Applied Business Project: Human Resource Management (HRM)

| August 25, 2015

Applied Business Project: Human Resource Management (HRM)

Applied Business Project (HRM) Assignment2015

What is the impact of changing economic& labour market conditions on strategic HRM in practice in multinational organizations?

The assignment question reflects the core themes addressed during the ABP HRM module. The aim of the assignment is to encourage students to combine theoretical and practical aspects of HRM by referring to organization case study examples when assessing the core theories and themes in the HRM academic literature. In particular, students are expected to engage in critical analysis of relevant HRM academic literature, from sources recommended below, in the module outline, at the end of lecture slides, or sources derived from their own wider reading. It is not enough to rely on lecture notes or non-academic internet sources.

SELECTONEMULTINATIONAL COMPANY CASE(with operations in its home country and at least one other foreign host country) with which you are familiar – one that you can access relevant HRM information about(for example, one you have worked for, had an internship in, an organisation familiar to family/friends, or that you have been able to find detailed information about in journal articles, books, newspapers, internet). Or you can make up a fictitious multinational company case!

Building on our labour market planning/supply & demand exercise in session 3, imagine you are a senior human resources (HR manager) responsible for HRM strategy in a multinational company in the following two contrasting scenarios:

a. In an economic boom (with strong economic growth), as a HR manager what HR strategy and practices would you pursue if demand for workers in your company greatly exceeded supply of workers?
b. Conversely, in an economic crisis (e.g. deep recession like in 2008), as a HR manager what HR strategy and practices would you pursue if supply of workers in your company greatly exceeded demand for workers?

In completing the assignment, you are expected to address the followingissues:

1. Strategy: firstly, briefly summarize the possible impact of the above two contrasting labour market/economicscenarios on the multinational organisation’s overall business strategy and then its overall HR strategy.

2. HRM policies and practices: secondly, analyse the possible impact of the above two contrasting labour market scenarios on the various specificcomponents of HRM policy and practice in the multinational organization under the four main HR functions covered in the module: resourcing the organization, human resource development (HRD), employment relations, managing performance and reward. The list of HR policies and practices that might be assessed under these four areas include: talent management, recruitment and selection, organizational culture, training and development, employee voice and participation rights, pay and reward, performance management and appraisal (these might be referred to by other labels).

3. Another theme to be discussed in your assignment is how different organizational, sector/industry, country, and international contextual circumstancesmight influence the impact of the above two labour market scenarios on HRM policies and practicein your multinational case company.

4. In conclusion, can youbriefly recommend any possible improvements in strategic HR management in your chosen multinationalcase to better prepare for changes in labour market supply and demand relating to different economic cycles of booms and crises?

Selected recommended reading*

Beardwell J. and Claydon, T. (2010) Human Resource Management a Contemporary Approach (6th edition). Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.

Bratton, J., and Gold, J. (2012) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (5th edition). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Colling, T. and Terry M (2010) Industrial Relations Theory and Practice (3rd edition). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. Especially chapter 9 on multinationals.

Collings, D., Scullion, H. and Dowling, P. (2009), ‘Global staffing’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(6): 1253-72.

Delbridge, R., Hauptmeier, M. and Sengupta, S. (2011), ‘Beyond the enterprise: broadening the horizons of international HRM’, Human Relations, 64(4): 483-505.

Farndale et al., (2010), ‘Context-bound configurations of corporate HR functions in multinational corporations’, Human Resource Management, 49(1): 45-66.

Ferner, A., Tregaskis, O., Edwards, P., Edwards, T., Marginson, P., Adam, D. and Meyer, M. (2011), ‘HRM structures and subsidiary discretion in foreign multinationals in the UK’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22, (3), 483-509.

Gilmore, S. and Williams, S. (2013). Human Resource Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Especially chapter 15.

Harvey, G. and Turnbull, P. (2010), ‘On the go: walking the high road at a low cost airline’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(2): 230-41.

Kramar, R. and Syed, J. (2012), Human resource management in a global context. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Redman T. and Wilkinson, A. (2013) Contemporary human resource management: text and cases (4th edition). Harlow: Prentice Hall. Earlier edition available in library.

Schuler, R. et al., (1993), ‘An integrative framework of strategic international human resource management’, Journal of Management, 19(2): 419-59.

Schuler, R., Jackson, S. and Tarique, I. (2011) ‘Global talent management and global talent challenges: strategic opportunities for IHRM’, Journal of World Business, 46: 506-16.

Smith, C. and Meiksins, P. (1995), ‘System, societal and dominance effects in cross-national organisational analysis’, Work Employment and Society, 9(2): 241-68.

*Additional reading is listed in the ABP HRM module outline on blackboard

Internet resources

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD):
Click on HR Resources for helpful factsheets on various HRM topics.

The Guardian:

The Financial Times:

Assignment guidelines:

• Length should be no more than 3,000 words (excluding appendices, if included).
• It must include correct and appropriate referencing, which will influence marks (see the Bangor Business School referencing guidelines placed on blackboard).
• Please ensure the assignment is carefully proof-read.
• circumstances, supported by appropriate evidence (e.g. medical certificate).
• No plagiarism or cutting and pasting of internet sources! Assignments are checked on Turnitin.
• It should be presented in the format below.

Assignment format:

– Title
– Short abstract/summary (approximately 100 words)
– Contents
– Introduction
– Main body: combination of discussing HRM practices in the multinational case organisation and relating this to critically analysing relevant academic literature (use sub-headings for tidy/structured presentation)
– Conclusion and possible recommendations
– References
– Appendices (if necessary)

Marking Scheme for ABP HRM assignment (assessment criteria)

Excellent 70+ 60s 50s 40s Fail Poor
Excellent assignment, eg. well researched, focused, presented & referenced Poor assignment, eg. little research, poor focus, inadequate /incorrect referencing, spelling/typing errors
Appropriate review of relevant literature. Evidence of independent thought and ‘critical analysis’ of academic literature. Superficial, descriptive & limited literature review
Presents ‘new’ material Merely re-presents lecture notes or cuts & pastes internet sources
Demonstrates clear grasp of HRM and HR practices in the case organisation, and relates to theory/academic literature. Demonstrates little understanding of HRM generally and/or HR practices in the case organisation
Uses real examples, or experience, to relate theory to practice Makes no attempt to use any examples or draw on experience
Dr Tony Dobbins May 2015

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