HRMGT501-21A (HAM)

Human Resource Management Theory

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Management and Marketing


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Paper Description

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The paper will provide students with the opportunity to evaluate and discuss the latest research in human resource management strategy. The focus is on examining theories of internal fit; which address how and why human resource practices link together to increase business performance, and external fit; which address how and why human resource practices link with finance, marketing and production (the broader organisational strategy) to increase business performance. Along these lines students are encouraged to think about archetypal human resource strategies for pay, staffing and employment relations.

This paper provides the student with a 'big picture' view of how HR practices, and under what conditions, can be combined together into coherent strategies to influence either an organisation's human capital or the behaviour of its employees, with the ultimate aim of positively influencing organisational performance.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is delivered in 3 ways:

1. Short, pre-recorded, panopto lectures (each one less than 15 minutes), of which several will be posted each week and students will be expected to have watched in advance of class.

2. A one hour face-to-face class in MSB.1.13 each Tuesday at 11 AM, where groups of students do case studies and exercises and have discussions with each other and the lecturer, involving material they have already watched on Panopto. This will NOT follow a lecture format.

3. A one-hour Zoom equivalent / repetition of the face-to-face class in 2. above, which is scheduled for 1 PM each Thursday. Please note that this session will involve the same case studies, exercises etc. as the face-to-face class earlier the same week.

Students may come to either of these classes (face-to-face or Zoom) or even both, if they wish.

There are no additional field trips or tutorials.

There is no face-to-face or Zoom class during the week of Easter Monday, beginning April 5.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • HR and human capital

    Students will understand how HR practices can be combined together to impact an organisation's human capital.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • HR and employee behaviour
    Students will understand how HR practices can be combined together to impact employee behaviour and thenceforth their work performance.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • HR practices and structural contingencies
    Students will understand how various structural conditions (e.g., labour market, product market, organisational size) impact the effectiveness/ efficiency of various HR practices / strategies
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Marking templates for each major assessment (apart from attendance and participation) will be placed on Moodle, well advance of any due dates. These templates will give you both the marking criteria and, via anchoring, some sense of what you need to do well (and need to avoid doing poorly).
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Group Critique of Recent SHRM literature
15 Apr 2021
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Test
11 May 2021
12:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Individual Analysis of HR Practices at an Organisation
7 Jun 2021
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Perrin, R. (2004). Pocket Guide to APA Style. Boston: Houghton Mifflin ISBN 0-168-30820-2

Please note that the readings below are:

a) resources to help you with your assignments (especially the essays and presentation),

b) you don't have to do all the readings listed prior to coming to class,

c) If we're covering specific readings in class, I will inform you in advance which readings are relevant and provide questions to guide you and help with your understanding.

Please note that the test is based on the material we cover in class and NOT on the readings, more generally.

SHRM Configurations

Arthur, Jeffrey, 1994, Effects of Human Resource Systems on Manufacturing Performance and Turnover, Academy of Management Journal, 37, 3, 670-687. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Delery, John, and Doty, Harold, 1996, Modes of Theorizing in Strategic Human Resource Management: Tests of Universalistic, Contingency, and Configurational Performance Predictions, Academy of Management Journal, 39, 4, 802-835.

MacDuffie, John, 1995, Human Resource Bundles and Manufacturing Performance: Organizational Logic and Flexible Production Systems in the World Auto Industry, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 48, 2, 197-221. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Verburg, Robert, Den Hartog, Deanne, and Koopman, Paul, 2007, Configurations of human resource management practices: a model and test of internal fit, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 2, 184-208.

SHRM Theories

Jackson, Susan, and Schuler, Randall, 1995, Understanding Human Resource Management in the Context of Organizations and Their Environments, Annual Review of Psychology, 46, 237-264. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Wright, Patrick, and McMahan, Gary, 1992, Theoretical Perspectives for Strategic Human Resource Management, Journal of Management, 18, 2, 295-320. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Resource-based View

Barney, Jay, 1991, Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage, Journal of Management, 17, 1, 99-120. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Boxall, Peter, and Steeneveld, Mike, 1999 Human Resource Strategy and Competitive Advantage: A Longitudinal Study of Engineering Consultancies, Journal of Management Studies, 36, 4, 443-463. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Campbell, Benjamin, Coff, Russell, and Kryscynski, David, 2012, Rethinking Sustained Competitive Advantage from Human Capital, Academy of Management Review, 37, 3, 376-395.

