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Strathclyde Business School
Department of Human Resource Management

Why Study HRM?

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Why study HRM?

School leavers

Most of us can expect to spend many years of our lives working in organisations of various kinds, being managed or managing others. Employers have different approaches to managing their employees, but all organisations require people to make the goods or provide the services they are set up to make or provide, and therefore an understanding of how to effectively manage people in the workplace is of great importance and value. This not only applies to the increasing number of managers who are employed by organisations to provide specialist expertise in what is generally called Human Resource Management or Personnel, but any manager who has some responsibility for managing staff at whatever level.

If you have studied Higher Business Management or AS/Advanced level Business Studies, you may well already have been introduced to key areas and issue in HRM, including:

  • the changing nature of the world of work and employment
  • recruitment and selection of staff
  • training and developing people
  • employment laws and regulations
  • managing employee performance
  • managing conflict in the workplace
  • employee representation and involvement in their workplaces

The study of HRM at Strathclyde will further develop these themes by studying relevant theories, research and practices in managing people and the employment relationship. This is an area of study drawing on and using different approaches and disciplines to develop our understanding of people's behaviour at work and how this might be influenced- and the limits to influencing employee behaviour. These core disciplines include psychology, sociology and economics.

How people are managed in the workplace influences what they think about their work and their employer and therefore their behaviours and actions in the workplace. For example, does their employer invest in their training and development to improve work performance and career development? Or are the views and ideas of employees about their work listened to by employers? Do they feel that they are treated fairly and provided with equal opportunities in rewards? The answers to such questions will impact on the way people feel about their work and the kind of commitment they are willing to put into it for their employer. And conversely the way people feel about how they are managed at work and their employment relationship may generate conflict and resistance to managerial controls.

HRM analyses the employment relationship and the way people are managed in the workplace. It explores these issues not only in the context of the individual employee and their employer, but in the context of the wider workplace, the labour market and economic forces shaping the world of work, technological changes, employment regulations and social trends. The world of work is fast changing so an understanding of how this all affects the way people are managed in the workplace is of tremendous significance theoretically and practically. The employment relationship is not only an economic exchange of pay for effort, but also a legal contractual relationship and a social and psychological one. We explore all of these dimensions to develop a more rounded understanding of managing people in work.

HRM as a principal subject

Moving from your 1st year, you will have to choose your principal subject. HRM will allow you to continue your studies of organisations, management and the employment relationship. Alongside the core classes; there are a number of elective classes which provide the opportunity for students to choose from a variety of pathways through the degree. For example, you might choose to specialise in:

  • Learning and Employee Development
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Employment Relations
  • Equality and Diversity

Alternatively, you can choose any electives from these three "streams" and make up your own customised course following your interests.

We have aimed for an interesting, exciting and challenging range of options to reflect the broadly based conception of HRM that the department espouses, and to provide students with an appropriate education as well as an opportunity to participate in a comparatively flexibly curriculum. Our core classes will ensure that you have a thorough basis in the essentials of the subject.

We have aimed for an interesting, exciting and challenging range of options to reflect the broadlybased conception of HRM that the department espouses, and to provide students with an appropriate education as well as an opportunity to participate in a comparatively flexibly curriculum. Our core classes will ensure that you have a thorough basis in the essentials of the subject.

Recent graduates from our department include both HR and generalist managerial and training positions in the private and public sectors, for example:

  • Dell
  • Scottish Power
  • West Lothian Council
  • Forestry Commission

Professional recognition

The Department of Human Resource Management at Strathclyde is recognised by the leading professional body in the field of HRM, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Our postgraduate Diploma and Masters programmes are accredited by the CIPD, meaning that students successfully completing the Diploma whether by full or part time study gain graduate membership of CIPD. This is recognised by employers when they are looking to recruit managers and HR specialists. Increasingly, we see our undergraduate students come back to complete the Diploma to gain this professional qualification.