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Module information>

Academic Direction
Birkbeck, University of London
Modes of Study

This module looks at the different approaches to managing and leading people at work.

Please note the availability of this module is for Term 3: April to July.

The field of human resource management focuses on theory and practice of the management of employment or people in organisations.

The field of leadership focuses largely on the management of soft factors at work from the perspective of leader and followers. HRM focuses on the more formal aspects of managing employment relationships in general and leadership deals more with the process and interactions between a group of individuals consisting of leaders and followers.


Some personal work experience of human resource management and organisational behaviour is extremely useful for this module.

Also, students who have not followed an HRM or organisational behaviour programme at undergraduate level will find this module difficult and will have to work hard to familiarise themselves with the literature. This will involve considerable extra reading and study.

Learning outcomes

By completing this module, you will be able to:

  • outline some of the main approaches to understanding HRM and leadership.
  • critically evaluate theory, concepts, approaches to HRM and leadership.
  • apply theories and concepts of HRM and leadership to various applied contexts and critically assess these.
  • explain some of the practical issues surrounding HRM and leadership.


One two-hour unseen written examination​.

Essential reading

  • Beardwell, J. and T. Claydon (2007) Human Resource Management. A Contemporary Approach. 5th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education.
  • Yukl, G.A. (2006) Leadership in Organizations. 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.