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1.1 Critically justify the importance of human resource management in organisations.

Strategic Human Resource Management

Unit Reference Number


Unit Title

Strategic Human Resource Management

Unit Level


Number of Credits


Total Qualification Time (TQT)

200 Hours

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

100 Hours

Mandatory / Optional


Unit Grading Structure

Pass / Fail

Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ understanding of how the effective strategic management of human resources supports the achievement of organisational objectives in different contexts. Learners will evaluate the contribution of strategic human resource management, and the application of leadership and management theory for organisational benefit.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcome – The learner will:

Assessment Criterion – The learner can:

1. Understand the role of management of human resources.


Critically justify the importance of human resource management in organisations.


Assess the role and purpose of the strategic human resource management function and activities in an organisation.


Evaluate how human resource management is related to other functional areas.

2. Be able to create a human resource plan for an organisation.


Assess the business factors to consider before human resource planning.


Determine human resource requirements in different organisational contexts.


Develop a human resource plan for an organisation.

3. Understand the role of legal and ethical issues in developing human resources policy.


Explain the purpose of human resource policy.


Assess the impact of regulatory and legal requirements on human resource policies in an organisation.


Assess the impact of business ethics, CSR, and sustainability requirements on human resource policies for an organisation.

4. Be able to plan develop human resource strategies.


Critically analyse the impact of an organisational strategy, structure and culture on the management of human resources.


Develop a structured, relevant and comprehensive HR strategy.


Critically monitor the effectiveness of human resources management.

5. Understand HRM approaches within organisations and their relationships with organisational performance.


Critically evaluate the relationships between business strategy and human resource management.


Explain the implementation and measurement of HR approaches using relevant metrics.


Monitor and evaluate a human resource strategy that supports organisational mission, vision, values and objectives.


To achieve a pass for this unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria.

Learning Outcomes to be met

Assessment Criteria to be covered

Assessment type

Word count

(approx. length)

All 1 to 5

All ACs under LO 1 to 5


4500 words

Indicative contents

  • Critical explanation of the nature and importance of h u m a n resource management in organisations: definition; features of HRM approach; HRM models: D Guest, M Patterson, best practice model, contingency model, Harvard  Framework; personnel management and HRM; activities of HRM.
  • Assessing the role and purposes: Strategy: HRM strategy; organisational strategy; HRM strategy benefits for organisations; interrelationships between HRM and organisational strategies; organisational performance and HRM strategy; HRM strategy influence on organisational strategy; organisational strategy influence on HRM strategy; value creation; human capital management; HRM strategy business focus; effective HRM.
  • Evaluating  contributions  of  human  resource  management:   evaluation   of  h u m a n resource management contribution e.g. characteristics, importance, techniques; the changing patterns of effective human resource management; the effect of globalisation; the use of IT.
  • Analysing the business factors: growth in business; changes in business; labour market competition; labour cost substitution; development of employee; control of labour cost; operations location; work nature changing; productivity increase; efficiency increase; technological impact; competition in business; declination of business.
  • Determining human resource requirements: personnel prerequisites identification: experiences, skills, qualifications, numbers; personnel matching to organisational prerequisites; basic prerequisite factors: skills, demand and supply of labour, workforce; external factors: policies of governments, education, employment, regional or industrial training; competitions in labour market.
  • Developing a human resource plan: human resource planning e.g. features and requirements; functionalities e.g. selection and recruitment, retention, skill development, up-skilling, re-skilling, succession planning; outputs; resource demand; success factors; planning length e.g. short,  medium  and  long;  costs  and  benefits of business; Empowerment and talent management.
  • Explaining the purpose of human resource policy: policy purposes; selection and recruitment; diversity and equality; development and training; expenses and benefits; discipline; performance improvement; rewards; pay; health and safety; discipline; information confidentiality; working time;  paternity  or maternity  leave; harassment  or bullying; management of change; grievance and dismissal; intellectual property: copyrights, patents; protected disclosure/whistle blowing; alcohol, drugs or smoking.
  • Analysing the impact of regulatory and legal requirements on human resource policies in an organisation: legislation of employment; rights and responsibilities of employment; payment related regulatory and legal rights; data protection, conditions and contract terms.
  • Analysing the impact of ethical requirements on human resource policies in an organisation: ethics in human resource management e. g. discrimination, harassment, racism, gender preference, nepotism, favouritism; employee satisfaction; compliance and grievance.
  • Analysing the impact of an organisational strategy, structure and culture on the management of human resources: culture and structure; culture led theoretical models: Schein, Hofstede, Handy; culture of organisation; interrelationships between HRM activities and culture.
  • Proposing the effective appropriate HR strategy: the requirement for effective human resource strategies; SMART objective target settings (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based).
  • Critically monitor effectiveness of human resources management and provide recommendations: importance of monitoring effective human resource management; policies, strategies, operations; HRM contributions; benefits;  costs; use of resources; effectiveness; ineffectiveness; information collection on HRM performance; performance indicator development; evaluation of HRM performance indicators; quantitative measurement: person output, productivity, retention of employee, turnover of staff, cost saving; qualitative measurement: stakeholder perspectives, employee attitude surveys, HRM performance benchmarking, service level standards and agreements of HRM; costs and benefits utility analysis; HRM improvement proposals and activities.
  • Discuss relationship of people development and HRM: planning for people development and human resource management; functionalities: employment, development, retention, skill enhancement, planning of succession; HR resourcing; success criteria; planning  of  milestones:  short, medium or long term; cases study  of businesses: benefits, costs, SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time- based) target settings.
  • Explain organisational theory underpinning HRM: organisational structure theories: Handy, Mintzberg, Weber; HRM impacts and structure forms: product based, functional, divisional, geographical; matrix: centralisation, decentralisation.
  • Discuss the interrelationship of employee relations/HRM practices and the management of change: employee relations e.g. concept, features  and  application; best fit practices; absence; discipline and grievance; consultation and communication; employee engagement; psychological contract; flexible working hours.
  • Developing the HRM process, recruitment and selections: the requirement of human resources; personnel requirement identification e.g. number, experiences, qualifications, set skills; human resource match to  organisational  demands; factors of human resource development, recruitment and selection e.g. person profile, requirement of labour, requirement of skills; external factors of recruitment and selection; demand of labour; labour supply; national level policies as related to human resource e.g. education, empl9oyment, training, regional, industrial; competition in labour market.
  • Developing employee motivational and appraisal strategies: employee motivation

