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The University of Southampton

MANG2011 Human Resource Management

Module Overview

This module concerns issues in human resource management and organisational design. These are what ultimately implement the firm’s strategy. Although many organisations recognise the importance of managing the work force effectively and even "know" what approaches are effective, it is remarkable how often firms and managers fail to implement these approaches. Consequently, this module has two central themes: (1) How to think systematically and strategically about aspects of managing the organisation’s human assets, and (2) What really needs to be done to implement these policies and to achieve competitive advantage through people. The intent of the module is both to impart knowledge as well as to stimulate discussion about the values and beliefs that stand in the way of implementing this knowledge.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

to provide you with an introduction to key areas of human resource management in contemporary organisations and to examine on-going debates concerning the nature and development of human resource management. The module is designed to strike a balance between the examination of specific human resource management policies and practices and wider conceptual and theoretical debates concerning changing patterns of employment relations. In particular it will examine the question of how far strategic HRM constitutes a distinctive approach to the management of employee relations and the extent to which it differs from more traditional models of human resource management.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to define the distinctive features of strategic HRM and compare it with traditional approaches;
  • how to identify the key issues to be considered in the implementation of human resource strategies in two of the following areas: recruitment and selection; incentives and reward systems; performance appraisal; training and employee development; promotion and career concerns; employee participation;
  • how to distinguish alternative approaches to specific issues of practice in the areas identified, describe the factors to be taken into account in choosing between alternatives, and evaluate the applicability of these approaches in particular instances.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically assess various strategies available to HR personnel in a variety of workplace settings.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply skills such as learning, communication and self-management.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate various forms of incentive or performance pay, i.e. piece-rates, commissions, bonuses, stock options etc.;
  • understand employment and training as a mutual relationship – based on the view that human resources are a kind of capital;
  • understand various issues involved in organisational development.


• The historical development of personnel management • The concept of strategic human resources • Human resource management and corporate strategy • Recruitment strategies and equal opportunities • Job design and organisational architecture • Compensation systems • Performance appraisal: objectives and methods • Training and career development • Employee participation • Flexibility, downsizing and out sourcing Europe and the consumer. • Central and Eastern Europe • Europe and emerging economies

Special Features

This module will be a hybrid. We will develop a way of looking at personnel problems in a way that combines rigorous economic theories with perspectives from other disciplines. For example, we will consider the social psychology as well as the economics of employee turnover. Second, the module will combine case method discussions with lectures. One other feature of cases/problems is important to note: cases/problems are inherently complex and ambiguous, especially ones that deal with managing employees. Be prepared for difficult issues that don’t always have precisely defined answers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of 24 lectures. In addition, you are expected to attend twelve classes.

Wider reading or practice10
Follow-up work25
Completion of assessment task15
Preparation for scheduled sessions55
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Legge, K. (1995). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities. 

Torrington, D. & Hall, L. (1998). Human Resource Management. 

Lazear, E. (1998). Personnel Economics for Managers. 

Baron, J. & Kreps, D. (1999). Strategic Human Resources. 



Problem Classes


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 30%
Examination  (2 hours) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 30%
Examination  (2 hours) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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