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Unit information: International Human Resource Management in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name International Human Resource Management
Unit code EFIM30024
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Peter Turnbull
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

Introduction to Management (EFIM10015)


Management Research Methods (EFIM20025)


Organisation Theory (EFIM20026)


International Business Management (EFIM20003)

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

International labour standards are designed to ensure decent work for all women and men, in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Agenda for Sustainable Development (Goal 8). Work should be productive and profitable, deliver a living wage, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their interests and concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and equality of opportunity. The (mis)management of human resources can make all the difference between decent and indecent work.
The International Human Resource Management unit is concerned with the business and employment strategies of multi- and trans-national corporations that now dominate the global economy. This raises questions about the (in)effectiveness of cross-cultural management and the national and international institutions that variously promote, permit or preclude particular HRM policies and practices (e.g., the body of employment law, education and training systems, trade unions and collective bargaining, employer associations and the like).

The International HRM unit builds on other international units and those focused on work and employment (e.g., Global Business Environment and People, Work and Organisations). The Unit introduces students to international institutions that govern labour standards around the world (e.g., UN institutions such as the International Labour Organization), different legal systems (civil and common law) and varieties of capitalism (coordinated and liberal market economies), and the social actors that play a key role in HRM (employers and their associations, trade unions and professional associations, arbitration services, etc.). The Unit introduces students to HR practice in a variety of countries/regions of the world (UK, Europe, USA, Japan, Middle East and Far East) and gives students an opportunity to research specific industrial sectors/occupations in order to delve deeper into HR practices in the workplace.

Content: (i) Theories and models of HRM (drawing primarily on US research), (ii) legal systems, varieties of capitalism and international labour standards, (iii) corporate social responsibility and global value chains, (iv) equality, sexual harassment and violence at work, (v) (in)decent work case studies (Ryanair and palm oil plantations/Indonesia), (vi) structure and strategy for managing international HR, (vii) HRM in the Middle East, (viii) HRM in Europe, (ix) HRM in Asia, (x) HRM and organisational performance.

Student development: Students gain an understanding of (in)decent work around the world, both in terms of the nature/extent of decent work deficits and the proximate and underlying causes. More importantly, they develop empathy for the plight of working people around the world and come to appreciate the role of national and international social actors. If students are to become 'global citizens', they need to be attuned to cultural diversity, develop wisdom (the judicious use of knowledge for the good of society), intellectual integrity, and always respect employment and human rights

Your learning on this unit

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the process of managing human resources in international organisations.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the context of IHRM, including the strategies and structure of firms, the institutions of host countries, the international regulatory environment, and international trade unionism and the new social movements.
  3. Review and critically evaluate the effectiveness of IHRM, the impact of cultural values and ‘institutional embeddedness’.
  4. Apply social, economic and political theories to questions pertinent to the management of human resources in an international context.
  5. Read and interpret theoretical and research-based literature on IHRM and demonstrate an ability to communicate such information effectively.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and formulate policies relating to the management of workforces in international organisations, including conformance to international labour standards.

How you will learn

The unit is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials, with group presentations for formative and summative assessment of the assignment and a standard written exam.
Teaching is based on the principles of active learning and is best viewed as a process of interaction between ‘reflective practitioners’ (students) and ‘facilitators’ (lecturers/tutors).

Active learning involves a combination of teaching methods, including: formal lectures, case studies, role-play exercises and small-group work, oral and written presentations.

How you will be assessed

Tasks which help you learn and prepare you for summative tasks (formative)

Formative presentation of work on the group project

Tasks that count towards your unit mark (summative)

Group (research based) project (50%)
Timed open book assessment (50%)

When assessment does not go to plan

In the event reassessment is permitted, the reassessment weightings on this unit will remain the same weighting as the original assessment although the form of the group assessment may change.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIM30024).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.