e.g. features, importance and practices; career progression; rewards; bonus and pay rise; promotion; emotional support; job satisfaction. Critically justify the importance of human resource management in organisations.

  • Critically Analysing role and employee retentions in organisations: employee retention e.g. importance and trends; employee turnover; competitive remuneration benefits; stay interview; employee development.
  • Explore and discuss purpose of leadership in different kinds of organisations: leadership e.g. definition, features, characteristics, types, purposes of leadership; direct and indirect leadership; features of managers or leaders; leadership skills; followership; 10 managerial roles of Mintzberg.
  • Evaluate leadership practices in an organisational context: styles of management and leadership: persuasive; autocratic; charismatic; participative; laissez-faire; management and leadership influence on an organisation; style impact on strategic decisions; situation led adaptation of management and leadership styles.
  • Creating a human resource strategy that supports organisational mission, vision, values and objectives: strategic leadership development; leadership requirement for organisational aspects e.g. mission, vision and objectives; strategic development; organisational strategy formulation.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the human resource strategy: monitoring and evaluation

e.g. general features, criteria; organisational mission, vision, values and objectives monitoring; monitoring and evaluating strategy formulation.

Indicative Reading list

Core Texts:

  • Rees, G. and Smith, P. E. (2017) Strategic Human Resource Management: An international perspective. Sage Publications

Additional Reading:

  • Avery, G. (2004) Understanding Leadership. London: Sage
  • Bradley, F. (2005) International Marketing Strategy. New Jersey, FL: Prentice Hall.
  • Bratton, J., Grint, K. and Nelson, D. L. (2005) Organizational Leadership. New York: Thomson South Western.
  • Brooks, I. (2009) Organisational Behaviour: Individuals, Groups, and Organisations.Critically justify the importance of human resource management in organisations.

Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.

  • Buchanan, D. and Huczynski, A. (2007) Organisational Behaviour. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall
  • Colquitt J, LePine, J. and Wesson, M. (2010) Organizational Behaviour. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
  • Daft, R. (2006) The Leadership Experience. New York: Thomson South Western.
  • Du Brin, A. J. (2007) Leadership: Research Findings, Practice and Skills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Gill, R. (2006) Theory and Practice of Leadership. London: Sage.
  • Gold. J., Thorpe, R. and Mumford, A. (2010) Leadership and Management Development, 5th Edition. CIPD
  • Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. (2008) The Leadership Challenge. 4th Edition. New York: Jossey-Bass. London: CIPD.
  • Mabey, C. and Finch-Lees, T. (2008) Management and Leadership Development.

London: Sage.

  • Martin, J. (2005) Organisational Behaviour and Management. London: Thomson Learning. Mullins, L. J. (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 9th Edition. Harlow: Financial Times
  • Northouse, P. G. (2007) Leadership Theory and Practice. London: Sage
  • Northouse, P. G. (2009) Introduction to Leadership, Concepts and Practice. London: Sage
  • Robbins, S. and Judge, T. (2009) Organizational Behaviour. New Jersey: Person Prentice Hall
  • Storey, J. (2004) Leadership in Organisations; Current Issues and Key Trends. London: Rutledge. Times/Prentice Hall. Critically justify the importance of human resource management in organisations.

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