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University of Exeter Business School

HRM and the Future of Work (is Now)

Module titleHRM and the Future of Work (is Now)
Module codeMBAM958B
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Ilke Inceoglu (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

5 days

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Several trends with long-lasting impact on business and society have been identified, that significantly influence the jobs and skills landscape and how organisations operate (see in particular: UKCES, 2014; Bakhshi et al., 2017). These include: technological advancement, social and cultural shifts in society including demographic change and growing diversity, globalization and resources and the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated some trends which resulted in rapid digital transformation of organisations and the widespread implementation of flexible, remote working. What are implications for HRM as, for example, organisations recruit employees for jobs that require constantly evolving skill sets?

Module aims - intentions of the module

The overall aim of the module is to be able to apply a strategic view of HRM in the light of Future of Work trends.

To understand the application of HRM practice, based on the latest evidence, to specific stages that employees move through in an organisation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. analyse the impact of Future of Work trends on HRM practices by considering societal changes that influence organisations and individuals;
  • 2. critically evaluate the implications of Future of Work trends for strategic HRM.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. demonstrate understanding of key principles and frameworks in HR practices and processes;
  • 4. demonstrate understanding of Future of Work trends and impact on work and organisations;
  • 5. critically evaluate evidence, concepts and theoretical approaches that are important for strategic HRM in the context of Future of Work trends.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. take a global outlook: apply creative intelligence and ethical imagination to complex problems to ensure that environmental and social governance is taken into account;
  • 7. apply critical thinking: present and defend strategic analyses in multiple forms (written, verbal, digital) based on case material, desk based and empirical research;
  • 8. work with a collaborative mind-set: give and receive feedback at all levels in a confident and respectful manner. Work inclusively across multi-cultural groups to research, explore and prepare a persuasive argument against an assignment or client brief;
  • 9. develop an ethical perspective: improve personal effectiveness through consciously and diligently making decisions on behalf of all stakeholders, environmental, social and financial;
  • 10. demonstrate technological and digital literacy: identify and apply relevant technologies to source, process and communicate accurate information.

Syllabus plan

At the core of this module will be (a) a strategic and leadership focused view on HRM, (b) key frameworks and consideration of the latest evidence base of HR practice. We will discuss how Future of Work trends impact HR practices and leadership such as: the role of technology and digital transformation, operating in an international context, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, remote working, the impact of COVID-19.

We will use a structure that considers the key stages that employees move through in an organization, including recruitment, selection and assessment, performance measurement and management, work engagement and transition. From a strategic point of view, we will connect these key stages by considering the impact of FoW developments. We will discuss cases and have experts provide an insight into the latest approaches in HR practice.


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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities35Lectures & facilitated group discussions
Guided Independent Study115Reading, research, group work, writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual essay (must be submitted: pass/fail for submission)800-1,000 words1-6Written feedback
Debates and self-assessed case studiesIn class1,5,8,9Verbal in class

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
Individual report803,000 words1-6Written feedback
Presentation to panel 2010 minutes1,5,7-10Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual report (as above) (80%) Individual report (3,000 words, 80%)1-66 weeks after briefing
Video presentation to panel (10 minutes) (20%)Video presentation that can be viewed by panel (10 minutes, 20%)1,5,7-106 weeks after briefing

Re-assessment notes

The re-assessment of each assessment component will take the form of an improved version of the respective individual assignment (with the previous topic of the essay).

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bartram, D. (2005). The Great Eight competencies: a criterion-centric approach to validation. Journal of Applied Psychology90(6), 1185.
  • CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, 2019). Building inclusive workplaces: Assessing the evidence.
  • Deloitte. (2017). Redesigning performance management | Deloitte Insights. Retrieved from
  • Minbaeva, D. B. (2018). Building credible human capital analytics for organizational competitive advantage. Human Resource Management, 57(3), 701–713.
  • Marr, B. (2020) How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Fast-Tracking Digital Transformation in Companies, Forbes
  • Parker, S. K., & Grote, G. (2019). Automation, algorithms, and beyond: Why work design matters more than ever in a digital world. Applied Psychology: An International Review.
  • PwC (2020) Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030.
  • Rousseau, D. M. (2006). Is there such a thing as “evidence-based management”?. Academy of Management Review31(2), 256-269.
  • Servoz, M. (2019). The future of work? Work of the futureOn how artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are transforming jobs and the economy in Europe. In AI report44, 10-2307.
  • van der Togt, J., & Rasmussen, T. H. (2017). Toward evidence-based HR. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness, 4(2), 127–132.
  • World Economic Forum (2018) The Future of Jobs Report. Insight Report. Centre for the New Economy and Society

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources (selection – more will be provided by the module lead):

Atalay, Enghin, et al. "The evolution of work in the United States." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 12.2 (2020): 1-34.

Becker, B. E., & Huselid, M. A. (2010). SHRM and job design: Narrowing the divide. Journal of organizational Behavior31(2/3), 379-388.

Key words search

Human Resource Management, Future of Work

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date