GRA 2257 Advanced Human Resource Management

GRA 2257 Advanced Human Resource Management

Course code: 
GRA 2257
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Anders Dysvik
Bård Kuvaas
Course name in Norwegian: 
Advanced Human Resource Management
Product category: 
MSc in Leadership and Organisational Psychology
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

People are generally considered ‘the organization’s most valuable resource’. Because of this, many organizations spend a fair amount of time and money on Human Resource Management (HRM) - activities deployed for the intended purpose of maximizing the productivity, effectiveness, and ongoing commitment and engagement of their people. These systems can include practices related to recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and performance appraisal, job design, and formal information sharing and suggestion processes. As the workplace has become more knowledge-oriented, globally distributed, technologically advanced, and data driven, HRM has increasingly included activities related to ‘talent management,’ ‘international HRM,’ ‘electronic-HRM,’ and ‘HR analytics.’

HRM has for many years been recognized as a central function in the organization. However, as the nature and context of work changes, so too does the role of HR professionals. Many authors in the field discern a shift in HRM from an administrative expert role towards an increasingly strategic and transformational function that has direct relationships with line and top management. This shift requires that today’s HR professionals have better analytical abilities, greater data and technology savvy, and stronger leadership and communication skills than their predecessors.

Further, the current ‘strategic HRM’ movement in the field has shifted over time. Strategic HRM was initially focused on convincing organizational leaders of the economic value of HRM investments, and thus fixated on immediate business outcomes and shareholder interests. However, it has evolved into a ‘mutual gains’ proposition, in which human resources are viewed as more than just ‘resources,’ and HRM takes into account both employers’ and employees’ interests in order to achieve longer-term sustainability of both organizations and people.

The purpose of course is to familiarize students with central areas of HRM practice and current issues faced in managing human resources today, assist them in cultivating a more critical and balanced approach towards HRM, and help them develop the competency to meet the expectations of being a HR manager in increasingly dynamic, digital, and international workplaces.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course, students should

  • Have advanced knowledge about the field of HRM, including its traditions, intended purposes, practices involved, and current opportunities and challenges faced by HR professionals
  • Have thorough knowledge of the theories, perspectives, and methods used in the field
  • Have thorough knowledge of current movement in the field, towards more international, digitally-optimized, and sustainable practice
  • Understand what is needed to measure the impact of various HR initiatives, both on business outcomes and employee well-being
  • Understand the different interests of the employer and the employee in the context of HRM
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, students should be able to:

  • Critically analyze HRM policies and practices with regards to their role and impact in the organization, and on the individuals in them, using HRM theories to structure and formulate this analysis
  • Apply knowledge gained in the course to diagnose HRM issues and come up with relevant, actionable plans for addressing these issues in a way that is good for both employees and the organization, and contextually relevant given the geographic/national context.
  • Effectively communicate advanced knowledge on the topic and the results of analytical work to a managerial audience
General Competence

As a result of this course, students should:

  • Be able to analyze and critically reflect on relevant issues relating to HRM
  • Be more adept at identifying the impact of HR initiatives, and how to qualify and quantify them
  • Be able to critically evaluate different HRM initiatives, and identify and propose solutions for HRM practices that are not socially sustainable
  • Be able to communicate topic-relevant issues, analyses and conclusions made with both HR specialists and line-/general management.
Course content

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Overview of the field of HRM, traditions, roles and responsibilities, trends and challenges
  • Employee development and talent management
  • Training, development and talent management
  • Compensation, incentives and performance-related pay
  • Performance management and feedback
  • ‘Transformational HRM’ (change-/innovation-enhancing HRM systems) 
  • International HRM
  • Electronic HRM and HR analytics
  • ‘Best practices’ versus ‘best fit’ and issues related to HRM alignment
  • Mutual gains perspective and socially sustainable HRM
Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as a combination of lectures, class discussions, activities, and assignments. It requires preparation ahead of class (e.g., reading), active involvement during class (e.g., contributing to class discussions, participating in group activities), and work outside of class (e.g., completing hand-in assignments, studying course topics). Class attendance is not compulsory, but the learning and academic performance of students who do not attend class will be hindered by missing these interactive sessions. It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that they missed as a result of absence. It is also the responsibility of the student to acquire course material, including any cases, not provided in the class, including those that could be used in course assignments.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

The examination for this course has been changed starting academic year 23/24. It is not possible to resit the old version of the examination.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 22575
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes3 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual .
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Exam code:GRA 22575
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
121 Hour(s)
3 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.