HRM40720 Work & Employment in the Global Economy

Academic Year 2022/2023

In this module you will analyse employment relations in the context of the European and global economy of the 21st century. You will examine international and national employment relations systems; multinational management and trade union strategies and the role of consent and dissent in shaping the modern workplace. You will study these areas in the context of the regulation of the contentious relationship between capital and labour at global, European, national and company-level. You will also analyse the concepts of globalisation, Europeanisation, and their interconnections in the context of changing employment relations. Finally you will compare the ongoing changes in work and employment in several European countries with the developments in the North America and Asia. This comparison will show you that all actors that are involved in employment relations - namely capital, labour and the state - face a variety of options and choices.

This module includes additional activities:

1) a study trip to, which is the tripartite EU Agency in charge of employment relations that is based in Dublin. At Eurofound, you will have direct access to actors that shape the emerging European employment relations system.

2) a joint video conference module session with a parallel class at Cornell University (New York, USA)

3) tutorials to help students preparing their team presentations

The module is accessible for all graduate students from the College of Business and the College of Social Sciences and Law.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: A) identify and discuss the major features of national employment relation systems in selected North American, Asian and European countries. - assess the impact of globalisation and Europeanisation processes on the three main actors of the employment relationship (namely employers, employees and the state). B) provide a critical analysis of recent developments in European labour market regulations impacting on employee relations at company, national, and supranational level- present the findings of team projects in class and to respond adequately to critiques and suggestions.

Indicative Module Content:

INTRODUCTION: Why studying international and comparative employment relations?

PART ONE: Globalisation and Europeanisation
How is globalisation and Europeanisation shaping employment relations?
- A globalist perspective (simple globalisation approach)
- A sceptical perspective (an institutionalist approach)
- Case study: The global Ireland before & after the crisis
- Globalisation and Europeanisation: a third view. The transformationalist perspective
What is Europeanisation?
- The making of the EU.
- The emergence of the “Euro-company”
Globalisation, Europeanisation and international HRM strategies.
- What different international HRM approaches can multinational corporations adopt in relation to their local subsidiaries, and what challenges do they face?
Globalisation, Europeanisation, & transnational union strategies.
- What strategies can trade unions adopt in response to Globalisation and Europeanisation processes?

PART TWO: Convergence or divergence of national employment relations systems
Employment relations in the USA & UK
- What are the major characteristics of neoliberal employment relations?
Continental European employment relations
- German, Italian and Swedish employment relations.
- What are the major characteristics of neo-corporatist employment relations?
Asian Employment Relations
- Japanese and South Korean employment relations systems
- Chinese employment relations system.

PART THREE: Europeanisation of employment relations
- A short history of the European Social Model
- Wage bargaining and social dialogue
- Europeanisation of employee voice
- Migrant workers’ rights as human rights:

Study Trip to BRUSSELS
Visit of Business Europe, the ETUC, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament
Does the “European Social Model” have a future?


Student Effort Type Hours


Field Trip/External Visits


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
Essay: Book Review Essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Presentation: Presentation Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Journal: Course Diary Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Presentation and Book Review: During the Semester Course Diary: After the Semester

Name Role
Dr Bianca Foehrer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Darragh Golden Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Imre Szabo Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33 Mon 09:30 - 11:20

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