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21555 Introduction to Human Resource Management

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 21645 Managing Human Resources


Human resource management (HRM) is a core consideration for running successful organisations. This subject introduces students to the theories and concepts that underpin the real-world practice of HRM. Students explore the various dimensions of HRM, and the ways in which these have developed over the last century as a response to a changing internal and external organisational environment. In addition, through engaging with the subject content and activities, students develop a critical understanding regarding the current trends, and future challenges, impacting on the operationalisation of HRM.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the theory and practice of human resource management in contemporary organisations
2. Find and interpret basic business data and information through the lens of human resource management
3. Apply relevant theories and concepts to evaluate the impact of demographic changes on the practice human resource management
4. Propose and justify certain HRM actions to resolve complex organisational problems with support from empirical research

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This unit contributes to the Bachelor of Business by critically examining the development, structures and processes of human resource management (HRM) from the respective perspectives of employers, employees, governments and other stakeholders. Using the lens of HRM, the subject equips students with a critical understanding concerning the management considerations necessary to advance the engagement, performance, safe practice and retention of employees in a broad variety of organisational contexts. Through activities and content exploration, students sharpen their critical management skills and knowledge by equipping themselves with an evidence-based understanding regarding the complexities underpinning the practice of human resource management in contemporary organisations.

This subject is geared towards developing both a theoretical understanding and a practical capability in students regarding HRM decision making in organisations

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Business practice oriented skills

This subject also contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objective:

  • 5.1: Apply technical and professional skills necessary to operate effectively in business and related professions

Teaching and learning strategies

Overall Approach

The subject is structured around a set of problem-based learning experiences. Every week, students explore different dimensions and functions of HRM through exposure to a significant theme or issue that impacts on its practice. Through engaging with lectures, online learning activities and materials, and participating in tutorial learning episodes, students gain an appreciation as to why HRM practices exist (i.e. for what organizational purposes), and what might be done to strengthen its positive impact.

Within Class


The subject incorporates weekly 90 minutes lectures, in addition to a 90 minute tutorial. Students have the opportunity to receive formative feedback through completing a class exercise in week 3. In addition, students are encouraged to submit drafts up to 5 days prior to the submission of the written assessment task, in order to receive feedback.

The content of the subject is explored through exposition, incorporating multimodal sources (i.e. web clips, academic readings, animated lecture slides). This is followed by longer; active focused learning episodes whereupon students apply their learning in a simulation exercise. This might involve, for example, responding to a self-report survey concerning employee engagement and reflecting in group situations about the ways by which members can have similar and different sets of engagement drivers.

Time is dedicated in the lectures to ensure that students apply frameworks effectively to their assessment tasks. To this end, students bring their own cases and learning challenges to lectures, and solutions are arrived upon in collaboration with peers and lecturing staff.


Within the tutorials, students will undertake a multi-week group project (see assessment item 1), in addition to participating in learning activities to strengthen their knowledge (application of knowledge) concerning the practice of HRM. Students will undertake a task in their weekly tutorials which relates to the significant theme of the week. In this task, they will develop a response to a given stimulus, that allows them to critically apply their learning to a simulated or real-world case. These weekly tasks will form a portfolio of work that is submitted at the end of the semester for grading (assessment item 3).

Students will have the opportunity to provide draft assessment items to peers and tutoring staff to review in tutorials.

Prior to class

Online engagement – readings & multimedia resources

This subject has a weekly reading list, that seek to equip students with an evidence-based understanding concerning the practice of HRM. The readings have been selected to provide students with a valuable resource in completing their assessment tasks. However, a detailed comprehensive knowledge of these readings is not necessary, rather, these will be used as reference or support material.

All lecture and tutorial slides and resources will be available via UTS online. This includes descriptions of focused learning activities, and data analysis templates, performance planning guides and assessment guides.

Online engagement – activities

Prior to the first class, and several times throughout the semester, students may be invited to participate in surveys. The surveys will provide business data that may be used as stimulus for learning activities in lectures and tutorials.

