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University of Exeter Business School

International HRM in Practice

Module titleInternational HRM in Practice
Module codeBEMM472
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Rossana Guttilla (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Module description

This module draws upon the skills and knowledge that you have gained throughout the MSc International Human Resource Management. With reference to the latest theory and research, this module combines application of your practical HR and people management abilities with your understanding of best practice approaches toa range of business/International HRM problems. You will act as consultants addressing simulated company briefs which present particular HRM problems.  As part of a residential you will undertake skills sessions to develop your consultancy skills. You will then be briefed by the simulation company and as a small team of consultants you will work on this brief and present your initial findings and recommendations to a small panel. After the residential you will create a group research proposal which is a supporting document to your presentation. Also, you will independently investigate the brief in further detail in an individual report investigating the HRM issues in more detail and presenting your findings and practical recommendations for the organisation, Part of this report will include a critical self-reflection on the consultancy skills used in the process. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module marks the culmination of student’s learning during the programme, enabling them to apply the skills and knowledge they have developed throughout the course by taking part in a simulated project. It aims for students to demonstrate that they can apply International HRM theory to complex, real-life scenarios. Working to a company brief in small teams, the module will allow students to show that they have developed the key people management skills and knowledge required to practice in the global environment. It encompasses a range of research, oral and written presentation skills and an ability to apply IHRM theory in practice.

The module aims to develop students’ awareness of the challenges and issues concerning HRM in international organisations.  Through a problem-based learning approach, the module provides students with the opportunity to engage in relevant, appropriate and stimulating business challenges. Students will revisit themes and concepts they have considered earlier in the programme, developing both the ability to handle multiple conceptual frameworks and for confronting and integrating them to construct practical and relevant recommendations for international business problems.  

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. perform a consultancy-style investigation of a simulated business/International HRM problem using appropriate research, data collection and analytical techniques;
  • 2. evaluate HRM issues and challenges and their impact on individuals and organisations at an international level;
  • 3. demonstrate the ability to select and apply appropriate IHRM practices, policies and theories.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. demonstrate ability to be evidence-based problem solvers that analyse relevant data, opinions and contexts when informing strategic decisions in international contexts;
  • 5. demonstrate knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively manage the demands of global business and society.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. demonstrate professional and succinct oral and written presentation of work;
  • 7. apply a collaborative mind-set alongside problem solving ability;
  • 8. practice relevant people management skills for employment in international organisations.

Syllabus plan

As part of a residential students have a day of masterclasses in different skills for consultancy, including report writing, presentation skills, finding data, consultancy skills.  


A simulated case-study briefing is provided to students both verbally and with a briefing document, including any relevant data at the end of the first day. 


On the second day there is an academic session to follow up with a brief outline/review of relevant IHRM practices, policies and theories. Students will have a Q&A opportunity with the client and they work intensively on the brief to complete their tender and bid process with the presentation, and starting the supporting document. There is opportunity for feedback with academic leads and Q&A with the company leads throughout the second day. On the final day, students present findings and recommendations to a small panel in a 15 minute presentation assessed by client and academic representatives.  


After the residential students continue to work together to finish the group proposal document. 


Students will then work independently on an individual report of up to 2,000 words for each brief, summarising their findings and key recommendations for the company. Reports will include an executive summary, an overview of the background/context, a justification for the research conducted and an explanation of findings, key recommendations, conclusions and limitations. Support will be offered from the academic lead. Submission of individual reports will be staggered in the period following the end of term 3.  

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Simulated client briefing2 hours Client outlines and discusses brief
Lecture session 2 hours Introductory sessions to the modules and assessments
Academic briefing 2x1 hour Academic lead outlines related policies, practices and theories
Discussion sessions 4 x 2 hours Groups discuss ideas with academic leads
Guided independent study 282Researching and writing up individual reports Group preparation
Skills sessions 4 x 1 hour Introduce and develop consultancy skills and reflelction

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion and feedback2 x 30 minute1 – 3, 8Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation/video20 15 minutes 1 - 8Written
Group Consultancy proposal 101500 words 1-4, 6, 7Written
Individual report 704500 words 1 – 6, 8Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentation/videoIndividual presentation/video on new case study 10 minutes 20% 1 - 8August re-assessment period
Group Consultancy proposal Individual consultancy proposal 1500 words 10% 1-4, 6 and 7August re-assessment period
Individual report Resubmission - Individual report 4500 words (70%) 1 – 6, 8August re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Wilson, J. (2012) International Human Resource Development: Learning, Education and Training for Individuals and Organizations, Kogan Page
  • Crawshaw, J., Budhwar, P., Davis, A. (2020) Human Resource Management: Strategic and International Perspectives, SAGE Publications Ltd
  • Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson, C. (2020) Human Resource Management, 11th edition, Harlow: Pearson Education
  • Bratton, J and Gold, J (2017) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice, 6th edition.; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Armstrong, M., and Taylor, S. (2020) Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, London: Kogan Page

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Relevant journals include (non-exhaustive list):

International Journal of Human Resource Management

Human Relations

Human Resource Management Review

Human Resource Management (US)

Human Resource Management Journal (UK)

International Business Review

Academy of Management Journal

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

Scandinavian Journal of Management

Employee Relations

Journal of Global Mobility

Journal of World Business

International Journal of Intercultural Relations



Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service -

Department for Work and Pensions -

Trades Union Congress -

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development -

CIPD’s People Management:

HR magazine:


Key words search

International HRM, HRM in Practice, HRM, consultancy 

Credit value30
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date