MGMT611-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management (HRM)

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This course examines contemporary issues in human resource management (HRM). We look at applying HRM-related theory, processes, and interventions, as ways in which HRM can exert a positive influence on how organisations function. We use readings, case studies, and engagement with practitioners to provide a highly interactive learning experience.

This course examines current issues in human resource management (HRM). We look at HRM-related theory and applications, and discuss ways in which HRM can have real influence on organisational functioning. We use readings, case studies, and engage with practitioners to provide a highly interactive learning experience. The course covers topics such as organisational resilience, measurement and diagnosis of organisational challenges, and HRM-related interventions particularly focusing on developing organisational resilience. In addition, students complete an independent project on the topic of their choice (approved by the instructor).

Additional information
This course examines contemporary issues in People Management (human resources). In a setting of rapid, disruptive change, a key challenge for leaders is to build high performing organisations that can quickly adapt to new situations. This capacity is developed through people-related processes. Session-topics include creating intra and inter-organisational collaboration, leadership that promotes resilience, learning in organisations, and creating high quality, engaging employment settings. The course includes developing skills for diagnosing organisational opportunities and challenges, and interventions to enable building adaptive capacity in people and organisations.

Relationship to other courses
This paper complements other 600-level MGMT courses. Some skills developed in this course are directly relevant to the Management Dissertation/MCom Thesis.

The estimated workload breakdown of this course is as follows:
Lectures 24 hours
Lecture and workshop Preparation 60 hours
First assignment 33 hours
Self-directed project 33 hours
Total 150 hours

Learning Outcomes

  • The learning objectives for this course align with the MCom learning goals, such that at the end of the course:

  • Students will have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of factors contributing to a well-functioning organisation.
  • Students will learn to critically analyse different measurement approaches in organisations and understand when and how to apply such measures.
  • Students will be able to synthesise academic literature and make practical recommendations based on such literature.

    Learning Objectives, MCom
  • A graduate can demonstrate higher level in-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary thought and developments within your specific research area.
  • A graduate can evaluate the implications of their own research findings for the wider body of relevant academic literature.
  • Graduates can plan and carry out a supervised programme of academic research that shows a sound understanding of ethical practice.
  • A graduate can synthesise academic literature and communicate research findings, both orally and in written form, consistent with academics working in their chosen discipline.

    For quality assurance purposes the School is required to hold on record a number of assessment pieces as examples of differing standards of work. If you have any objections to the school holding your assessment for this purpose then email the course coordinator to ensure your assignment is not used for this purpose.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department

Equivalent Courses


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Bernard Walker


Sanna Malinen


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Facilitation of class-topic 15% Facilitation of class-topic
Resilience of framework assignment 10 Sep 2021 35% Resilience of framework assignment
Student-directed Project 19 Oct 2021 40% Student-directed Project
Presentation 19 Oct 2021 10% Presentation

Cover sheets MUST be used on the student-directed project. These can be downloaded by following these links:

Assessment First Section
Area 1(a): Facilitation of Topic (15% of course grade)
Student facilitation of a topic, to be rostered among class (see instructions on Learn).

Assessment Area 1(b): Resilience framework assignment (35% of course grade)
Instructions to be provided in class (see Learn).

Assessment Second Section
Assessment 2: Student-led project (50% of course grade)
40% of the grade is given for the written report; 10% for in-class presentation during last lecture.

Students will choose a business challenge/opportunity to which HRM practices can positively influence. Students are free to choose their own topic area, but a list of potential topics will also be provided. The project comprises of two components:

1) A brief introduction and a literature review on the topic area
2) A business proposal, including plans on:
a. how to assess the business challenge within an organisation (i.e., needs analysis)
b. how HRM-informed practice can improve the situation (i.e., intervention/change initiative)
c. How you would go about evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention/change initiative proposed in (b).

Detailed assessment information can be found on LEARN.

Textbooks / Resources

Text and readings will be provided on Learn


Departmental Academic Policies
The Department assumes that you have read this document.

You should also read the General Course and Examination Regulations

Dishonest Practice
The University of Canterbury considers cheating and plagiarism to be serious acts of dishonesty.  All assessed work must be your own individual work unless specifically stated otherwise in the assessment guidelines. Material quoted from any other source must be clearly acknowledged. You must not copy the work of another person (student or published work) in any assessment including examinations, tests and assignments. Any person, who is found to have copied someone else's work, or to have allowed their work to be copied, will receive a fail grade for that piece of assessment and may face disciplinary action which may lead to a fine, community service or exclusion from the university.

IMPORTANT: Where there are concerns regarding the authorship of written course work, a student can be required to provide a formal, oral explanation of the content of their work.

Citations and referencing

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $992.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Management, Marketing and Tourism .

All MGMT611 Occurrences

  • MGMT611-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021