Module Code

MMN126829 (GCU) / MMN126846 (IEG)


The assessment for this module will consist of a 3000 word essay, and your answer should meet all of the learning outcomes of the module as below.

Module Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critically analyse the aims of International Human Resource Management (IHRM) and its contribution to international organisational strategy and effective performance within a global context
  2. Identify, analyse and articulate key challenges associated with managing people in global organizations
  3. Critically evaluate organisational strategies for managing people in global organisations
  4. Critically discuss practices and interventions utilised to effectively, efficiently and ethically manage people in global organisations.

Your submission deadline is as follows:

Table 1 Assessment Schedule

Submission Date Form of assessment Weighting
2ndMay 2023 1pm 3000 Word Essay – submit through Turnitin complete with cover sheet and plagiarism checklist 100%




The essay takes an ‘applied’ approach. This means you are expected to engage with theoretical concepts and academic studies for the purpose of informing International Human Resource Management strategy and practice. In this way, you should be able to develop yourconsultancy skills, adding value to the organisations you (will) work for. More precisely, you are asked to critically discuss an IHRM strategy and practice with a view to making recommendations on how best to implement it in a global organisation operating between two specific countries. Please ensure you do not select a topic which could overlap significantly with your dissertation, as you cannot be assessed forthe same piece of work twice. You should answer the following question:

‘Critically discuss and evaluate the approach a global organisation headquartered in Country Xcould take in implementing strategies and practices around (1) equality and diversity management OR (2) leadership OR (3) human resource development OR (4) performance management OR (5) employment relations OR (6) talent management OR (7) rewards managementwithin itssubsidiaries in Country Y. Your answer should conclude with recommendations’.




  1. Required Content and Marking Criteria


Content MPGO Essay Marking Criteria Main Purpose
Title ·         Title is customised from the question wording to reflect the required content, e.g.


‘A critical discussion and evaluation of the approach Coca-Cola (headquartered in the US) could take in implementing human resource development strategies and practices in its Nigerian subsidiaries, with recommendations’.

·         To clearly reflect the scope of your essay for the reader


·         Written introductiondevelops a rationale for discussing IHRM, the specific HRM strategy and practice, the two selected countries, and industry/sector/organizational context(s) or case study if chosen with references to academic literature.

·         Due attention to the definition and scope of both IHRM and the specific HRM strategy and practice is evidenced.

·         Essay aim and contents are outlined.

·         To introduce the key elements of your topic (from your title)

·         To define and scope key concepts

·         To justify why your chosen topic and countries are important to discuss

·         To clearly state the aim and outline of your essay for the reader


Critical Discussion (Module Learning Outcomes 1 & 2)



·         Critical evaluation ofappropriate IHRM aims, strategies and approaches (e.g. convergence / divergence, and ethnocentrism / polycentrism) with consideration of ethics, and supported by critical discussion of relevant theory / debates.

·         Critical discussion of the relevant challenges in implementing the chosen HRM strategy and practice within an international context.

·         To debate which overall IHRM strategy is potentially the best choice considering the different academic and ethical arguments.

·         To further relate / link these arguments to the particular challenges associated with managing your chosen HRM function within an international context / across different countries generally.

·         To critically discuss rather than simply describe, e.g. compare and contrast authors, debate for and against, debate advantages and disadvantages, and add depth.

·         To give you the theoretical understanding and arguments which can later be applied to your chosen case below.

Critical Contextual Analysis& Evaluation

(Module Learning Outcomes 3 & 4)



·         Relevant cultural and environmental analysisas appropriate to inform a critical evaluation of strategy and practice in specific relation to the chosen HRM function, selected countries, and industry/sector/organizational context(s).

·         Application and critique of convergence/divergence and ethnocentrism/polycentrism or related approaches in relation to the specific context is considered.







[You can use the grids in Appendix 3 to help you research and make notes but do not include these grids in your essay.]


To answer:

·         Bearing in mind the industry / sector / organizational context(s) you have chosen, which cultural / environmental factors most impact the way your two countries carry out your chosen HRM function? – how so? – to what extent?(Use PESTLE, Hofstede and additional academic literature as your evidence base)

·         What are the implications? Comparing and contrasting your two countries along the differentdimensions and elements, and considering different arguments and perspectives from literature, to what extent is there a cultural fit of HQ practices to the subsidiary in relation to your chosen HRM function?

·         And, therefore, considering earlier arguments (see Critical Discussion section) to what extent do you think, for example, an ethnocentric or polycentric strategy would be suitable in this case?

Conclusions and Recommendations (All Module Learning Outcomes)


·         Conclusions are soundly grounded in the preceding discussion.

·         Recommendations are sensible and practical, showing cultural and ethical sensitivities.

·         Awareness of potentialchallenges and limitationsevidenced, again, based on preceding arguments.

·         To answer the main question by selecting key arguments already made in the main body of the essay (without adding any new information).
Academic Presentation


·         Discussionsare theoreticallyrobust andwellscoped.

·         Application, detail and depthshowsevidenceof synthesis from a wide range of appropriate reading.

·         Observes academic style and essay writing conventions.

·         Excellent structure and cohesion between paragraphs.

·         Progressive argument/ideadevelopment.

·         Excellent citation and referencing style with no errors (Harvard style).

·         Spelling, phrasing and grammar are exemplary.

