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Human resource and personnel management

HR2050: Managing Personnel and Human Resources
Assignment 1
Assignment 1 is an essay. Students are required to answer the question:
“Assess how companies can use pay linked to performance to increase organizational effectiveness”
Due to the disruption at the start of the term over seminar groups, students should ensure that they know which tutor to whom they should submit their work. In the event that students wish clarification, they should email Module Coordinator,
Your essay must be between 1500 and 2000 words and is worth 40% of the total marks for this module.
Assessments will be returned to students no later than January 17 2012.
Students must familiarise themselves with the material in the Module Information Pack (available on WebCT) on plagiarism, penalties for late submission and extenuating circumstances.
Essay writing
Before students attempt to answer this question, they should follow read the following brief notes to remind themselves what is required in an essay:
• Students should carefully read the question to make sure they are clear what they are being ask to do
• An essay is a structured piece of academic work that requires students to logically and rationally argue the issue that is the subject of the essay
• An essay should be a structured piece of work containing an introduction, the ‘body’ of the text containing the main arguments, and a conclusion summing up those arguments.
• The essay must be fully referenced using the Harvard system and contain a full reference list or bibliography containing all material cited in the essay.
Material covered in the sessions related to the topics for the assignment should be used as a starting point. Don’t simply restate what was covered in the lecture or what you have read in the literature. Develop an analysis of the key issues using secondary material to support points or to forward the case that you are presenting.
Make a plan with key points outlined before you begin to write the full answer. Ask yourself, does the analysis flow? I am usually happy to discuss your plan and ideas with you, although I will not read through full assignments.
Simple statements of opinion or prescriptive assertions are not adequate to the task: you need to back up your arguments with evidence and examples, e.g. from case or survey studies.
If you need any further guidance, including locating or identifying secondary material, please arrange to see me.
Assessment Criteria
The criteria for the assignment are as follows:
• Research and apply appropriate material;
• Show an understanding of relevant theories and concepts;
• Develop reasoned arguments and justified conclusions;
• Communicate effectively in terms of accurate written presentation and referencing.
Further reading and sources
In particular students can usefully look at the following text books from your Module Information Pack:
Beardwell, J. and Claydon, (2010), Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach, (6th ed.), Harlow: Prentice Hall, chapter 13
Bratton, J. and Gold, J., (2007), Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice, (4th edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, chapters 8 and 9

Muller-Carmen, M., Croucher, R. and Leigh, S., (2008), Human Resource Management: A Case Study Approach, London: CIPD, chapters 11,12 and 13

The other text books will have similar chapters on pay, performance and reward.
There is also material you can read in:
Torrington, D., Hall, L. and Taylor, S., (2005), Human Resource Management, (6th ed.), Harlow: Prentice Hall (chapters 12, 13 and 28)

Students are not restricted solely to these sources. The university library contains an extensive range of material on pay and performance.
In additional students may wish to consult the following material:
Becker, B. and Gerhart, B., (1996), ‘The impact of human resource management on organizational performance’ in Academy of Management Journal, 39:4, pp.779–801.

Huselid, M. A., (1995), ‘The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance’ in Academy of Management Journal, 38:3 pp.635–72.

IDS HR Studies (various), (the library hold copies of these for consultation only)
Kessler, I., (2001), ‘Reward system choices’ in Storey, J., (ed.), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, (2nd ed.), London: Thomson
Randle, K., (1997), ‘Rewarding failure: operating a payment by results system in pharmaceutical research’ in Personnel Review, 26:3, pp.187-200

How much to read?
Students are often concerned about the number of sources they should read and reference. There is no exact answer to this. The wider the reading the greater the likelihood the student will understand the issues they are being asked to discuss. Essays must certainly be based on more than one source and it is recommended that students read a number of text books and a number of more specialist academic sources (journals, HR practitioner publications). Please remember using, reading and referencing material quoted in lectures is acceptable, but citing lecture slides is not!
Material drawn from Internet sources should be used with caution and care, and should NOT be used as an alternative for a properly researched and argued essay using academic sources.


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