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MG190: Human Resource Management and Employment Relations

Business and Management

Course Content

The course provides a panorama of the key analytical issues in HRM and Employment Relations, recent theories and controversies, and applies them to cases of current interest, such as the new HR challenges of the financial crisis, international supply chains, and the emergence of global labour markets. 

The focus of the course is international, drawing especially on the experience of several major OECD countries including in the European Union, the US and Japan. We shall also take account of the growing influence of China and India. We shall examine how human resource management contributes to organisational performance, in both business and the public sector. We shall explore the ways management develops and motivates employees in their organisations, and looks at the role of works councils and trade unions, and the increasing importance of the European and international dimension of employment relations. We shall also consider the regulation of labour standards across borders. Among the themes we shall cover are:

HRM strategies and performance

  • Human resource management strategy: setting HRM in the wider context of management strategies and stakeholder interests
  • HRM and business and organisational performance
  • Organisational core competencies, skills and knowledge management
  • The conduct of HRM within different ‘varieties of capitalism’

Incentives and motivation of employees

  • Organisational commitment and the ‘psychological contract’
  • Motivation and incentives in traditional and ‘networked’ organisations
  • Modern approaches to reward systems and their effectiveness
  • Managing human resources across national borders

Employment relations

  • Employment relations in comparative perspective
  • Employee participation: From teams to works councils
  • Employment relations and pay systems
  • Globalisation and international labour standards
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and labour standards

The course will comprise lectures, work on case studies, and seminars.


There is no set text for this course. Students will be given a set of photocopied materials, and will additionally be expected to make use of reading materials available electronically in the Library.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice



Dates:  To be confirmed

Professor David Marsden
Professor Sarah Ashwin

Level: 100 level

Fees: Click here for information

Prerequisites: None

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Written work and one written examination

Typical credit**: 3 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU) 

How to apply?

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*assessment is optional – see FAQs

**You will need to check with your home institution. Read more about credit transfer here.