·         To ensure academic rigour and quality

·         To demonstrate Masters level standards of written communication

·         To avoid the risk of plagiarism


  1. Further Guidance
  • Marking Criteria: please utilise the ‘MPGO Essay Marking Criteria’ above and the Indicative Guide to Assessment Criteria for Masters Level Modules (Appendix 2). You must ensure you read both sets of marking criteria to help achieve optimum marks.
  • Choose one specific IHRM strategy and practice: choose one topic from Weeks 5-11 of teaching. You can furthernarrowthe IHRM strategy and practice into an area which is more specific – this can be done at your discretion, depending on your area of interest and the amount of depth you think is appropriate. For example, global talent management could be narrowed down to specific elements such as talent attraction, recruitment or selection if desired. Equality and diversity could be narrowed down to specific protected characteristics, e.g. gender and/or race.
  • Choosetwo separate countries: You should select two countries (Country X being the parent country, and Country Ybeing the host country) where you think you will achieve a suitable contrastof IHRM approach, e.g. from two separate continents.
  • Choosing an industry / sector / organisation / case study:
    • You can use a case study approach and pick one organisation if you like;
    • Or you can pick a particular industry and discuss more than one organisational example within that same industry;
    • Or you can pick present various organisational examples from different industries, but if you do this, you must show awareness that different kinds of companies may have different requirements in relation to your chosen topic area (for instance, the HRD needs of professionals in the IT industry are different from those working in the manufacturing industries).
    • You may use organisational examples from journal articles (e.g. their case studies or participant samples) making sure to cite where you got them, or you can use information available on company websites.
    • Please note, you are not being asked to critically evaluate what a company has already done. Instead, you are being asked to advise an industry / sector / organisationon how to implement their IHRM strategy and practice on a hypothetical basis.
  • Resources foryour Essay
    • Your essay should reflect both taught and self-directed learning
    • GCULearn material for weeks 1-4 will give you ideas on IHRM strategy, approaches and ethics.
    • GCULearn material for the particular week in relation to your chosen topic will also give you guidance.
    • Use the Resource List to search for extra material.
    • Use the GCU library search engine to search for additional academic textbooks and peer-reviewed journal articles.
    • You will need a)general literature on IHRM strategy, approaches and ethics, b)general literature on your chosen HRM function in an international context, c) source material on Hofstede scores and environmental data in relation to your two countries, d)specific literature on your chosen HRM function in Country X, and e)specific literature on your chosen HRM function in Country Y.
  • Presentation guidelines:
    • 3000 word essay (not a report)
    • No headings / subheadings
    • No figures / tables
    • Use full paragraph structure (approx. 5 sentences, with one main idea explained / evidenced / developed / debated in each)
    • Use link phrases / words between paragraphs to indicate critical discussion and progressive argument development, e.g. linkage of ideas or contrasting perspectives
    • Use the Manchester Academic Phrasebank to help you develop linkages between ideas
    • Add a citation for every main idea / sentence
    • Vary citations within the same paragraph
    • Only use citations for sources you have found and read for yourself independently for the most part
    • Do not take citations second hand from other authors very often, and where you do this must be acknowledged, e.g. (Brown, 2018, cited in Arthur, 2020)
    • Paraphrase everything into your own words to show your own understanding and to avoid copying / plagiarism
    • Add quotation marks and a page number if using a quote to define a key concept (and use these only sparingly)
    • Use the appropriate terminology, a formal tone, no personal pronouns, and correct spelling / grammar
    • Format within-text citations correctly
    • Format the reference list correctly


Researching Your Essay:

The sources you use to research your essay must be of good quality, e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles, textbooks, recommended websites. They should be sourced from the module references and Resource List, as well as from your own search using the library search engine. You are discouraged from using a broad internet search as this will often result in accessing simplistic, unsuitable, biased or unverified material which should not be used in essays, e.g. blogs and websites which have not been reviewed by experts. If you would like further advice on how to research your essay, please visit the library website. You can also look at the subject guide for HRM, orattend a drop-in session / book an appointment with a librarian

Writing Your Essay:

If you would like advice on how to write and reference an academic essay, please link in with the GSBS Learning Development Centre. The LDC are running drop-ins this trimester (maximum 15 minutes per drop-in session) for students attending individually or in small groups. In a drop-in, students can:

  • discuss how to get started on an assignment
  • break down the assignment and develop a  reading and writing plan
  • get feedback on specific writing issues, e.g. use of referencing, range of sources used, flow and clarity
  • ask any specific questions that they may have


You may also find the LDC guide to academic writing useful. You can also use the Manchester Academic Phrasebook to help improve your critical writing style. Please also utilise the ‘Help’ menu item on the MPGO module site on GCULearn where I have gathered resource to help you develop your Masters level academic writing.

Referencing Your Essay:

Every idea you put down must have a citation attached to it to evidence where it came from in relation to your further reading. Unsubstantiated opinion or information must be avoided as this would put you at risk of plagiarism and would not gain you marks. For more information, please access guidance and video material from the LDC on citing and referencing.


If you are unsure how to format citations / references, please see the guidance on Cite Them Right. The library has also created a short video (4 minutes) introducing Cite Them Right.


A full reference list must be included at the end, sorted alphabetically by first author’s name. You must include all sources you have cited in your essay, and should not include any sources you have not cited.