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MGT8031 Global Issues in Employment Relations

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Global Employment Relations
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Management and Enterprise
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 080309 - Industrial Relations
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Shalene Werth

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 regardless of the country or countries in which they operate. Students are encouraged to consider the wider implications of managing the HR function within organisations operating in the global marketplace. Protections that workers enjoy in different countries vary according to the regulatory environment and HR professionals need to be aware of these differences. This course encourages students to think outside their own legislative framework and consider the themes emerging within 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 increasingly global nature of work, increased domestic and international competition and other political and socio-economic pressures specific to different countries. 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 the global workforce. 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. 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 woven into the course.


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

  1. critically examine 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. debate and research contemporary issues in employment relations
  4. appraise the causes, patterns and manifestations of industrial conflict and bargaining processes
  5. demonstrate through the written assessments, a practical understanding of employment relations in an international comparative context.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Comparative employment relations (ER) 15.00
2. Legislation and regulation 17.00
3. Cross-cultural studies in ER 17.00
4. ER parties: employees and their representatives, employers and their representatives, and the state 17.00
5. Key ER processes in different international contexts 17.00
6. Contemporary international ER issues. 17.00

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 & Wright, CF 2017, International and comparative employment relations, 6th edn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 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.
Barry, M & Wilkinson, A 2011, Research handbook of comparative employment relations, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, United Kingdom.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 86.00
Independent Study 79.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 5 07 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 45 18 Sep 2019
EXAMINATION 50 50 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This is a closed examination. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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. 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