HRM40770 International HRM

Academic Year 2023/2024

This is a module in international human resource management (IHRM). Its primary objective is to help you understand how IHRM systems and practices are shaped and developed within multinational companies (MNCs). The context and content of the module is necessarily international. We have to understand the diversity of contexts within which MNCs operate to be able to account for their HR practices. As a consequence, we will examine MNCs of different national origin (their home country), MNCs with operations in a variety of host countries, MNCs that expanded overseas by acquisition or by 'greenfield establishment, as well as MNCs in different industrial sectors. It is an exceptionally challenging and complex subject to study but immensely rewarding.

Many of you will go on to work with MNCs whether that might be one of the "Big Four', a social media company such as Google or Facebook, a manufacturing company like Smurfit Kappa, CRH or Siemens, or an international professional services company in law, marketing, or public affairs. In working for such companies, you will encounter the influence of different national business systems - the US business system is very different to the German or Chinese way of doing business, different work cultures, different regulations and laws, all of which will have a bearing on how IHRM systems are developed. This module will help you to understand the management of such complexities.

You will read the scholarly research on MNCs that draws both from the HRM and international business (IB) literatures. Some of the readings are my own and draw from my research conducted over recent years and which have appeared in both HRM and IB journals.

The module begins by examining a series of inter-related topics, including varieties of MNCs, institutional influences acting on MNCs, and understanding power within and beyond the MNC. We look at MNCs from around the globe, including Europe, America (North and South) and Asia.

The module then turns to examine practical issues confronting international managers such global talent management, international assignments, performance management, mergers and acquisitions, sustainability and employee voice. In this segment of the course we will draw on particular cases and we will have a number of practitioners join us in class.

You will work in teams to make presentations in class and will be assessed by means of an individual essay and end-of-term exam.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should have acquired:

- an in-depth understanding of the influences shaping MNCs' employment and HR practices;

- an in-depth knowledge of the dominant theories and concepts within the IHRM/IB literature;

- the ability to reflect critically on different approaches to IHRM practice;

- the ability to recognise and address ethical dilemmas in regard to the IHRM practices of MNCs;

- an appreciation of the difficulties of undertaking research in large multinational companies.

Indicative Module Content:

See purpose and overarching content of module above.

Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Exam Week 12 Yes Graded Yes


Continuous Assessment: Group presentation (20%) and individual assignment (20%) Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Maria Belizón Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 14:00 - 15:50

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