Chisholm, Andrew, and Nielsen, Klaus, 2009, Social Capital and the Resource-based View of the Firm, International Studies of Management & Organization, 39, 2, 7-32. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Fabienne, Autier, and Picq, Thierry, 2005, Is the resource-based 'view' a useful perspective for SHRM research? The case of the video game industry, International Journal of Technology Management, 31, 3/4, 204. [online]

Karami, Azhdar, Analoui, Farhad, and Cusworth, John, 2004, Strategic Human Resource Management and Resource-based Approach: The Evidence from British Manufacturing, Management Research News, 27, 6, 50-68. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Kraaijenbrink, Jeroen, Spender, J-C, and Groen, Aard, 2010, The Resource-based View: A Review and Assessment of Its Critiques, Journal of Management, 36, 1, 349-372. Retrieved from Sage Premier Database.

Lado, Augustine, Boyd, Nancy, Wright, Peter, and Kroll, Mark, 2006, Paradox and Theorizing within the Resource-based View, Academy of Management Review 31, 1, 115. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Ployhart, Robert, and Moliterno, Thomas, 2011, Emergence of the Human Capital Resource: A Multilevel Model, Academy of Management Review, 36, 1, 127-150.

Ployhart, Robert, Iddekinge, Chad, and MacKenzie, William, 2011, Acquiring and Developing Human Capital in Service Contexts: The Interconnectedness of Human Capital Resources, Academy of Management Journal, 54, 2, 353-368.

Pringle, Charles, and Kroll, Mark, 1997, Why Trafalgar was won before it was fought: Lessons from resource-based theory, Academy of Management Executive, 11, 4, 73-89. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Schweer, Margaret, Assimakopolous, Dimitris, Cross, Rob, and Thomas, Robert, 2012, Building a Well-Networked Organization, 53, 2, 34-43.

Sirmon, David, Hitt, Michael, and Ireland, R Duane, 2007, Managing Firm Resources in Dynamic Environments to Create Value: Looking Inside the Black Box, Academy of Management Review 32, 1, 273.

Hamish Elliott has also written a good piece on RBV for the Graduate Management Review at the University of Otago, entitled "SHRM Best Practices & Sustainable Competitive Advantage: A Resource-Based View". However, this article is not easy to access.

Transaction Cost Economics

Beccerra, Manuel, and Gupta, Anil, 1999, Trust within the organization: Integrating the trust literature with agency theory and transaction cost economics, Public Administration Quarterly, 23, 2, 177-203.* Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Boldorf, Marcel, 2009, Socio-economic institutions and transaction costs: merchant guilds and rural trade in eighteenth-century Lower Silesia, European Review of Economic History, 13, 2, 173-188. Retrieved from Cambridge Journals.

Guthrie, James, 2000, Alternative Pay Practices and Employee Turnover: An Organization Economics Perspective, Group & Organization Management, 25, 4, 419-439.* Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Hennart, Jean-Francois, 1993, Explaining the Swollen Middle: Why Most Transactions are a Mix of Market and Hierarchy, Organization Science, 4, 4, 529-547. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Krafft, Manfred, 1999, An Empirical Investigation of the Antecedents of Sales Force Control Systems, Journal of Marketing, 63, 120-134.* Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Krafft, Manfred, 2004, Relative explanatory power of agency theory and transaction cost analysis in German salesforces, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21, 265-283. Retrieved from ElsevierScienceDirect® Database.

Stroh, Linda, Brett, Jeanne, Baummann, Joseph, and Reilly, Anne, 1996, Agency theory and variable pay compensation strategies, Academy of Management Journal, 39, 3, 751-767 Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Widener, Sally, 2004, An empirical investigation of the relation between the use of strategic human capital and the design of the management control system, Accounting, Organization and Society, 29, 377-399. Retrieved from ElsevierScienceDirect® Database.

* Really a Transaction Cost Economics paper.

NOTE: New Zealand public-sector reform has been informed by both Transaction Cost Economics and Agency Theory. See Public Management: The New Zealand Model.

