Module code: MANM485

Module Overview

In this module, we will describe and explain the environmental context of the practice of HRM. Specifically, we will explore, identify, and understand organisational responses to the business environment. A primary organisational response to managing uncertainty inherent in the business environment is the adoption and implementation of a competitive or business strategy. From an HR perspective, this entails the adoption of a strategic perspective to the management of employees in order to create the human resource capability to implement this business strategy and ultimately create sustained competitive advantage. The module is therefore intended to provide students with a holistic understanding of the changing organizational contexts that have significant effect on the HR function. Topics covered include the global economy, political, social, legal, demographic and technological developments as they define the competitive environment of organisations and their implications for the HR function. The module is therefore designed to equip a range of students who are seeking to develop a career in HR with the knowledge, competencies, and analytical skills to pursue a career in HR up to a senior managerial role.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

ARYEE Samuel (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Identifying tools used in environmental analysis
Examining HR strategy and the theoretical perspectives on the nature of HR strategy
The impact of globalisation on HRM
The relationship between Business strategy and HR strategy
Key technological developments
Major developments in UK government regulation and inter-governmental regulation
Social trends
• Short term and long term economic trends
Demographic trends and labour market developments
Competition and choice
Impact on the marketing, finance and information functions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have gained knowledge of the strategic management process, practical, analytical and critical skills with regard to your ability to analyse organisational strategy, identify HR strategic issues,critically evaluate alternative solutions to such issues and recommend a competitive strategic response. In sum, the assessment strategy is designed to test the K+C+P+T skills that yous have gained throughout the HRM & Business Environment module. The summative assessment for this module comprises a: 2 Hour Online Examination. Formative assessment will take the form of in-class discussion exercises and by best practices of knowledge transfer such as constructive comments/highlights of specific cases and related common mistakes. The latter will be provided either verbally in the class or virtually in Surrey Learn.

Module aims

  • ¿ enable you to effectively identify contemporary organisations and their principal environments so that you may constructively contribute to the formulation of responses which take into account contextual diversity, continuous change, and ethical ambiguities
  • ¿ enable you to identify and critically evaluate developments in the external business environment which are directly relevant to HR practitioners so they can provide informed advice to top management in terms of for example, developments in labour markets; amendments to employment regulations, etc
  • ¿ enable you to be informed about the business environment, its impact on management functions, and to think critically about how they can be addressed through formulating and implementing HR strategy
  • enable you to understand the strategic partner status of the HR function and acquire the skills and competencies to design and implement practices that foster the development and leveraging of human resource capability to create sustained competitive advantage

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Meet the learning outcomes contained in the CIPD's advanced diploma syllabus for resourcing and talent management KCPT
002 Analyse and critically evaluate contemporary debates and developments in the following areas of HRM: HR as a strategic partner, designing HR systems, evaluation of the HR function, Theories in SHRM KC
003 Engage critically with the published literature on strategic HRM KC
004 Explain the contribution made by the HR function to creating sustained competitive advantage KCP
005 Demonstrate that you are able to develop and argue an original case and justify your views CPT
006 Give line managers and colleagues appropriate and timely advice about implementgng HR programmes PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching and learning strategies are designed to give students the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the relevant theory and HR/business practices and problems which are pertinent to the topics of HMRC
The teaching and learning methods include the delivery of lectures, business examples, mini-videos and independent-learning. The formal lectures are mainly designed to illustrate and explain the theoretical concepts and models of strategy formulation, implementation and control, illuminating the theoretical concepts and models by reference to, and explanation of a range of specific real business cases. Critical and analytical evaluation of real business cases will be shown via the adoption of business examples in the class/seminar and mini-videos made available in Surrey Learn.
The critical and analytical evaluation of mini business case studies will contribute to developing a practical and critical view of strategy. Therefore, prior to attending the lecture students are required to undertake the essential reading of the theory. To this end, advanced information will be posted on the Surrey Learn website on a weekly basis.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM485

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Resources Management MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.