Employment Relations in Context

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
07 February 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N60012 Human Resource Management,
MSC N60024 Human Resource Management

Module description

This module aims to investigate that relationship against the background of a globalized context, considering interactions among local, national and international actors, as well as the impact of institutions, regulatory systems and actual practices with respect to traditional labour contracts and new types of labour arrangements.

Throughout the module, relevant themes will be explored with application to various countries, including discussions on employment systems within Europe and the BRIC countries. Essentially, the module aims to highlight the relevance of employment relations for individuals, communities and organisations around the world.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop an appreciation of the role of employment relations with respect to achieving desired organizational performance and outcomes.

  • To develop an appreciation of the role of key actors and factors in the field of employee relations at local, organizational, national, global and transnational level.

  • To develop an appreciation of the factors affecting trade union growth, collective bargaining and the changing role of the state in such processes.

  • To develop an understanding of the nature of employment relations in Britain and in other countries.

  • To develop an understanding of the impact of established and evolving ER practices and regulations on dynamic interactions within specific contexts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to understand:

  1. Different theories and perspectives on employment relations which can inform systemic thinking in people management practice.

  2. How individual, organisational, sector, country and global effects interact towards shaping the features and outcomes of the employment relationship within specific contexts.

  3. The roles, functions and interests of the different actors involved in the employment relationship.

  4. The importance of organisational-level employment relations processes, policies and practices that shape organisational outcomes, including employee voice and consultation; diversity management; and conflict resolution.

  5. The importance of developing employment relations procedures, regulation and law that help mitigate risk for different actors.

  6. The importance of employment relations procedures and policies that help mitigate social injustice.

  7. The integration of employment relations processes and how they impact on policy, practice and organisational outcomes such as performance and employee engagement.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • 3-hour weekly sessions, for 10 weeks. Each 3-hour session will incorporate up to an hour of formal lecture, and group discussions, presentations and practical activities based on real life cases and information (which students are required to prepare ahead).

Please note that beyond the 3-hour sessions, students are expected to dedicate a considerable amount of time towards the module. On average, students will spend 10 hours per week on this module, carrying out any of the following activities:

  1. Reading core and support texts.
  2. Writing up lecture notes.
  3. Writing up reflective learning log.
  4. Researching and preparing for the coursework.
  5. Researching and preparing for weekly in-class activities.

Students are also advised to take advantage of the lecturer’s support hours to clarify any doubts.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   2,500 words individual coursework  22/04/2024  80% 
Practical   Group Assignment  27/03/2024  20% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Marina Michalski, email:
Dr Marina Michalski



External examiner

Dr Sheena Vachhani
University of Bristol
Reader (Associate Professor) in Work and Organization Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 15 hours, 12 (80%) hours available to students:
3 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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