The University of Southampton

MANG6193 Managing People for Performance

Module Overview

The approach to learning offered by the teaching faculty combines independent study alongside group and tutored teaching that integrates theory, research and practice within a supportive pedagogical framework. The research of the lecturers on the programme feeds directly into their teaching of the module, providing students with new and fresh insights into the topics covered.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To equip students with a key foundation in human resource management (HRM) and practices and how they can be drawn upon to improve workplace performance. The module focuses on developing appropriate knowledge and skills in order to utilise HRM strategically so as to gain organisational benefits. These are multidisciplinary, being underpinned by management theory and drawing upon appropriate models and concepts from across the social sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The realms or arenas of people management
  • Evaluate the appropriate measurement of organisational and business performance in a people management context
  • How HRM strategies and practices can contribute to effective organisational and business performance
  • Influential frameworks for examining people management
  • Human resource strategies and practices used in organisations and debates on appropriate contexts for their application
  • Best practice and best fit approaches to managing people
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the importance of internal and external fit in managing people for performance
  • Evaluate the available evidence on the performance benefits of people management approaches
  • Critically evaluate human resource strategies and practices used in organisations and identify appropriate contexts for their application
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to analyse the potential of people management initiatives in particular organisations
  • Evaluate the strategic role of people management
  • Evaluate the roles and functions of the line manager in managing people
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the realm of HRM and people management more generally
  • Understand how HRM or people management at its most general to contribute to improved organisational and business performance
  • Appreciate the role of the line manager in promoting organisational performance
  • Appreciate the implications of the context within which organisations operate for management generally, as it is and, distinctly, as it might best be, via reflection on such implications for people management specifically
  • Reflect better analytically by reflecting analytically on people management practices
  • Appreciate better the proper role of evidence in effective management generally by reflecting on its role in effective HRM specifically


• From the personnel backwater to strategic HRM • Principles of SHRM 1: recruitment and selection (R&S) • Principles of SHRM 2: training and development (T&D) • Linking people management and organisational performance • Identifying best practice in HRM: the notion of high involvement work systems (HIWS) • Bringing context back in: contingency in the implications of HIWS • Implementing performance enhancing innovations: matters of organisational politics

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module features 7 substantive sessions. These sessions will provide a review of the main theories and research in HRM as it applies to the line manager within contemporary organisations. The core text provides useful background reading for the module and will be relevant for most of the sessions, and other recommended texts provide further foundation material. The sessions will generally consist of a mix of orientations to and overviews of elements of each topic in the form of lecturer presentation together with exercises, group discussion or case studies (with feedback to the larger group) to allow participants to explore key issues, concepts or applications. In each session lecturers will also refer to topic specific sources, often journal articles, which are the key readings for the module. Alongside this, a ‘best practice’ vs ‘best fit’ theme will inform the module. In the individual assignment participants will build upon the sessions, and group work therein, to analyse a particular organisation, considering whether a best practice approach to people management is appropriate to performance led management of the front line staff (non-managerial employees/the largest occupational group). Each participant will have an organisation uniquely assigned to them. Participants are required to take active responsibility for your own learning, by analysing and evaluating theoretical perspectives and practical applications in the context of the sessions, making reference to readings and their own management and broader organisational experiences. Internationalisation The module reflects the cross-national comparative and international interests of the module co-ordinator. Topics are covered working from the UK out, drawing on the experiences and expertise of the participants and on the available international and comparative research evidence around the issues addressed. Attention is given to the relevance of national and regional context to the approaches to people management typically adopted, to the performance implications of specific people management initiatives, and also to the implications of this context for efforts to pursue these initiatives. The relevance of differences in both institutions and culture are explored.

Independent Study70
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Boxall, Peter and John Purcell (2011). Strategy and HRM. 

Redman, Tom and Adrian Wilkinson (eds). Contemporary HRM: Text and cases. 

Paauwe, Jaap (2004). HRM and performance: achieving long term viability. 

Storey, John (ed.) (2001). HRM: A critical text. 

Brewster, Chris, Paul Sparrow and Guy Vernon (2007). International HRM. 



Set exercises - non-exam


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 60%
Individual assignment  (2000 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 60%
Individual assignment  (2000 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (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 core/recommended 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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