COMMGMT 3502 - Human Resource Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the foundational principles and practice of contemporary human resource management with a specific focus on the role that it plays in helping organisations build and maintain competitive advantage. The course will explore the theory and practice of human resource management across the following areas: HR & the legal context of work; health, safety & employee wellbeing; equity, diversity & inclusion; job analysis and design; human resource planning; recruitment and selection; human resource development and career development; performance management; remuneration; ethics & social responsibility, international HRM; and the future of HRM.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 3502
    Course Human Resource Management
    Coordinating Unit Management
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites COMMGMT 2500
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Valerie Caines

    Lecturer-in-charge Name: Dr Valerie Caines
    Location: Room 10.51, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: 0477857042 

    Course Website:

    Tutors:  Please refer to MyUni for names and contact details
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Tutorials: Commence in week two. Membership of tutorial classes is to be finalised by the end of the second week of semester. Students wishing to swap between tutorial classes after this time should contact the lecturer-in-charge but should be aware that their request may not be approved.

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course, students should be able to:

    1. Recognise and discuss the critical role that effective people management plays in building and maintaining competitive advantage in contemporary organisations.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of basic HR functions, and the theories, concepts, models, and methods that inform HR practice.
    3. Apply HRM concepts and technical knowledge to the analysis of HRM problems, cases, and issues.
    4. Write a research report that demonstrates an effective synthesis of research findings with relevant research literature.
    5. Recognise and demonstrate the behaviours and attitudes required for effective teamwork.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Following is the required textbook for this course:

    Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. and Shields, J., 2023. Human resource management. Cengage AU.

    Online available now. Hard copy available from November 2022.

    Product cover for Human Resource Management 11th Edition by Alan Nankervis/Marian Baird/Dr Jane Coffey/John Shields

    Note: (1) It is required you have continuous access to the nominated text in order to complete the course requirements.
    (2) Other editions of the above text are NOT the same as the required text (3) details of a discount oportunity from the publisher will be provided by the Course Coordinator closer to semester commencing.
    Recommended Resources
    Reading is considered to be an essential part of the course, and students are expected to access and critically analyse the relevant literature. Apart from becoming familiar with the contents of the main text, students are also strongly urged to refer to academic journals in the area of (or relevant to) HRM. The following journals (all of which are available from the Barr Smith Library) are recommended:
    • Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources (online)
    • Harvard Business Review (online)
    • Human Relations (online)
    • Human Resource Management Review (online)
    • Human Resource Planning (online)
    • International Journal of Human Resource Management (online)
    • Journal of Applied Psychology (online)
    • Journal of Human Resources (online)
    • Journal of Industrial Relations (online)
    • Personnel Journal (online)
    • Training and Development (online)
    Online Learning
    Lectures will be recorded and made available on MyUni. 

    Please refer to MyUni for additional support materials
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course will be structured as a two-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial for each week of the teaching semester. 


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that for a three-unit course you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours of private study outside of your regular classes. This time commitment will include reading the relevant text book chapter, preparing for tutorials, and other assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Lecture Topics

    Week 1 Evolution of strategic human resource management No tutorial

    Week 2 The context of strategic human resource management 

    Week 3 Industrial relations frameworks

    Week 4 Human resource planning

    Week 5 Designing work

    Week 6 Recruitment and selection

    Week 7 Retention, learning and development

    Week 8 Performance management

    Week 9 Reward management

    Week 10 Managing work health and safety

    Week 11 Evaluating SHRM: towards the future

    Week 12 Final assessment workshop

    Week 13 No lecture 

    Tutorial format

    In weeks 2 - 11 students will work individually and in groups to explore a contemporary issue and ethical challenge related to the previous week’s lecture content. 
    In weeks 12 & 13 students will present thier group case study to the class.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Item Due date Weighting Related Learning Outcome
    1. Participation N/A 10% 1,2,3
    2. Essay - Contemporary HR Issues in the Media (Individual assessment) Week 6 20% 1,2,4
    3. Powerpoint slides & presentation - Case study on group chosen HRM topic (Group and Individual assessment - incl 10% individual component - peer assessment of contribution to the group) Week 12 or 13 as scheduled by tutor 30% 1,2,3,4,5
    4. Report - Case study & Reflection - Student  (Individual assessment)   Week 13 40% 1,2,3,4
    Total 100%
    For specific information and due dates please see MyUni.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    1. It is highly encouraged that students attend ALL tutorials. Marks will be allocated based on your preparation, and both the quantity and quality of your participation in class and small group discussions. Although tutor will keep an attendance record, it should be kept in mind that being present in the tutorial and not participating will not secure you any mark.
    2. To gain a pass in this course, a mark of at least 45% must be obtained in the final assessment as well as a total of at least 50% overall. Students not achieving the minimum final assessment mark will be awarded no more than 49%.
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial participation (weighting – 10%)

    It is highly encouraged that students attend ALL tutorials. Marks will be allocated based on your preparation, and both the quantity and quality of your participation in class and small group discussions. Although tutor will keep an attendance record, it should be kept in mind that being present in the tutorial and not participating will not secure you any mark.

    HR in the media critical reflection portfolio (Individual) (weighting – 20%)

    Further details available in week 1

    Small Group Case Study Presentation to Class (weighting - 30% = 20% presentation incl slides, 10% peer assessment of contribution)

    Further details available in week 1

    Individual report & reflection (weighting – 40%)

    Further details available in week 1
    1. Please note that all requests for extensions should be directed in writing to the Lecturer-in charge no later than 48 hours before the due date. Extension requests after this time will only be granted for exceptional circumstances. This does not include poor time management or poor file management.
    2. Extensions to the due date of individual and group assessment may be granted under special circumstances. An extension request based on illness or on exceptional personal circumstances must include the "Supporting Statement / Certification Form" that is on p. 4 of the Supplementary Assessment application available at: .
      Students applying for an extension based on medical reasons must visit their medical practitioner, with the approved University form, and have the medical practitioner complete it. A normal doctor's certificate will not be accepted.
    3. All assignments are to be lodged at, or prior to, the due date and time. A late assignment where no extension has been granted will be penalised by a reduction of 5% of the mark given for each day, or part of a day, that it is late.
    4. Assessment marks prior to the final exam will be displayed on the course website. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the Lecturer-in-Charge of any discrepancies.
    5. Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor handwriting.
    6. Students in this course are not permitted to take a DICTIONARY (English or English-Foreign) into the examination.
    5.3.1 Presentation of Assignments
    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet that must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold students’ results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. All group assignments must be attached to a Group Assignment Cover Sheet that must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    4. Students may not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.
    5. Markers can refuse to accept assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s Policy on Plagiarism:
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Supplementary assessment – supplementary assessment for final exam will be offered in this course under some circumstances. Students are not permitted to resubmit work completed in previous years.

    Appeal of grade – students who wish to appeal their mark for an assessment item should initially discuss their concerns with their tutor. If they are still dissatisfied they should then make contact with the Lecturer-in-charge. Any student who, after discussion of the result with the lecturer in charge, is still dissatisfied with the mark awarded for a particular piece of assessment work, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the mark, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of Discipline or School within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based. Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher mark. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    This course is regularly revised and updated to reflect student feedback.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.