MG4D2      Half Unit
International Employment Relations

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Frido Wenten, NAB 4.04


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management). This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MRes/PhD in Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources) and MSc in Inequalities and Social Science. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A general knowledge of the social sciences is required.

Course content

The course aims to provide an introduction to the comparative analysis of work and employment relations at national, firm and workplace level throughout the world. It will introduce the dynamics of employment relations across the increasingly global markets, the key concepts and topics surrounding it (such as employee voice, dignity of work, outsourcing, labour conflicts, labour productivity, skills), and the theories required to understand it. The strategies and policies of the main actors will be explored through cross-national comparative analysis. The course will also introduce the main 'models' of employment relations: the US/British, Japanese and European Social Models, as well as models of employment relations in the transitional economies.

The course ensures that students have both the conceptual and empirical grounding they need to take the options offered in international comparative human resource management and cross-cultural management.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

The teaching is highly participative and includes lectures and seminars. Group working is an integral part of the course and students are expected to actively contribute to their class groups. The course is demanding of students, and depends for its success partly upon, their commitment and willingness to participate fully.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

Students are required to submit an essay outline in Week 4, matching the topic of their first summative essay.

Indicative reading

C Frege & J Kelly (Eds) Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy, Routledge, 2013;

G Bamber, R Lansbury & N Wailes (Eds), International and Comparative Employment Relations, 5th edn, Sage, 2011;

R Hyman, Understanding European Trade Unionism: Between Market, Class and Society, Sage, 2001;

M J Morley, P Gunnigle & DG Collings (Eds), Global Industrial Relations, Routledge, 2006.


Essay (40%, 2500 words) in the MT.
Essay (50%, 2500 words) in the LT.
Class participation (10%).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: 21

Average class size 2019/20: 10

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills