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2021/22 Semster 2 BMG935 CRN 13712 (QAHE) – International HRM (Level 7)

Module Co-ordinator – Dr Uju Ugochukwu

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This module explores particular issues relating to multinational companies, such as how and why they develop particular forms of business strategy, what distinguishes their approach to people management and to industrial relations and why there is variation in transfer of HR practices across international subsidiaries.

It aims to analyse specific HRM areas in the international arena such as comparative employee relations and participation, international staffing and expatriation, training and career development, compensation and performance management and managing diversity.

The aim throughout is to explore the complex interplay between distinctive home and host country employment models and the development and transfer of human resource practices and approaches to industrial relations in multinational companies.

Effective Human Resource Management in an international context is considered an

important strategic area of business activity. Enhancing student understanding of how human resource management can be used to improve competitive advantage of organisations using current literature, on-line research and communication will be explored. This module examines the emergence of HRM as a discipline and practice within an international context and will consider debates associated with the utilisation of human resources, including migration and labour markets.

A successful student will be able to:

Understand the international human resource management strategies and practices developed and implemented by organisations, operating on a global basis

Understand how effective international human resource management can be used to improve competitive advantage of organisations.

Identify, analyse and synthesise materials from primary and secondary source

materials that assist in the understanding of international HRM.

Critically assess and evaluate the cultural impact on IHRM strategies and practices in an organisational setting.


Learning materials and case studies will be the primary method of knowledge transfer. Analysis of subject material, using application where appropriate, will be undertaken as well as guidance to reading and further research.

Students will be expected to engage in independent learning and use a range of resources in building knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.


This module examines specific HRM areas such as organisational HRM, the employee resourcing process, managing performance and compensation and employee relations.

Managing HRM flow: HR planning; recruitment and selection policies, systems and

practices; processes for managing international employees.

Evaluating employee effectiveness: international issues in the identification of employee potential; training and development programmes; performance management systems.

Reward systems: theories of pay and behaviour; compensation systems; expatriate

remuneration, standardised versus localised pay systems

Integrating HR policies: matching HR policies and company culture; employee commitment; cross-cultural communications; managing diversity.

Strategic IHRM – Impact of external and internal contexts on IHRM practices.

Institutional and cultural perspectives – impact of cultural differences on individuals, organisations and working practices; managing a cross-cultural organisation.

Staffing the multinational organisation – analyse expatriation policies and practices including reintegration to the home country

Examining ethical consideration with staffing international organisations

Examining the implications of worldwide pandemic on staffing business operations

Examining the role of technology on IHRM practices

TOPIC OUTLINES (which could be subject to change)

Topic 1: The Nature of International HRM

HRM and organisational performance

Strategic focus on HR

Trends Shaping Human Resource Management

The Enduring Context of IHRM

Differences between Domestic and International HRM

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Beardwell and Thompson, Chapter 1

Dowling, Chapter 1

Topic 2 : The Organisational Context

Structural responses to international growth.

Identifying control and co-ordination mechanisms.

Defining modes of operation utilised in global markets.

Factors influencing standardisation

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Beardwell and Thompson, Chapter 17

Sparrow et al., Chapter 2

Topic 3: International Business Operations

Staffing international operations (ethnocentric, polycentric, geocentric, regiocentric)

Allocation of human resources to the organisation’s various international operations to ensure effective strategic outcomes.

Central role of international assignments.

The changing role of expatriates

Repatriation, including identify the various stages of the process.

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Edwards and Tees, Chapter 2

Topic 4 : Re-entry and career issues

The process of re-entry or repatriation and job-related issues

Social factors, including family factors that affect re-entry and work adjustment

Multinational responses to repatriate concerns return on investment (ROI) and knowledge transfer

The design of a repatriation programme

Impact of Covid 19 on repatriation

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Redman, Wilkinson and Dundon. Chapter 11

Topic 5: Recruiting and Selecting Staff – Talent Management

Importance of international talent management

Staffing with expatriates or international assignees and expatriate failure

The international recruitment function

Expatriate failure

Barriers to females taking international assignments

Factors Influencing the Growth of Global Talent Management

Successful expatriation and best practices

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Edwards and Tees, Chapter 10.

Topic 6: Training and Development

The localised approach to global training and development

The strategic role of training in international business operations and assignments.

Use of technology in training and development.

The developmental aspect of international assignments and its relation to international career paths.

Preparing HR for the future of work, jobs and the workforce.

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Redman, Wilkinson and Dundon, Chapter 5

Topic 7 : Pay and Compensation

Examine the complexities that arise when firms move from compensation at the domestic level to compensation in an international context.

Detail the key components of an international compensation programme.

Outline the main approaches to international compensation and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Identify the challenges of dealing with various tax structures and pensions

Additional reading to support lecture content :

Edwards and Tees, Chapter 11.

Topic 8 : Performance Management

The importance of and need for an effective system for managing performance of its global operations that assists strategic cohesion and competitiveness.

The purposes of international performance management.

Performance management of expatriates and non-expatriates and those on non-standard tasks and assignments such as commuters and virtual workers

Issues related to performance appraisal of international employees

Identify and overcome the major challenges to international performance management.

