University of Technology Sydney

21407 Strategic 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 2024 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.


This subject focuses on the strategic nature of human resource management (HRM) functions within various organisations and builds on general issues first raised in 21555 Human Resource Management. It develops an appreciation of critical HRM issues through an exploration of conceptual issues such as alternative ways of viewing the HRM field, how HRM should relate to changes in the organisational environment, and the relationships between organisation strategy and HRM functions. The underlying concept considered in this subject is how an organisation in a changing environment can best manage its human resources in such a way as to provide long-term benefits to the organisation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. apply the main schools of thought in strategic human resource management to organisational practice
2. analyse the relationship between strategic HRM and organisational performance, including the evaluation of HRM
3. assess the contemporary challenges faced by HR practitioners in establishing a strategic HRM function in relation to internal and external organisational contexts
4. critically analyse ethical issues likely to arise in HRM and how these issues may be resolved

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject forms part of the BBus major in Human Resource Management. It contributes to the objectives of that major by fostering in students the ability to relate HRM policy and practice to the strategic management of organisations in a changing environment. It provides students with an evidence-based understanding of strategic HRM where they will be exposed to a range of HRM functions, perspectives, theoretical frameworks, cutting-edge research and best practice. Students will be expected to engage in self-directed active learning to develop strategic analytical skills (such as the design and analysis of HRM research) and knowledge of contemporary HRM issues (such as online computer-based training, ethics and sustainability in HRM, diversity management and accounting for an ageing workforce). The general intention of the unit is to cover both functionalist and critical perspectives on HRM.

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

  • Intellectual rigour and innovative problem solving
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Social responsibility and cultural awareness
  • Professional and technical competence

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

  • Make judgements and business decisions consistent with the principles of social responsibility, inclusion and knowledge of Indigenous peoples (3.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

The teaching and learning strategies utilised in this subject promote analysis, reflective learning, strategic and critical thinking, collaboration and interpersonal skills. The strategies have been designed to promote independent learning and facilitate students’ development as lifelong learners. Students will gain foundational knowledge via the weekly lectures, tutorials and online activities and apply this knowledge and develop their skills via assessments and self-directed research.

Preparation before class: Students are expected to have read and reflected on the required readings and/or short videos before class each week to make the most of the class activities and discussions. Students are encouraged to keep ongoing reflective records of their learning by noting week-by-week what they have learnt and what remains unclear. This record enables students to better contribute their knowledge to class activities and discussions, while guiding them on the areas that require further reading, research and guidance from academics.

During class: The subject is structured around one 90-minute lecture and one 90-minute tutorial. The lectures are designed to build on your preparatory readings before class; extending or even problematising mainstream theories and practices with critical contemporary evidence. As it is assumed students are independently engaging with the preparatory study, lectures will not provide summaries of the readings. Lecture recordings will typically not be available depending on the technological infrastructure of the room. Students who wish to record the lectures are encouraged to do so with their own devices after confirming with the Lecturer.

Tutorials will incorporate more active and collaborative learning strategies including activities such as group discussions, quizzes and interactive presentations delivered by students. For example, in the first tutorial students will be required to complete a five-minute essay on what strategic HRM means to you on which the tutor will provide general feedback in the following week.

Students are expected to attend both lectures and tutorials. It is the students’ responsibility to review any classes they have missed via the lecture slides on the UTS Learning Management System.

Online activities: In set weeks of the session (see detailed subject schedule on the UTS Learning Management System), students will complete an online activity in lieu of face-to-face classes. This will typically include videos and/or readings followed by a writing and discussion task with classmates in the forums on the UTS Learning Management System. Please review the subject schedule carefully to ensure there are no confusions about when the online activities will be run.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to strategic HRM and its theoretical models and common practices
  • Functions of strategic HRM including leadership and culture, recruitment and selection, training and motivation, performance management and feedback, attracting and retaining talent
  • Analysing and evaluating the effectiveness and sustainability of HRM policies and practices
  • Contemporary issues in HRM, such as diversity and aging workforces, designing engaging organisational cultures, knowledge management and global HRM
  • Critical perspectives of HRM, including challenges around ethics, sustainability and social justice


Assessment task 1: Reflective Exercise (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 30%

Approximately 1000

  • Depth of engagement with literature
  • Depth of reflection on communication skills
  • Appropriateness of recommendations
  • Clarity of link between reflection and future applications

Assessment task 2: Case Study (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 40%

Approximtely 1500 - 2000 words

  • Identification and discussion of HRM features
  • Critical analysis of HR system and challenges
  • Appropriateness and justification of recommendations
  • Clarity of communication

Assessment task 3: Presentation (Group)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 30%

Approximtely 10 minutes

  • Clarity of communication
  • Engagement with audience
  • Application of storytelling techniques taught in class to strategic HRM
  • Ability to design engaging visuals that help tell your story

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Minimum requirements

To pass the subject, students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

There is no required text. Contemporary articles and book chapters are used in place of a textbook in this subject (see Canvas).

Recommended texts

TBA in Canvas


See Canvas for Reading Materials which are posted weekly in Modules

Other resources

See Canvas for resources that are required to be open during tutorials. You should bring an electronic device to class.