ASB 3101 Human Resource Management: Assignment Guidelines:
Individual Assignment: Reflective Essay (60%)
The reflective essay will take the form of individual reflection upon some aspect of your personal experience of human resource management.
Throughout the module, you will be exposed to various activities associated with HRM, such as recruitment and selection, training and development, dealing with work-place relationships etc. Think about how HRM relates to you: have you applied for a graduate job; have you been an employee; how have you been paid at work; how have you dealt with work-related conflict, perhaps during group-based assignments at university? These are all potential areas for you to reflect on. You are required to write a reflective essay that
(a) makes use of relevant theory to provide a detailed analysis of one aspect of your personal experience of HRM and
(b) considers the implications of your analysis for the effective management of human resources within organisations.
In practice, this means answering four simple questions (these may even be the headings you use in your individual assignment!):
1. What happened to me eg during a job interview, training session, appraisal meeting, or during group work? Give brief details of the context.
2. What worked well/not so well? Why might this have happened? What did I learn? What would I do differently next time?
3. What theories of HRM can explain what happened?
4. What could line managers and/or Human Resource professionals do to ensure things (continue to) work well in future and/or prevent such problems?
For example, your reflective essay may address one of the following topics:
1. Job interviews, assessment centres
2. Induction to a new organisation
3. A training and development session, e-learning package
4. A performance review with your supervisor/line manager
5. A grievance with a colleague
6. Being selected for a talent development programme
7. Conflict within your group (at university or work organisation)
8. Cross-generational working
9. Issues surrounding group leadership/management (or a lack thereof!)
10. The impact of culture on group work
You need not be constrained by this list and should focus on an HRM topic that you are interested in researching (and writing about) in detail.
A high quality reflective essay will involve:
Meeting the terms of reference (objectives a and b) by answering the four questions presented above
Excellent presentation and layout (style and structure)
The ability to undertake constructive/honest self-reflection (openness, clarity and realism of reflective critique)
The ability to analyse and provide explanations, linking to relevant literature
An overall grasp and understanding of the HRM activities involved