International Human Resource Management
The aim of this module is to consider the context, theory and practice of international human resource management (IHRM) – with a particular focus on HRM issues in an international context as well as working abroad. The module aims to critically consider the emergence of IHRM as a discipline and its practices within a global context. Emphasis is placed on debates associated with the utilisation of human resources in an international context, including cultural differences and diversity, expatriation. It aims to analyse specific HRM areas in the international arena such as international staffing and expatriation.
This module looks at International Human Resource Management and how it responds to globalisation, so countries all over the world are brought into consideration. Expatriation and how companies manage their expatriated staff during international assignments is a major theme explored in this module.
Most of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
Previously, we have had the author of the text book, International and Comparative Human Resource Management, give a talk on outsourcing and off-shoring. International experts/practitioners on topics relevant to the module will be invited to deliver a guest lecture.
This module equips students with key skills for working abroad: knowing what to expect, what the pitfalls might be, what to look out for and how to do it better. They are taught about different cultures from around the world and the importance of acquiring good cultural training and appreciation before working abroad. Also, students are taught how to manage the expatriation/repatriation cycle throughout the module.
Full module specification
|Module title:||International Human Resource Management|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
The aim of this module is to consider the context, theory and practice of international human resource management (IHRM) – with a particular focus on HRM issues in an international context as well as working abroad. The module aims to cover critical consideration of the emergence of IHRM as a discipline and practices within a global context.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. describe the theoretical underpinnings of international HRM;
- 2. apply HR theories to HR practice with sensitivity to the international context, as well as multicultural and ethical concerns in international work-life;
- 3. analyse the process of selecting career options and job search, with specific reference to the processes involved in successfully applying for postgraduate employment in different global contexts;
- 4. critically analyse HRM rhetoric, implications, and opportunities in an international context;
- 5. produce appropriate theoretical and practical solutions to organisational problems in the international arena;
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 6. clearly explain of the importance of the competitive environment (in relation to management generally and international HRM specifically) and how changes in the external social and economic environments influence international HRM decisions;
- 7. engage in debates on cultural and contextual environments and their effects (in relation to management generally and international HRM specifically) with multicultural and multilingual groups of peers;
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. think analytically and conduct critical analysis of practical challenges in international human resource management;
- 9. apply reason and justification within discussion;
- 10. practise independent study skills, including critically assess credibility of (electronic) data obtained from various sources;
- 11. demonstrate written communication skills;
- 12. apply theory and conceptual frameworks to practical problems.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||20||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||6||Seminars (2-hour seminars across three weeks)|
|Guided Independent Study||124||Reading, researching and writing assignments|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Critical thinking skills through problem-solving||Case Study analysis in groups (during seminars)||3-5, 8-10, & 12||Oral feedback given to the groups collectively (seminar)|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Individual written assignment 1||30||Maximum 1,000 words||1-12||Written feedback (ELE)|
|Individual written assignment 2||70||Maximum 2,500 words||1-12||Written feedback (ELE)|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Written Assignment 1 (30%)||Written Essay (30%, 1,000 words)||1-12||August Examination Period|
|Written Assignment 2 (70%)||Written Essay (70%, 2,500 words)||1-12||August Examination Period|
Students are asked to re-sit only the assessment element that they are referred or deferred.
- Introduction to IHRM
- MNCs and HRM
- Cultural differences and diversity
- Strategic decision making in IHRM
- The Expatriation Cycle
- Staffing the multi-national company
- Working in Multi-Cultural teams
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Basic reading –
Reiche, B. S., Harzing, A. W., & Tenzer, H. (Eds.). (2018). International human resource management. SAGE Publications Limited.
Reiche, B. S., Stahl, G. K., Mendenhall, M. E., & Oddou, G. R. (Eds.). (2016). Readings and cases in international human resource management. Taylor & Francis.
Relevant journals include (non-exhaustive list):
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management Review
Human Resource Management (US)
Human Resource Management Journal (UK)
International Business Review
Human Resource Development International
Human Resource Management Review
Journal of International Management
International Journal of Management Reviews
International Studies of Management & Organization
International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management
Cross-Cultural & Strategic Management
Journal of Global Mobility
Journal of World Business
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
The module has a fully developed site on ELE where an extensive array of module materials can be found including lecture outlines, and suggested reading on a per topic basis.
Last revision date