The module builds upon the Contextualising Management and Leading and Leading, Managing and Developing People modules with a view to developing a more in-depth and integrated appreciation of the field of human resource management. It locates the discussion of employment relations around the central focus of the employment relationship; taking both individual and collective aspects of this relationship and exploring in depth the various ways in which this is managed in both unionised and non-union settings. In this it reflects the thinking within the CIPD, that `the cornerstone of all human resource activity is the employment relationship’.
Given the focus on the employment relationship, the module explores the choices available to organisations in managing this relationship, what influences these choices and how the choices are experienced by those working in organisations, thus affecting employment relations practice within these organisations. The module considers shifting priorities in managing employment relations and the diversity of employment relations and practices found in organisations, by making extensive use of case studies and case scenarios. In doing so it adopts a critical orientation and encourages participants to reflect upon practices and in moving forward, the motivation for changing practice in employment relations together with an evaluation of such change initiatives.
The employment relationship; what is it? How is it regulated and managed? Frames of reference and structured antagonism.
Legal aspects of employment relationships - individual and collective.
The employment relationship and employment relations; actors, processes, outcomes.
The employment relationship in changing historical perspective; contexts; globalisation, structural economic and social change, disadvantage in employment, equality and diversity, social class.
Employment relations in contemporary organisations - fragmented organisations, networks, outsourcing.
Management and the employment relationship: strategies and styles.
Representation and voice at the workplace: unions and the employment relationship.
The state and the employment relationship.
Managing employment relations (1) – strategic choices - with and without unions, collective bargaining, consultation and organisational performance
Employment relations in public and private sector organisations, international and domestic, large and SMEs.
Employee involvement, participation and engagement.
Substantive employment relations issues ; regulating pay and working time
Procedural issues in employment relations: regulating employment relations, conflict management, organisational justice and managing organisational risk.
Emerging issues and priorities; diversity, engagement, changing forms of regulation.
Regulating, experiencing and contesting the employment relationship.
Delivery of the module is based on a mix of lectures, seminars, and discussion groups supported by weblearn materials and directed learning activities. Students will be issued with a module handbook, and guidance on readings, most of which will be available through the Learning Centre, others through weblearn. All participants will be required to read relevant materials in advance of seminar sessions in order that these can be student-led.