HRM in a Business Context


This module reviews developments in the key operative areas of Human Resource Management (HRM) from the viewpoint HR professionals and managers operate within increasingly complex and changing organisational and contextual circumstances, whether in the private, public, or ‘third’ sectors whatever size their organisations or types of goods and services these enterprises produce for their customers and clients.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with :a theoretical and practical framework for understanding the role, nature, application and contribution of HRM systems, policies and practices within the organisation. The module will provide the student with an understanding of the principal internal and external contexts of contemporary organisations within which managers, HR professionals and workers interact in conditions of environmental turbulence, change and uncertainty.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  understand, analyse and critically evaluate contemporary organisations and their principal environments and the managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work.

2.  understand, analyse and critically evaluate how organisational and HR Strategies are shaped by and developed in response to internal and external environmental factors

3.  understand, analyse and critically evaluate the market and competitive environment of organisations and how organisational leaders and the HR function respond to them.

4.  understand, analyse and critically evaluate Government Policy, legal regulation, demographic, social and technological trends on HRM

Indicative Content

1 The nature of HRM and organisational behaviour

A review of the origins, assumptions, characteristics and definitions of HRM; Descriptive, prescriptive and conceptual approaches of HRM and organisational behaviour; Current issues in HRM practice, Strategic HRM and organisational performance in contemporary organisations.

2 Employee Resourcing

Strategic aspects of resourcing an organisation; Human Resource Planning; Job analysis; Recruitment and selection methods; Graduate recruitment; Flexible working practices.

3 Performance Management

Strategic aspects of performances; Managing individual and group performance; Leadership and motivation; Equal opportunities and managing diversity.

4 Employee Development

Strategic aspects of development; Training needs analysis; Developing, implementing and evaluating training programmes; Career development; Management development.

5 Employee Relations

Strategic aspects of employee relations; The role of the state in employee relations; trade unions and collective bargaining processes; Industrial action and the settlement of industrial disputes; Health, safety and welfare issues; Grievance and discipline.

6 Rewards and Remuneration

Strategic aspects of rewards in organisations; Job evaluation; Pay determination procedures; Incentives and benefits; Share option schemes; Pensions and compensations.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Class contact will alternate between lecture, tutorial and seminar-style work, with lectures providing key input on concepts and contexts, and tutorial and seminar-style work involving students in group activities, presentations and case study analysis and discussion. Assessment units are designed to develop students' analytical and research skills, give opportunity for the application of tools and concepts, and address learning outcomes as specified. Business Simulation and Innovation and Global Growth Event are an integral part of postgraduate study at Dundee Business School. Students, in multi-disciplinary teams, will take part in a series of intensive interactive organisation facing full-day workshops which focus on 'live case' or ‘simulated’ problems. These two practice based events help students gain an understanding of how business decisions affect the overall outcome and ultimate success or failure of a business.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 14
Tutorial/Seminar 28
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 118

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 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.