through lectures and classes. Lectures (approximately two-thirds of contact hours) will have the principal purpose of introducing the content of the course, including vocabulary, concepts, theories, perspectives, practices and trends. The classes are based on ‘real life’ organisational experiences where you will be exposed to practical issues facing managers in contemporary organisations. A variety of teaching methods will be drawn from in the classes, including: discussions based on readings and student experiences; case study work involving analysis, problem-solving and decision-making; group and individual exercises; presentations, discussion, and debate.

Assessment Details

Formative: 1 x 1000 word essay outline to assess and give feedback on: • ability to identify and describe relevant issues • ability to explain and discuss relevant theory • ability to apply theory to practice • writing skills

Summative: (30% of overall unit mark) 1 x 3000 word case study assignment, which will be provided in class and on Blackboard. The assignment is intended to provide you with the foundation for applying what you learn in a management setting. This includes the capacity to translate research evidence into recommendations for management practice.

(70% of overall unit mark) A two hour examination which will be held at the end of the Semester.

Reading and References

  • Edwards, T. and C. Rees (2011). International Human Resource Management: Globalization, National Systems and Multinational Companies. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Harzing, A-W and A. Pinnington (eds) (2014). International Human Resource Management. London: Sage.

Students may also find the following journals of interest during the semester and when researching their assignments:

  • International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Management (US)
  • Human Resource Management Journal
  • British Journal of Industrial Relations
  • European Journal of Industrial Relations
  • Human Relations