The assignment question reflects the core themes addressed during the ABP HRM module. The aim of the assignment is to encourage students to combine theoretical and practical aspects of HRM by referring to organization case study examples when assessing the core theories and themes in the HRM academic literature. In particular, students are expected to engage in critical analysis of relevant HRM academic literature, from sources recommended below, in the module outline, at the end of lecture slides, or sources derived from their own wider reading. It is not enough to rely on lecture notes or non-academic internet sources.

SELECT ONE MULTINATIONAL COMPANY CASE (with operations in its home country and at least one other foreign host country) with which you are familiar – one that you can access relevant HRM information about (for example, one you have worked for, had an internship in, an organisation familiar to family/friends, or that you have been able to find detailed information about in journal articles, books, newspapers, internet). Or you can make up a fictitious multinational company case!

Building on our labour market planning/supply & demand exercise in session 3, imagine you are a senior human resources (HR manager) responsible for HRM strategy in a multinational company in the following two contrasting scenarios:

a. In an economic boom (with strong economic growth), as a HR manager what HR strategy and practices would you pursue if demand for workers in your company greatly exceeded supply of workers?
b. Conversely, in an economic crisis (e.g. deep recession like in 2008), as a HR manager what HR strategy and practices would you pursue if supply of workers in your company greatly exceeded demand for workers?

In completing the assignment, you are expected to address the following issues:

1. Strategy: firstly, briefly summarize the possible impact of the above two contrasting labour market/economic scenarios on the multinational organisation’s overall business strategy and then its overall HR strategy.

2. HRM policies and practices: secondly, analyse the possible impact of the above two contrasting labour market scenarios on the various specific components of HRM policy and practice in the multinational organization under the four main HR functions covered in the module: resourcing the organization, human resource development (HRD), employment relations, managing performance and reward. The list of HR policies and practices that might be assessed under these four areas include: talent management, recruitment and selection, organizational culture, training and development, employee voice and participation rights, pay and reward, performance management and appraisal (these might be referred to by other labels).

3. Another theme to be discussed in your assignment is how different organizational, sector/industry, country, and international contextual circumstances might influence the impact of the above two labour market scenarios on HRM policies and practice in your multinational case company.

4. In conclusion, can you briefly recommend any possible improvements in strategic HR management in your chosen multinational case to better prepare for changes in labour market supply and demand relating to different economic cycles of booms and crises?

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