Individual Assignment Briefing (Individual report, 3,000 words, excluding references)
This is an applied assessment, based around a particular HRM problem scenario. The overall aim is to further develop your ability to apply your knowledge on the theory and practice of HRM.
What you are expected to do is very similar to the assignment that you carried out in Year 2 HRM. However the approach is slightly different. Although you are expected to draw on literature (academic papers and research reports, as well as more practitioner focused reports and features) there is not a standard literature review section in your report. Instead you will need to use these sources, together with other relevant organizational case examples, to support your recommendations for change.
You need to start by choosing one of the three case scenarios that are on Moodle. The cases are based on contemporary HRM issues that we will be covering in class this year: age diversity, international HRM (growth and resourcing) and employee wellbeing and work-life balance.
Structuring your report
In this section you will need to summarise the key issues in the case scenario. If there is data contained in the case scenario comment on that – what is the data telling you about what the underlying organizational problems might be. This should help you focus on the recommendations section.
You then need to comment on the wider contextual factors that could be affecting the issues in the case study. For example, if you are looking at age diversity what are the wider social, economic and political factors that are making age diversity a growing area of concern for policy makers. What supporting evidence can you draw on e.g. feature in the economist, WERS data, CIPD research reports.
- Proposed solutions (two/three max)
In this section you need to recommend and justify two/three key solutions for the key issues set out in your introduction.
For each recommendation, state clearly what the recommendation is. Then use a combination of academic sources, practitioner sources, and other case examples to support your recommendation. Remember managers will pay more attention to HR’s recommendations if these are supported with good evidence. For example, if you are looking at International expansion and resourcing in a technology-focused organization then look for comparable organizational examples. Who are the other well-respected technology companies that you could include. Try and find out how they dealt with International resourcing as they expanded.
- Implementation plan, with key milestones and evaluation criteria
For any of you who have taken managing projects then you can apply your knowledge from that module to help with this section. Otherwise look for clues in other case examples, as well as research reports. Be careful not to be too ambitious, remember the SMART approach to objective setting.
This section should be presented in a table format: key activities, responsibilities, timescale milestonesand a section on what data would need to be gathered to assess how well your recommendations have been achieved. An example layout is as follows:
|Recommendation||Key actions/activities linked to recommendation||Who needs to be involved (e.g. HR, Senior Managers, Employee Forum, Trade Unions)||Timescale (e.g. weeks, months, year)||Success criteria (What HRM measures would you use to monitor if a successful outcome e.g. retention, better outcomes in staff survey)|
Remember that in Week 6 (after Reading Week) you should bring a copy of your work in progress into the seminars, so that you can get some further feedback on this.
Christina Evans (Updated by Michal Izak 08.01.2018)