The purpose of the assignment is to assess how effectively you are able to apply theory from the module to produce an evaluation and critique of a particular aspect of HRM.
Your essay needs to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the theory covered in the module. This will require reading widely from a wide variety of academic sources.
The following structure is intended to be a helpful template for organizing your ideas.
An explanation of what you are going to do. This should mirror the assignment brief. Also include a definition of key terms, and a very brief outline of the key theories on the topic you have selected.
Main Body of the Assignment
• Begin by outlining relevant areas of literature/theory and explain the key concepts of the theories you will use in your analysis. You should ensure that you base this section on good quality academic sources such as books and journal articles. Although websites can be an invaluable tool when researching a topic be aware that it is generally of very variable quality and you should not rely too much on it as a source of theory.
• High marks will only be obtained by effective evaluation and analysis, i.e. just describing the ideas of a number of authors in turn is not enough. What are the key debates, disagreements? Do authors have different perspectives? In other words, we are interested in the sense you make of the theory not just in your ability to summarize it.
• It may well be that there are conflicting views or different perspectives in the theory that will give rise to contrasting views on your topic area. You should acknowledge these and try to explain them in your analysis. It will be useful to use examples and illustrations from real organizations in this part of your assignment.
• Conclude the main body of the assignment with a brief summary of your key points and arguments.
Summarize your main arguments and return to the assignment brief. Come to a well-supported set of conclusions. You might want to suggest ways in which HR practice might be improved. You could also comment on the adequacy of the theory you have used. What view have you come to about what theoretical ideas are most useful in understanding the topic. How helpful might the various models and theories on this topic be to those trying to manage HR in practice?
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