NOTE: see William Ouchi's work on clan control etc. to see that there is an alternative to market (output) control and hierarchical (behaviour) control

Institutional Theory

Budros, Art, 2001, An Institutional Theory of Organizational Retrenchment: Adoption of Early Retirement Programs among Ontario Universities, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 18, 3, 221-236. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Carney, Michael, Gedajlovic, Eric, and Yang, Xiaohua, 2009, Varieties of Asian Capitalism: Toward an Institutional Theory of Asian Enterprise, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 26, 3, 361-380. Retrieved from SpringerLink Contemporary Database.

DiMaggio, Paul, and Powell, Walter, 1983, The Iron Cage Revisted: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields, American Sociological Review, 48, 147-160. Retrieved from JSTOR database.

Fogarty, Timothy, and Dirsmith, Mark, 2001, OrganizationalSocialization as Instrument and Symbol: An Extended Institutional Theory Perspective, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 12, 3, 247-266. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Riaz, Suhaib, 2009, The global financial crisis: an institutional theory analysis, Critical Perspectives on International Business, 5, 1/2, 26-35. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Tost, Leigh Plunkett, 2011, An Integrative Model of Legitimacy Judgments, Academy of Management Review, 36, 4, 686-710.

Townley, Barbara, 1997, The Institutional Logic of Performance Appraisal, Organization Studies, 18, 2, 261-285. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Role Behaviour Theory (Behaviour Role Theory)

Please note that these are contingency theories.

Andrew, Rhys, Boyne, George, Law, Jennifer, and Walker, Richard, 2009, Strategy, Structure, and Process in the Public Sector: A Test of the Miles and Snow Model, Public Administration, 87, 4, 732-749. Retrieved from WileyInterScience Database.

Chang, Pao-Long, and Chen, Wei-Ling, 2002, The effect of human resource management practices on firm performance: Empirical evidence from high-tech firms in Taiwan, Journal of Management, 19, 4, 622-631. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Jaw, Bih-Shiaw, and Liu, Weining, 2004, Towards an integrative framework of strategic international human resource control: the case of Taiwanese subsidiaries in the People's Republic of China, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 15, 4, 705-729. Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Jimanenez-Jimanenez, Daniel, and Sanz-Valle, Raquel, 2005, Innovation and human resource management fit: an empirical study, International Journal of Manpower, 26, 4, 364-383. Retrived from Emerald Database.

Li, Ji, Lam, Kevin, and Sun, James, and Liu, Shirley, 2008, Strategic human resource management, institutionalization, and employment modes: an empirical study in Chinda, Strategic Management Journal, 29, 3, 337-342.

Miles, Raymond, and Snow, Charles, 1984, Designing Strategic Human Resources Systems, Organizational Dynamics, 13, 36-52.* Retrieved from Ebsco Database.

Othman, Rozhan Bin, and Poon, June, 2000, What Shapes HRM? A multivariate examination, Employee Relations, 22, 5, 467-475. Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Schuler, Randall, 1989, Strategic Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, Human Relations, 42, 2, 157-184.** Retrieved from Sage Publications Database.

Schuler, Randall, and Jackson, Susan, 1987, Linking Competitive Strategies with Human Resource Management Practices, Academy of Management Executive, 1, 3, 207-219.*** Retrieved from ProQuest Database.

Wang, Dan-Shang, and Shyu, Chi-Lih, 2008, Will the strategic fit between business and HRM strategy influence HRM effectiveness and organizational performance, International Journal of Manpower, 29, 2, 92-110.

More papers in this area can be found by using keys words like "competitive strategy" and "employees" or "human resource"

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Recommended Readings

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See above.
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Online Support

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HRMGT501 uses Moodle as its online platform.

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This is a 15 point paper with a lot of reading and some relatively long and demanding assignments. As a result, the expected workload is not light. Students can be expected to dedicate approximately 150 hours to this course.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is a terminal paper ideally done near the end of an HR masters, diploma, or major (as part of a bachelor degree), after students have already learned some of the basics of HR. Ideally, students will have taken HRMGT202 prior to this course, other courses involving HR issues/ practices (e.g, in psychology), or had some experience in the HR field. One of these three is sufficient. This course is not meant for students who have no prior education in HR or related areas (unless they are HR practitioners).

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Prerequisite papers: HRMG242, HRMGT202 or equivalent




Restricted papers: HRMG544, HRMGT544

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