Additional information

Full attendance at lectures and tutorials is expected, if students are unable to attend they should send their apologies to the lecturing staff in advance of the class. Students are expected to catch up on the learning materials and peer-group activities that they have missed.

Content (topics)

In the lectures, students and teaching staff explore, discuss and simulate concepts and frameworks related to human resource management including:

  • Human Resource Management: What is it? Where did it come from? And, where is it going?
  • The HRM Lens: how do HRM managers see the world?
  • Human Resource Planning: how does the labour market impact on the practice of HRM in organisations?
  • Work & Job Design: How do we work when we are at work? And, how might we work even better?
  • Engagement and Retention: What things drive employees to stay at a particular organization?
  • Employee Selection: How are employees ‘usually’ hired?
  • Performance management: What things drive employees to perform?
  • Talent Management: What is Talent Management, and what problems are associated with it?
  • Safety Management: How can we ensure our employees are operating safely?
  • Employee Diversity: How can we (ever) achieve equality in our workplaces and society?
  • Evaluating HRM: What is the future of HRM?


Assessment task 1: Assignment (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 4

Weight: 55%

The word length for should not exceed 2200 words.


See criteria:

  • Essential Knowledge of Business and HRM concepts (35%)
  • Communication (30%)
  • Critical analysis (35%)

Assessment task 2: Presentation (Group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 20%

Expected delivery time is 15 minutes, and your tutor will cut off your presentation if it exceeds 20 minutes. You are also required to submit a peer assessment of your team member's contribution.

Non-presenting groups must come up with at least one question for each presenting group.


  • What is the problem? (describe in detail) – (up to 2 minutes)
  • How significant is it? (what is the breadth and depth of its impact? how severe is it? - (up to 3 minutes)
  • How does the problem impact on the way that an organisation is run? What HRM adaptations have been undertaken to response to this change - (up to 3 minutes)
  • What do a) researchers, b) governments, and c) the business community say about the problem? - (up to 3 minutes)

Are these stakeholder perspectives consolidated and consensual, or are there diverse perspectives

  • What recommendations would you provide to Australian businesses to overcome/resolve/accommodate the issue without affecting the operational or strategic viability of the company? - (up to 4 minutes)

See criteria

  • Essential Knowledge of Business and HRM concepts (25%)
  • Presentation (25%)
  • Critical (25%)
  • Teamwork (25%)

Assessment task 3: Portfolio (Individual)


This assessment contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Objective:

  • PLO 5.1: Apply technical and professional skills necessary to operate effectively in business and related professions.

This addresses subject learning objective(s):


Weight: 25%

Submissions should not exceed 400 words (though some may be substantially less, none should be more). The total submission size should be no greater that 2400 words.

Minimum requirements

To pass the subject, students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks and complete all items of assessment. A minimum of 80% tutorial attendance is also necessary to fulfil the subject requirements.

Required texts

Nankervis, AR., Baird, M., Coffey, J. and Shields, J. 2017, Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice, 9th edition, Cengage Learning Australia.

Other resources

Recommended Journals
In addition to the above resources, students should scan referred journals for content relevant to this subject. The UTS Library subscribes to most of the academic journals listed below in either paper-based (hardcopy) or electronic (online) form. Students should consult the library on the process to access electronic journal subscriptions. The following academic journals and publications are likely to prove relevant and useful for this subject:

  • Academy of Management Journal
  • Academy of Management Review
  • Asia Pacific Journal of Human
  • British Journal of Industrial Relations
  • California Management Review
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Human Resource Planning
  • Industrial Relations Journal
  • International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • International Journal of Manpower Studies
  • Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Journal of Industrial Relations
  • Personnel Review
  • Personnel Psychology.

UTSOnline is an integrated teaching and learning component of this subject. It is an internet platform which utilises software called Blackboard. As a UTS student you are required to become familiar with this software, which is now used in most subjects in the Bachelor of Business degree.

In this subject, UTSOnline will be used for the following purposes:

  • as a noticeboard for announcements relating to the subject
  • to provide subject support materials such as the subject outline and lecture slides
  • to provide external links to useful web pages.