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Critically evaluate different theories and perspectives on employment relations.


This module will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates, both national and international, from a theoretical and behavioural competency perspective. It will enable students to understand, analyse and evaluate competing theories and perspectives associated with managing employment relations strategies, and their outcomes on organisational climate, employees and management.

Students are provided with opportunities to critically apply the activities, knowledge and behavioural competencies required for managing employment relations practices in union and non-union, small and large, private, public and indigenous and multinational organisations. Students will also be able to assess the impact of contextual changes on employment relations practices and organisational performance from a managerial perspective, and gain insights into the creation and implementation of effective employment relations procedures and policies. Students are required to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint, and given opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Outline Of Syllabus

1 Introduction to employment relations
2 The parties to employment relations
3 Employee involvement, participation and engagement
4 Communication, consultation and negotiation
5 Managing employee performance
6 Handling redundancies
7 Managing change
8 Strategic employment relations

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to understand, analyse and critically evaluate:
1 Different theories and perspectives on employment relations.
2 The impact of local, national and global contexts shaping employment relations climates.
3 The roles and functions of the different parties to control and manage the employment relationship.
4 The importance of organisational-level employment relations processes that support organisational performance, including the design and implementation of policies and practices in the areas of: employee engagement; diversity management; employee communication, involvement and participation negotiation and bargaining; conflict resolution; and change management and management control.
5 The importance of employment relations procedures that help mitigate organisational risk, including the design and implementation of policies and practices in the areas of discipline, grievance, dismissal and redundancy.
6 The integration of employment relations processes and how they impact on policy, practice and organisational outcomes such as performance and employee engagement.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Contribute to setting the strategic direction for an organisation`s employee relations policy and practice.
2. Provide advice on the appropriateness of adopting different forms of employee involvement/participation and how to implement them.
3. Participate as a key team member in the effective implementation of organisational change.
4. Participate as a key team member in the consultation and communication process.
5. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the organisation`s strategies, policies, procedures and processes to develop and maintain employee commitment.
6. Facilitate the resolution of differences with management colleagues within and between the management functions, as well as employees individually and/or collectively.
7. Supply appropriate advice on the basic rights and obligations of employers and employees arising from the contract of employment and associated legislation.
8. Draft policies and procedures dealing with employee grievances, discipline, redundancy, job grading, harassment and bullying, and ensure their effective implementation and management.
9. Participate in the preparation of a case at an employment tribunal on behalf of an employer.
10. Advise on contemporary developments in employee relations and their potential impact on the organisation`s policies and practices.

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