HR9705 - Strategic and HR Decision Making in an International Context

What will I learn on this module?

Human Resource (HR) professionals and managers operate within increasingly complex and changing organisational and contextual circumstances. This applies to HR professionals in the private, public or ‘third’ sectors and regardless of the size of their organisations or the types of goods or services these enterprises produce for their customers or clients. This module provides you firstly with an understanding of the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations including the managerial and business context within which managers, HR professionals and workers interact. This includes conditions of environmental turbulence, change and uncertainty. Secondly the module allows you to examine how those leading organisations respond to these dynamic international contexts. Thirdly the module indicates how leaders in organisations and those in the HR function and line managers with HR responsibilities need to recognise and acknowledge that corporate decisions and HR choices are not always shaped by managers alone. They are also shaped by internal and external forces beyond their immediate control. Having studied this module you will be aware that managers and HR professionals in different types of organisation (small, large, national, global) in responding to their internal, business and external environmental contexts not only have opportunities and choices when taking organisational and HR decisions but also face some constraints on their autonomy in determining their futures. This module explores the implications for HRM professional practice and provides you with opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal lecture sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own professional experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of student participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive case study activities. Independent learning will centre upon the participants identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc. Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence. The lecture sessions will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and perspectives underpinning the module content. The lecture sessions require you to have undertaken prior reading, independent learning and you will be expected to have read core textbook chapters. This will be supplemented by additional research related to the topic (for example, academic journal papers and CIPD Case Studies). You will also participate in a one-day business simulation via The Business Game, which will enable you to participate in group work, role allocation, decision-making and group presentations. Through The Business Game you will have the opportunity to run your own company and carry out decision making using a variety of business skills including finance, marketing, strategy, negotiation, time management and presentation skills.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically by the member of academic staff leading the module who will make a variety of resources available to you. Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which acts as a repository for lecture session materials, case study exercises and materials; and assessment details. In addition the eLP houses the wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises the reading material that supports the module including direct links to textbooks, journal papers, academic and conference reports. You will also be provided with support from your student peers in the lecture sessions through interactive activity. This University and the Business School is constantly seeking to improve its feedback to students and will pilot new initiatives on a regular basis. When such pilots involve a deviation from above you will be fully advised of the revised feedback approach.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of Strategy, HRM and International HRM by evaluating theoretical approaches and findings in the area (ML01).

• Explore the challenges for HR professionals in contemporary organisations and their principal environments (ML02).

Develop key HRM skills and abilities including problem solving, collaboration, decision making, influencing and ability to challenge constructively. (MLO3).

Personal Values Attributes (Global/Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity)

Reflect critically on HRM theory from an ethical and professional standpoint allowing opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development (MLO4).

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:

(A) You will be required to undertake a 2 hour closed book examination consisting of a case study and questions from the strategic, HR decision making and international aspects of the module. This will assess MLO1, MLO2 and MLO4.

(B) In addition, you will be required to participate in the simulated Business Game, which consists of group presentations. This will assess MLO3.

Formative Assessment:

You will be involved in case study examination incorporating applied problem-based learning activities that will be discussed in groups. In seminars you will be discussing HR related cases and relevant research, which will enable you to transfer the knowledge and understanding that you have established through lectures and individual learning. You will be encouraged to provide examples from your professional experience and comment upon those of others in small group activities and discussions.





Module abstract

This module will develop your conceptual and theoretical knowledge of Strategy, HRM and International HRM in contemporary organisations and their principal environments. You will learn about the managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work. In addition you will develop knowledge and understanding about how organisational and HRM strategies are shaped by and developed in response to internal and external environmental factors. This will enable you to acquire thorough knowledge of the market and competitive environments of organisations as well as how organisational leaders and the HRM function respond to them. Globalisation and international forces will be encompassed including how they shape, influence and impact upon organisational HRM strategies and HRM practices. You will also gather specific knowledge about demographics, social and technological trends, government policy and legal regulations including how these shape and impact on organisational HRM strategies and HRM practices.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions -
Fees and Funding -
Admissions Policy -
Admissions Complaints Policy -