BM7958: Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resources Perspective


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

BM7958: Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resources Perspective

Module Title Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resources Perspective
Module Code BM7958
Module Tutor John Hepworth
School Business School
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

Key elements of professional competence are strategic awareness, a business orientation and a concern with adding value through human resource (HR) practice. Qualified professionals should be able to research relevant topics and write reports that can persuade key stakeholders in the organisation to change or adopt a particular policy and practice. This module provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and investigate a live, complex business issue from an HR perspective, to locate the work within the body of contemporary knowledge, to collect and analyse data, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical and actionable recommendations for change, improvement or enhancement of current practice. The applied nature of the report requires a critical evaluative approach, empirical investigation and analysis and a combination of academic research and business report writing skills. It requires reflection on the implications for professional practice from an ethical, professional and continuous professional development standpoint.

Indicative Syllabus
  1. Identify a suitable topic for the project. Potential sources might include critical incidents, significant external or internal influence, change management initiatives, risk assessment, internal or external diagnostic, and a chronic or acute problem. Plan and design a project that has strategic relevance and the potential to add value to the organisation.
  2. Knowledge of literature and contemporary HR practice; information search and retrieval; analysing sources of data; writing a critical literature review; academic referencing.
  3. Research methods: understanding different methods of data collection (for example interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, participant observation), the strengths and weaknesses of each and the circumstances in which they might be used; ethical considerations.
  4. Data analysis: the use and value of different analytical tools for interpreting data; systematic data analysis; identification and explanation of emerging patterns and how to deal with conflicting evidence; effective interpretation and presentation of data.
  5. Drawing reasoned conclusions from data collected and presented; production of realistic, timely and effectively justified recommendations and costed implementation plans; awareness of potential resistance to recommendations and how this might be overcome.
  6. Developing and presenting a report: the importance of clear aims, objectives and appropriate terms of reference; awareness of time management and project development; potential barriers and how they might be overcome; the structure and content of a management report; principal techniques of communication and persuasion appropriate to a business report; presentation skills.
  7. Developing the skills of critical reflection.
Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:


  1. Identify and justify a business issue that is of strategic relevance to the organisation. (7IBI 1)
  2. Critically analyse and discuss existing literature, contemporary HR policy and practice relevant to the chosen issue. (7IBI 2)
  3. Compare and contrast the relative merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations. (7IBI 3)
  4. Undertake a systematic analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative information and present the results in a clear and consistent format.(7IBI 4)
  5. Draw realistic and appropriate conclusions and make recommendations based on costed options. (7IBI 5)
  6. Develop and present a persuasive business report. (7IBI 6)
  7. Write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future. (7IBI 7)
Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 6
Independent Learning Hours: 144
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Coursework: Individual, standard written: Standard: 7-8000 words or equivalent portfolio
Special Assessment Requirements

Must be assessed using CIPD GAC for 7IBI.

CIPD have set word count on report.

Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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