Changing trends in performance management internationally

Additional reading to support content : Redman, Wilkinson and Dundon, Chapter 7.

Topic 9: Implications of Covid 19

Assignment support week / Formative feedback

Topic 10: IHRM Trends and Future Challenges

International business ethics and HRM

Challenges for the HR Function of the multinational firm

HR functions which can benefit from cloud computing services

The advantages and limitations of cloud-enabled organisations for HRM

Identifying measures for successful cloud implementation

The new/next generations of employees


This module is 100% coursework assessed and comprises of one individual assignment. The assessment is to be completed on an individual basis. Full details of the assessment are available under the “Assignment” tool, within the module area on BlackBoard Learn


As MNCs’ establish subsidiaries beyond borders of the parent country to produce services and goods, they experience complex situation related to management of human resources far away from their parent countries (Kim and Milnerz, 2019)

Discuss how multinational companies, operating across borders, can ensure that their human resource policies and practices are applied equitably throughout the organisation in order to generate company-wide thinking? Use relevant industry examples to illustrate your answer.

Submission date : by 23:59pm on Sunday 21th August 2022

Within your analysis, you must provide a number of relevant, organisation-based examples, to support your theoretical arguments presented. The assignment must have a wide and visible application to industry, through the application of appropriate organisational examples. Failure to apply relevant organisational examples could result in a failure within the module assessment.

Students should be aware that this assignment requires the integration of the major themes of the module. Student skills such as researching materials, analysing, synthesising and critically evaluating the application of theory in practice will be assessed. A superior assignment will demonstrate relevant research skills, analysis and critical evaluation rather than just description.

The word count for this assignment is 3000 words with a +10% margin.

Word Count Penalties

The following penalties will be applied, if submissions go beyond 3000 words :

+10% – no penalty

+>10% – 20% : 5% penalty

+>20% – 30% : 10% penalty

+>30% – 40% : 15% penalty

+>40% – 50% : 20% penalty

+>50% – maximum mark of 50%

Determining the word count

The permissible word count will primarily originate from content pages (i.e. the main body of the assignment and exclude title pages/cover sheet, appendices, bibliographies, reference lists, diagrams/graphs/images/tables.

The minimum pass mark is 50% overall, across this module.

The assignment marking criteria and the university’s Level 7 Qualitative Criteria will be used to assess your performance. Your feedback and marks will be based on the extent to which you have met these criteria.

NB Fuller details are available on each assessment within Blackboard, including supplementary submission forms.

Student Feedback

All assignments will be returned to students within four weeks of submission (excluding university holidays). Detailed feedback and annotation using the Grademark facility in Turnitin will be used to offer personalised feedback.


Students found plagiarising or engaging in any other forms of cheating, will be subject to the relevant university regulations and could fail the module.

Turnitin, the plagiarism detection software will be utilised for all written assignments. Further details, including a link to the software, are available in the module area within BlackBoard Learn.


Required/Recommended Reading

Beardwell, J. and Thompson, A., (2017) Human resource management: a contemporary approach, 8th ed. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall, ISBN 9781292119595 e-book.

Dessler, G., (2017), Human Resource management, 15th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education. ISBN-13: 9781292152103, e-book

Dowling, P, Engle, A, Festing, M, (2017), International Human Resource Management, 7th ed. Cengage Learning, ISBN: 9781473730229 e-book.

Edwards, T, Rees, C, (2017), International human resource management: globalization, national systems and multinational companies, 3rd ed., Pearson, ISBN 9781292004105, e-book.

Reiche,B., Harzing, A., Tenzer, H., (2019) International Human resource Management, 5th Ed., Sage, ISBN ISBN 978-1-5264-2696-3 (ebook); ISBN 978-1-5264-2697-0 (pbk)

Soumyasanto, S. (2020), Digital HR strategy: achieving sustainable transformation in the digital age, Kogan Page, ISBN 9781789661231 e-book

Sparrow, P, Brewster, C and Chung, C, (2017), Globalizing Human Resource Management, Taylor and Francis, ISBN 9781315668611 e-book.

Thite, M. (2019), eHRM, Routledge, ISBN 9781315172729 e-book

Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Taylor, S., Atkinson, C., (2020), Human resource management. 11th ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall. ISBN9781292261645

e-book = 9781292129112. (10th ed)

Wilkinson, A., Redman, T., and Dundon, T., (2017), Contemporary human resources management : text and cases, 5th ed., Pearson ISBN 9781292088266 e-book

Useful Journals

There are a number of indicative journals recommended for this module and are accessible electronically through the library link in BBL, or you can access them through the University Library webpage within the Portal. These include :

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Human Resource Management Journal

Industrial Labour Organisation (ILO)

International Journal of Human Resource Management

Personnel Today


In the competitive global economy, human resources are arguably an organisation’s main source of competitive advantage. This module introduces students to the concept of International Human Resource Management, regarded as an important strategic area of business activity. It aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the core activities of international human resource management. Learning will be by teaching, discussion and independent study. Assessment is by coursework only.