The assignment question reflects some 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 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. Students that can show evidence of critical thinking and engagement with academic literature, and illustrate this with practical ‘real world’ examples, are more likely to achieve favourable grades.
In 2008, the most serious financial and economic crisis to hit the global economy since the Great Depression began in the US and spread rapidly to Europe. Many economies are still experiencing negative or declining growth rates and economic restructuring, as well as unemployment and austerity (ILO, 2014). While various studies have explored the impact of financial and economic crisis at the macro and micro level – examining issues such as firm growth and survivability, financing, market investment, and organisational strategy – less attention has been given to the human resource management (HRM) and employment relations implications of the global economic downturn, how this has affected organisations, HR management in organisations, the employment conditions and living standards of workers, and so forth.
SELECT ANY ONE ORGANIZATION CASE with which you are familiar – one that you can access relevant HRM information about (for example, one you have worked for, an organisation familiar to family/friends, or that you have been able to find detailed information about in journal articles, books, newspapers, internet).
In completing the assignment question, you are expected to address the following issues:
1. Broad political economy context: start by providing a general summary of the overall impact of the 2008 financial and economic crisis on HRM practices, jobs, work and employment in the country or countries where your chosen case organization operates;
2. Impact on strategy in your chosen case organization: then, assess the impact of the 2008 financial and economic crisis on the case organization’s overall business strategy and then its overall HRM strategy.
3. Impact on HRM policies and practices: next, analyse the effects of the 2008 financial and economic crisis on the various specific components of HRM policy and practice in the case 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 HRM 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 have other labels).
4. Context: Another theme to be discussed in your assignment is how different organizational, sector/industry, country, and international contextual circumstances might influence and mediate the impact of the 2008 financial and economic crisis on your chosen case organization.
5. Finally, provide a conclusion summarizing your arguments, and, if appropriate, identify any practical recommendations relating to HRM practice.
– Short abstract/summary (approximately 100 words)
– Main body: combination of discussing the impact of the 2008 crisis on HRM practices in the case organisation and relating this to critically analysing relevant academic literature (use sub-headings for tidy/structured presentation)
– Conclusion and possible recommendations