Employee relations and engagement


This module presents an overview of employee relations theory, practice and processes. It combines a theoretical approach to knowledge development in an applied and practitioner-oriented fashion. The module will contribute to the knowledge and skills typically expected in HR and management professionals.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with a framework within which to examine the role of the parties involved in the management of employee relations and the strategies for enhancing employee engagement contributing to positive organisational outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an appreciation of the theoretical underpinnings and evolution of employee relations and engagement studies

2.  Evaluate the roles and functions of the different parties involved with effective employee relations

3.  Evaluate contemporary approaches to the management of conflict and its resolution, bargaining, negotiations and management power

4.  Examine the complexity of managing employee relations in a globalised business world

5.  Evaluate a range of HR strategies and practices to raise levels of employee engagement in specific organisational contexts

Indicative Content

1 The changing nature of employee relations

From industrial to employee relations; Employee relations theoretical explanations; Employee relations and the global economy; Employee Relations – parties their roles and functions,

2 Employee relations in context

Local, National and International dimensions of employee relations; Trade unions, employer organisations and their role in employee relations; Employee relations and the law.

3 The employment relationship

HRM and employee relations – learning from practice;, Perspectives on power in employee relations; Partnership approaches to workplace relations; Organisational processes and the design and implementation of employment relations,

4 Employee engagement

History of engagement; Definitions; HR approaches to employee engagement; enablers; Communication within employee relations and employee engagement and the role of ‘voice’.

5 Employee relations and engagement: learning from practice

HR practitioners (public-private), CiPD and TU

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Class contact for this module comprises lectures and tutorials. Lectures introduce and explore key concepts, theories and debates, either through a presentation or, occasionally, student enquiry. Tutorials will engage students in enquiry-based activities encouraging the development of deeper understanding of theory and practice links, and multiple theoretical standpoints; the generation of solutions to problems, and the formulation of recommendations for enhanced practice. Students will work in small groups/teams, and an emphasis is placed on the interactive and social nature of learning. There will also be a series of guest lectures from visiting practitioners in the field of employee relations.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 14
Tutorial/Seminar 28
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 50
Independent 108

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.