MGMT611-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management (HRM)

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


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 (2018)
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.

An approximate workload of this course is as follows:
• Lectures - 24 hours
• Workshops - 6 hours
• Lecture and workshop Preparation - 60 hours
• Framework assignment  – 30 hours
• Self-directed project - 30 hours

Total 150 hours

Learning Outcomes

The MCom learning goals are as follows:

1. Graduates can demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of current theoretical concepts and frameworks within their major discipline.

2. Graduates are able to think logically, analytically and critically with respect to the academic literature in their major discipline.

3. Graduates can plan and carry out a supervised programme of academic research that shows a sound understanding of ethical practice.

4. Graduates are able to synthesise academic or professional literature and effectively communicate research orally and in written form.

The learning objectives for this course align with the above 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.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department

Equivalent Courses


Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 10:00 - 12:00 Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct

Timetable Note

There will be no tutorials in this course.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Bernard Walker


Sanna Malinen


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., diagnosis of the situation)
b. how HRM-informed practice can improve the situation (i.e., an intervention)
c. How you would go about evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention proposed in (b).

Detailed assessment information will be provided in class.  

Your final score will be calculated after the raw marks for each assessment have
been standardised. You should not regard 50% as a pass mark.

Textbooks / Resources

Text and readings to be advised in class. There is no set textbook for this class; rather, we will use journal articles and other materials.


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.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,037.00

* 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

  • MGMT611-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023