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The University of Southampton

MANG6178 Contemporary Issues and debates in Human Resource Management

Module Overview

This module aims to give a broad overview and knowledge of some of the contemporary issues that exist within an HRM context across a global workplace. The module is interactive and includes speakers from industry to keep HRM issues current and relevant to students’ learning.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • differences between a range of theoretical perspectives suitable to analyse and review “theories in use”, taken for granted assumptions and approaches to HRM in contemporary organisations;
  • principles and main challenges of diversity management, and implications for policy makers and HR specialists;
  • changing notions of career and career development, with an emphasis on boundaryless careers and career self-management;
  • corporate social responsibility (CSR) and HRM implications, including ethical and responsible leadership;
  • the global workforce and related challenges facing HR practitioners.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop and maintain up-to-date knowledge of contemporary themes and issues associated with HRM, with their implications at strategic, policy and operational levels;
  • evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of HR function in terms of diversity management in contemporary work organizations;
  • plan for and organise recruitment, selection, appraisal, training and career development of employees, taking into account the contemporary issues of diversity, career management, and ethical and responsible leadership;
  • manage or professionally influence management of human resources in organisations of different size, scope and ownership structure;
  • operate with appropriate sensitivity and responsiveness in managing global workforce and changing needs of employees in terms of work-life balance and flexible work arrangements.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • work in, and contribute effectively to, contemporary organisations in terms of awareness of contemporary issues involved in HRM;
  • develop effective HRM policies and practices with appropriate sensitivity and responsiveness to diversity management, pursuit of CSR as a part of the HR function in addition other strategic areas of organisational management;
  • recognise the limitations of contemporary organisations in managing challenges involved in diversity management, ethical and responsible leadership and how to tackle those limitations;
  • develop in-depth and critical evaluation skills using multiple and competing perspectives in constructing written and oral arguments;
  • develop your personal skills including; working within your own learning style, resourcefulness in problem solving, academic and reflective portfolio writing, reflective and problem based learning skills, and knowledge sharing.


- Theoretical approaches for critical thinking – what are organisations? - Diversity management: Are we talking real concern relating to global challenges or just political correctness? - Ethics and Corporate social responsibility (CSR) – Implications for HRM - Highly Educated and Employable? The Importance of employability in 21st century organisations. Changing concept of careers and implications to career management - Entrepreneurship vs. intrapreneurship. The tension between Innovations versus performance driven organizations - Leadership: are you being a responsible leader in an HRM context?

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures, case studies, directed reading, small and large group discussion, debating, learning tasks and mini- presentations during lectures, and practitioner involvement. Learning activities include: - Case study problem solving activities - Directed reading - Individual journal portfolio - Action learning sets based on individual learning styles

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Ashleigh, M.J. & Mansi, A (2012). The Psychology of People In Organisations. 

Konrad, A. M. (2006). Cases in Gender and Diversity in Organisations. 

The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Journal

Journal of Business Ethics.. 

Guidance:. There is no mandatory text; however these will be referred to throughout the module, and some chapters will be placed on Blackboard. References from quality journals will also be given on blackboard as mandatory reading. You may also like to look at the listed journals.

Meyer, E & Ashleigh, M.J. George J.M & Jones, G.R (2007). Contemporary Management (European Edition). 

Human Relations. Journal

Journal of Management. Journal

Human Resource Management. Journal





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Portfolio  (1500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 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. The texts are also available via the bookshop on University Road or URL. You may want to purchase texts as a group to cut down on costs – which is perfectly acceptable.

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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