Digital Human Resource Management

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
10 July 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N60012 Human Resource Management,
MSC N60024 Human Resource Management

Module description

This module is designed to critically explore the meaning and nature of digital HRM in both organisations and the HR profession today.

The module will examine the development and evolution of emerging digital HRM technologies. In doing so students will unpack the complexities associated with definitional terms and key digital HRM tools, including the growth of AI applications. Through the use of real-life global case studies students will explore practical ways and potential challenges associated with implementing digital HRM strategies and tools.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To encourage students to think critically about the role and meaning attached to digital Human Resource Management (HRM) in organisations and the HR profession today.

  • To examine the origins and evolution of digital HRM and apply key techniques and principles of people analytics.

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of emerging digital HRM tools in a variety of organizational settings and the potential return investment.

  • To appreciate the complexities associated with data driven decision-making and the importance of managing stakeholder involvement.

  • To analyse the ethical, regulatory and risks associated with the effective adoption and implementation of digital HRM.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse how the use of technology can support the delivery of people practices, and improve the employee experience.

  2. Understand how to use data relating to products, services and customers to provide insight into people solutions and practices .

  3. Assess the quality and relevance of digital evidence available, by identifying sources of bias and using evidence-based questioning models.

  4. Understand how organisational strategy translates to your work and partner with internal/external customers to understand their current and future needs and contract effectively. 

  5. Develop and present a business case for digital HR solutions and demonstrate return on investment.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills) 

This module will also contribute to the development of the following employability skills:

  1. Critical Thinking.

  2. Commercial Awareness.

  3. Written and verbal Communication.

  4. Oral Communication.

  5. Research Skills.

Module information

In accordance with the EBS tradition for sustainable and ethical business practices a key focus of the module is to explore the ethical and regulatory issues associated with the application of data science techniques and technologies in the management of people. These issues will be foregrounded when examining how data collected through digital tools is used and applied for decision making in organisations today. In doing so students are encouraged to think critically about dominant discourses that are proclaiming the benefits of digital HRM solutions for organisational and employee productivity today.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One workshop per week.

The module will be delivered over the course of five weeks. Weekly sessions are delivered in a workshop format, which combines interactive lecture input of key concepts, group case study analysis, and class debates. There will also be a number of practitioner specialists contributing to the workshops on the module


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   2,500 word Case Study Analysis  11/01/2024  100% 

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 Elaine Yerby, email:
Dr Elaine Yerby



External examiner

Dr Sheena Vachhani
University of Bristol
Reader (Associate Professor) in Work and Organization Studies
Dr Ruth Reaney
University of Glasgow
Lecturer in HRM
Available via Moodle
Of 15 hours, 15 (100%) hours available to students:
0 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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