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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): Completionof subject 26100 Integrating Business Perspectivesc Completion of subject 26100 Integrating Business Perspectives
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
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

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following program learning objectives:

  • Critically analyse business decisions in terms of ethical practice and social responsibility (4.1)
  • Critically analyse sustainability principles for various stakeholders in relation to business contexts (4.2)

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:

  • Business knowledge and concepts

  • Critical thinking

  • Creativity and analytical skills

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Attitudes and values

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 UTSOnline.

Online activities: In set weeks of the session (see detailed subject schedule on UTSOnline), 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 UTSOnline. 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 recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management and feedback, and employee separation
  • Analysing and evaluating the effectiveness and sustainability of HRM policies and practices
  • Contemporary issues in HRM, such as diversity management and ageing workforces
  • Critical perspectives of HRM, including challenges around ethics, sustainability and social justice


Assessment task 1: Multiple-Choice Quizzes (Individual)


This addresses graduate attributes: business knowledge and concepts; critical thinking; and creativity and analytical skills.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Reflective Exercises (Individual)


This addresses graduate attributes: business knowledge and concepts; creativity and analytical skills; and communication and interpersonal skills.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 3

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 3: Critical Reflection (30% for group presentation and 30% for individual written reflection)


This addresses graduate attributes: business knowledge and concepts; critical thinking; creativity and analytical skills; and attitudes and values.


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This addresses program learning objectives(s):

4.1 and 4.2

Weight: 60%

1,500 words assignment and 20-minute group presentation

Minimum requirements

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

Required texts

Contemporary articles and book chapters are used in place of a textbook in this subject (see UTSOnline).


The following academic journals and publications are likely to prove relevant and useful for this subject:

  • Academy of Management Journal
  • Academy of Management Review
  • Industrial Relations Journal
  • Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
  • International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • Organization Studies
  • Gender, Work & Organization
  • Human Relations
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Employee Relations
  • Journal of Industrial Relations

The above journals can be obtained from the UTS Library Electronic Fulltext Databases:

Other resources

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 will be 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
  • to communicate with students through batch emails. Be sure to forward your UTS email account, if necessary, to an account you check regularly.