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International human resource management

Stage 3, optional (compulsory for Human Resource Management pathway)

The world is integrating as businesses locate cross-nationally, and employees and managers move through the multinational company from one country to another.

Both the firm and human resource management (HRM) are being spatially stretched. This poses important questions for the management of human resources within organisations. The course examines these questions through practical examples, case studies and the latest research.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to international HRM
  • Comparative and international HRM: an introduction
  • Organisational structures of multinational companies
  • Culture and IHRM
  • National business systems and IHRM
  • HRM in Germany
  • HRM in the UK and USA
  • Employment policy in the European Union
  • Employee participation and the EU
  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions 1 and 2
  • Business systems and HRM in Japan
  • Skills, knowledge and organisational learning: national differences
  • Strategic international HRM
  • International staffing policy in multinational corporations (MNCs)
  • Expatriation and careers
  • International compensation and performance management
  • Diversity management in global context
  • International corporate social responsibility (CSR) and global labour standards 1 and standards 2

Learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate the implications of changes in the global organisation of firms and the international workforce for HRM policy choices
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the key analytical concepts and models in international HRM and from this critically evaluate the key analytical concepts and models in international HRM
  • Critically Assess the principal comparisons and contrasts of the business and human resource systems in the UK and the USA, Germany and Japan
  • Critically evaluate the different approaches to, and strategies for, HRM in international business activities, and their impact on employees
  • Critically evaluate the problems of transferring HRM practices from one country to another, and the role of multinational companies as agents of knowledge transfer
  • Critically evaluate¬† the role of transnational organisations in regulating HR policies and practices in firms


  • Essay [2500 words] (40%)
  • Three-hour written examination¬†(60%)