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Assignment Briefs 11-02-2023

Critically evaluate the impact of different HRM models on organisational performance, illustrating how they can add value for HR managers


For the Human Resources in Context examination, you have a maximum of 48 hours to complete and upload your answers from the time the questions are released on Moodle.

You are required to answer three questions in total:

  • Answer one question from each of the three sections (Section A, Section B and Section C).
  • Enter your answers to the three questions in one Microsoft Word document.
  • Include a heading for each answer stating the section and question number, for example: ‘Section A, question 2’.
  • Do not copy the question wording into your answer as it will affect the similarity score of your response.
  • As a guide, the word count for each answer is 800–1,000 words, excluding references.
  • Remember to correctly reference all of your sources.
  • Please add your reference list at the end of each answer.

All questions are equally weighted.

The examination marking criteria is provided for information.

Final Assessment Mark:

  • Please note that all marks are provisional, subject to external moderation and ratification by the Assessment Board.
  • The provisional mark reflects the academic quality of your assessment and is provided to assist you in understanding your feedback against the marking criteria provided.
  • However, provisional marks do not take into account any penalties (e.g. for late submission) that may be applied in accordance with the Taught Postgraduate Assessment Regulations.
  • Provisional marks have not yet been externally moderated and so may be subject to change. Your final mark will be confirmed once this has been ratified by the Assessment Board. You will be informed of any re-assessments following the Assessment Board.

Please note – the assessment deadlines reflect the time zone that is set in your Moodle profile. Please ensure your Moodle profile is set to the correct time zone for your location.

Examination questions

Section A

Answer one question from this section only.

  1. Critically evaluate the impact of different HRM models on organisational performance, illustrating how they can add value for HR managers.
  2. Evaluate how organisation and business strategy is shaped by the internal and external environment and how this may impact HR policy and practice, using appropriate methodologies and theory to illustrate your rationale.
  3. Critically discuss the extent to which the HRM role can justify its strategic place on the Board and its contribution to the business and wider stakeholder group. Cite practice examples to illustrate your points.

Section B

Answer one question from this section only.

  1. To meet market competition and high customer expectations, organisations try to respond to globalisation by drawing on HR strategies and practices. Critically analyse the extent to which globalisation has led to an increased focus on the achievement of competitive advantage through HR strategy.
  2. Evaluate the current impact of a range of globalisation and international factors on one organisation of your choice. Critically examine how this organisation might best respond to related challenges.
  3. What is the impact of the global context on HR? Discuss with regard to the challenges that the HR function faces by external economic, political and societal trends.

Section C

Answer one question from this section only.

  1. How can HR Analytics be used to improve the quality of decisions about the workforce? Discuss with regards to performance management and employee engagement.
  2. Computer and Internet based technologies are changing the landscape of HR. Evaluate this statement by discussing the impact of technological innovations on the functions of recruitment and selection and training and development.
  3. Critically discuss the role of International Labour Standards. Please consider the challenges/tensions the HR function is facing while balancing the role as employee champion versus strategic partner.

Module summary in brief

Welcome to the Human Resource Management in Context unit. We hope you enjoy the unit, which has been designed to introduce you to the major internal and external contextual issues that shape decision-making in human resource management (HRM).

The unit is designed to provide an overview of major contemporary trends and explain their significance for organisations and HRM. We will be covering a wide range of topics over the next weeks, all relating to business and how HR can maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of performance for the particular function it supports.

We will be looking at the impact of external environmental trends on decision-making and strategy-making in HRM as well as internal trends and constraints. In practice, HRM is one of those topics which affects every individual in the workplace in some way, and which is why it is so important to managers in today’s organisations and in an ever-changing labour market and global playing field.

The Human Resource Management in Context unit lead is Helen Smith. Like all the other units, this one is worth 15 credits. All sessions will be run online through our virtual learning environment. All of the learning, activities and assessments can be found there. We hope that you will take away from this unit a changed perspective on the context in which HRM operates.

Assignment requirement

You have a maximum of 48 hours to complete and upload your answer document from the time the questions are released on Moodle.

  • Complete your examination answers in a Microsoft Word document.
  • If using a laptop, you need to make sure that it is always charged and/or plugged in to avoid losing your work.
  • Please make sure you save your work regularly to avoid any issues with losing your work.
  • Please submit your examination answers by the date and time specified. Late submissions will incur a penalty in accordance with the University regulations.

Recommended word count

The word count for each answer is expected to be 800–1,000 words, excluding references. However, this is only a rough guide; you will not be penalised for writing more or less, as long as you answer the question in full and keep a tight focus on this. Don’t forget to address questions as guided in your marking criteria grid.

One submission attempt

You will get only one attempt to submit this exam. Please make sure you have completed all the questions before submitting your work, checking carefully that you have answered each one in full. Ensure you upload your final version, as mistakes cannot be rectified.

Do not plagiarise

This is an open book exam, so you can and should use relevant literature to support your points. Please ensure you acknowledge all sources using in-text citations and references where possible.

All your submissions will go through Turnitin. However, you will not be able to see the Turnitin similarity score, so take care not to copy and paste from elsewhere, without using speech marks and clearly indicating the source. Use your own words to paraphrase ideas and clearly attribute content back to its source when you draw on other people’s ideas and materials.

Referencing guidance

Since this is an open book exam, there is no reason why you are not able to reference your three separate essays as you go. Please collate your references for each essay upon its completion. Manchester Metropolitan use the Harvard style of referencing.  A guide would be between 8–12 different reference sources per essay to underpin your arguments.

An Example to Start Your Assignment:

The impact of different Human Resource Management (HRM) models on organizational performance can be significant, and their effectiveness largely depends on the organization`s context and specific needs. Here, I will evaluate the impact of a few HRM models and how they can add value for HR managers:

  1. The Harvard Framework Model:

    • Impact on Organizational Performance: This model emphasises the importance of integrating HRM with the overall strategic objectives of the organization. When implemented effectively, it can lead to improved organizational performance by aligning HR practices with the organization`s goals and creating a more productive workforce.
    • Value for HR Managers: The Harvard Model helps HR managers understand their role as strategic partners. It encourages them to design HR policies that support the organization`s objectives, which can lead to increased employee engagement and better performance.
  2. The Guest Model:

    • Impact on Organizational Performance: The Guest Model focuses on enhancing employee commitment and flexibility through HR practices. When applied, it can lead to improved employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and increased productivity, positively impacting organisational performance.
    • Value for HR Managers: This model guides HR managers in designing HR policies that foster employee commitment and flexibility, which can lead to a more engaged and adaptable workforce. HR managers can add value by implementing these practices effectively.
  3. The High-Performance Work System (HPWS) Model:

    • Impact on Organisational Performance: HPWS emphasises creating a work environment that fosters employee skills, motivation, and opportunities for involvement. Organisations that adopt HPWS typically experience better productivity, innovation, and overall performance.
    • Value for HR Managers: HR managers can add value by identifying and implementing HR practices that enhance employee skills and motivation, like training and development programs, performance incentives, and employee involvement initiatives. These strategies can lead to improved organizational performance.
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