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MGT8031 Global Issues in Employment Relations

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Management and Marketing

Contents on this page


Examiner: Shalene Werth
Moderator: Renee Malan

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //


The importance of global employment relations issues to human resource managers and other managers in their roles is found in the knowledge of their respective employment relations frameworks. Change in labour markets and the interdependent economies throughout the world has been fast-moving and significant in its impact on organisations. The role of the state in regulating employment relations is shifting dramatically and all organisations are bound by industrial relations and employment law. This course encourages students to think outside their own legislative framework and consider the themes emerging in the international context of employment relations.


The relations between `employers' (and managers as their `agents' in the workplace) and workers (or non-managerial employees mainly) throughout the world have faced enormous pressures arising from changes related to things like the information communication technology revolution, economic globalization, increased domestic and international competition and other political and socio-economic pressures. Amongst others, organisations are pressured into becoming increasingly more flexible, efficient and productive. This course will assist students in developing an understanding of the complexity of these relations by putting it into an appropriate contextual setting, and by focusing on several critical issues surrounding the management of work and working people in a contemporary world. The course adopts a critical perspective on a range of issues arising from employment relations and the broader socio-economic and political contexts within which these develop. `Global issues in employment relations' introduces the management student to relevant `industrial relations' theory in a `post-industrial' context of globalization and the `information-age' (or `knowledge age'). It challenges managers of today and the future to identify burning issues and alternative frameworks or approaches that lead to a more sustainable world. The course considers, from an analytical and critical angle, aspects that relate to various concepts and themes such as human resource management, employee participation, trade unionism and empowerment. Apart from the global emphasis there are also specific international comparative perspectives weaved into this course.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate and be able to explain aspects of the changing nature and context of the employment relationship
  2. critically evaluate and compare the challenges associated with the parties and processes of employment relations in various countries
  3. evaluate, debate and research contemporary issues in employment relations
  4. identify and discuss the causes, patterns and manifestations of industrial conflict and bargaining processes
  5. demonstrate through the written assignment a practical understanding of employment relations in an international comparative context.


Description Weighting(%)
1. What is the employment relationship? 8.30
2. The changing context and nature of the employment relationship 8.30
3. International and comparative employment relations 8.30
4. Managerial approaches and employer associations 8.30
5. Employee representation: union and non-union 8.30
6. Governments and employment relations 8.30
7. Collective bargaining and conflict 8.30
8. Employment relations in Germany 8.30
9. Employment relations in USA 8.30
10. Employment relations in Japan 8.30
11. Employment relations in India 8.30
12. Employment relations in South Korea 8.70

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Bamber, GJ, Lansbury, RD & Wailes, N (eds) 2011, International and comparative employment relations, 5th edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, New South Wales.
  • Bray, M, Waring, P, & Cooper, R 2011, Employment relations: theory and practice, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, North Ryde, New South Wales.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Balnave, N, Brown, J, Maconachie, G & Stone, R 2009, Employment relations in Australia, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Sappey R, Burgess, J, Lyons, M & Buultjens, J 2009, Industrial relations in Australia: work and workplaces, 2nd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 35.00
Directed Study 75.00
Private Study 55.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
REFLECTIVE PIECE 10 5 10 Aug 2012
ESSAY 100 45 01 Oct 2012
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 50 50 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a closed examination. Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) In accordance with university policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (iv) The examiner will not accept submission of assignments by facsimile. (vii) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience.

  2. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //

  3. Course weightings: Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //