MAN 647: Strategic and International Human Resource Management

This course is intended to expand students’ knowledge on basic human resource management (HRM) processes and instruments by adding an international and a strategic dimension. In the first part of the module (international dimension), we examine the impact of national context on HRM and discuss basic HRM functions in international organizations. Topics include international recruiting and selection, training and development, compensation, and employee relations.
In the second part of the module (strategic dimension), we focus on the dynamics of HRM systems. Various approaches of how singular HRM practices conceptually and empirically form bundles are considered. We review how HRM practices can be aligned with respect to other HR practices (horizontal fit) as well as organizations’ objectives (vertical fit) to form HRM systems that help improve organizations’ performance.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • understand the impact of culture and national context on HRM,
  • analyze differences in international HRM systems,
  • design basic HRM practices in international organizations,
  • align HRM practices with regards to their horizontal and vertical fit,
  • comprehend the processes translating HRM systems into organization’s performance, and
  • consider contextual factors’ impact on the alignment of HRM systems.

Necessary prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS8 SWS
Exercise class2 SWS5 SWS
ECTS credits6
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionyes
Further information
Performing lecturer
Torsten Biemann
Prof. Dr. Torsten Biemann
Prof. Dr. Torsten Biemann
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. WiPäd, M.Sc. VWL, M.Sc. Wirt. Inf., LL.M., MAKUWI
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 2
LiteratureBoxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2015). Strategy and Human Resource Management (Fourth ed.): Palgrave Macmillan.
Brewster, C., Sparrow, C., Vernon, G., & Houldsworth, E. (2011). International Human Resource Management (3rd ed.). CIPD, London.
Dowling, P. J., Festing, M., & Engle, A. D. (2013). International Human Resource Management (6th ed.). London: Cengage Learning.
Harzing, A.-W., & Pinnington, A. H. (2014). International Human Resource Management (4th ed.). Sage, Los Angeles.
Course outlineIntroduction
HRM, strategy, and strategic HRM
HR strategy and competitive advantage
HR practices, HR bundles, HR systems
The black box: Micro vs. macro perspective
Delivering HR strategy: Current topics
Basic concepts in International HRM
International HRM and culture
Approaches to International HRM
Practices in International HRM 1/2
Practices in International HRM 2/2
Q&A session