HR9781 - Global HR Practices and Fundamentals

What will I learn on this module?

Understanding human resource management in a global context is critical for business managers as globalisation provides increasing opportunities for companies to grow and be competitive in more diverse and international contexts. This module provides you with an overview of the field and a new set of contemporary principles, theories and concepts for managing employees within the context of the growing internationalisation of a business.

This module focuses on the implications of the rise of multinational corporations and foreign direct investment for international human resource management and the challenges of managing a diverse workforce across national borders. This module will help you critically examine the impacts of institutional environments, international labour regulations and global business ethics on the choice and effectiveness of HR practices.

The course also helps you learn and adopt a comparative discussion of convergence and divergence of human resource practices across national contexts. You will learn to understand the fundamental HR functions and the responsibilities of HR professionals across national borders to help businesses achieve employee and firm outcomes. Finally, you will reflect on and gain an in-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that companies face in managing people and workplaces at the global level.

Key themes: HR practices of multinational corporations and subsidiaries, institutional environments, cross-culture, comparative human resource management, HR functions.

Topics may include:
• specific international HR functions (such as recruitment and selection, training and development, expatriation and repatriation, pay/rewards systems, performance management, career development)
• high performance HRM systems
• 'home-country' and ‘host-country’ effects shaping multinational and subsidiary employment practices across borders
• convergence and divergence of HR practices
• international assignments as an HR tool
• equity and diversity dimensions of MNC HRM practices
• the role of culture and business ethics in global HR management
• corporate social responsibility issues in global HR practices
• global talent management
• implications of outsourcing and offshoring for HR practices in a global context

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures will provide you with theoretical underpinnings of the module content, supported by lectures and seminar sessions with case studies. The module has a supporting reading list that provides you with an opportunity to explore how multinational and foreign investment companies operate and manage people in global contexts. The reading list comprises of various materials including reports, book chapters and journal article that showcases the application of a variety of subject materials.

An interactive approach to lecture, seminar and case study sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform. The continuous practical nature of the seminars means that tutor (formative) feedback will be consistently provided. In-class evaluations and directed learning activity provide formative assessment. Blackboard Ultra, the electronic learning platform, will be used to distribute material and stimulate discussion.

Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc. The directed study will support and complement the work you have undertaken in face-to-face sessions.

Throughout the module until its end, you will engage in individual writing exercise through one summative assessment to reflect your learning accumulation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Usually, each week of the module will begin with a lecture providing theoretical underpinnings and cases for you to consider. This will be followed by seminar-based discussions and exercises, sometimes with guest facilitators from industries.

Part of the learning on this module will be intra-group – i.e., your own experiences and those of your colleagues are valid and highly valued aspects upon which to reflect about global HR practices and fundamentals. This is facilitated by the module leader and academic tutors contributing to the course.

You will be supported through making available the most of digital and technology learning tools throughout the course. Tools such as Blackboard e-learning portal and a wide-ranging electronic reading list comprised of case studies and how-to multimedia and text files, various books, industry reports, book chapters and journal articles relevant to the material covered by the module. Your module is supported via lecture capture software, such as Panopto portal, which houses a variety of lecture recordings to help you revise previously lectured recordings in your time as well as at your speed.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand and apply theoretical knowledge of global HR practices to demonstrate comparison, judgement and problem solving of contemporary HR issues at a global level [MLO1]
2. Critically analyse theoretical underpinnings and evaluate solutions for selected global HR topics and issues [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Formulate strategies for effective global HR practices in relation to HR functions (recruitment and retention, training and development, compensation and performance management, expatriation, repatriation) [MLO3]
4. Evaluate the contribution that effective international HR practices can make to employee and organisational objectives [MLO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Apply critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving skills [MLO5]

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be undertaken through continuous fundamentals with a series of seminars. You will receive feedback from your tutor about your learning progress, alongside discussion about your individual performance and ideas.

Summative assessment: This assessment will have two parts as follow:
- Part 1 (2,000 words, 60%): You will develop a strategic HR proposal presented to the top management of your company concerning strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities for human resources if your company plans to set up a new business in an international context. You will need to critically analyse how you have developed this proposal. [MLOs 1 to 5].

- Part 2 (1,000 words, 40%): You will write a reflective commentary on how you plan to develop capabilities to become an HR professional who is responsible for international assignments of a multinational company, and the attributes you will possess to make a success of your career. [MLOs 1, 2, 4, 5]

You will be provided with a mark and feedback on your assignment, which will include any actions to be taken to improve performance. This will be written feedback on individual work and returned to you electronically (eLP). The faculty office will inform you of the date this will be made available to you.

Electronic written feedback will be provided on individual work and released through the eLP.





Module abstract

Globalisation significantly benefits businesses in many ways, such as opportunities to expand and exploit foreign markets with a broader range of customers, access to new knowledge and technology, sustain competitive advantage, and better firm performance. The human resources of a business play a critical role in obtaining these goals. This course is designed for people who want to learn how to manage and organise a globally diverse workforce effectively and efficiently to maximise their potential, which allows companies to grow, flourish and succeed within an international context.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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