BUSM4505 Strategic Human Resource Development - Assessment 1: Essay

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Assessment Overview:

The first assessment requires individual students to critically evaluate the literature on contemporary human resource development (HRD) issues and propose recommendations and solutions. This will be an essay and students can use headings in the essay.

Your role is the Human Resource Development (HRD) Manager (in some organisations the role is entitled the Learning and Development Manager) and you must write a professional essay/document on contemporary literature that will analyse one only of two contemporary issues grouped as:

  1. The first is discrimination and bullying or,
  2. The second is diversity and inclusion

The HR Director wants to make decisions based on quality research because he is

considering expanding the HRD Department under the HR function. The HRD Department currently consists of one HRD manager (you) and one HRD Officer. The HR Director needs to present a formal proposal of critical literature to the Executive Team for review and approval before they decide on proceeding with a HRD training program for staff. Therefore, you have been requested to prepare an essay/document with headings for review to present to the Executive Team.

The purpose of the assessment is to present critical literature to the Executive Team. You need to consider the following questions in designing and shaping the critical essay. Please note these questions are to stimulate your thinking. The essay will be structured around these questions and the criteria rubric.

What is the role and responsibilities of a HRD professional in the organisation? What are the current issues related to HRD in the organisation? How can HRD help the organisation address current and future challenges? What and how can HRD activities benefit individual employees and the organisation? Why should the organisation invest in HRD?

Note: In this assessment you will need to apply one of the common issues mentioned here because the subject is constructively aligned. Therefore, you will also use one of the common issues grouped into 1. discrimination and bullying or 2. diversity and inclusion in Assessment 2. It is advised that you write A1 and scaffold to A2 on the same topic.

Given that your HR Director has requested you present an evidence-based document to the executive, you must write the essay/document in an academic style so that it is substantiated by a wealth of contemporary academic evidence. This will include empirical case studies that have been reported in refereed journal articles. You are encouraged to conduct a thorough literature review on the relevant HRD and Learning and Development theories via the RMIT Library. Your essay/document should be 1,000 words and references are additional (not in word count).

Critical Essay/Professional Document Structure:

Your critical essay/professional document should be structured as follows:

Introduction

In your introduction outline what you propose to do to build the HRD Department and the position you are adopting. This assessment is a critical essay/professional document, so you need an initial paragraph introducing yourself as the HRD Manager and an overview of the purpose and rationale for expanding the HRD department, background information of the organisation, and why it is important for the HRD Department. Do not use first person. The organisation of the essay – in other words, the next sections to follow must be clearly stated. Without separate sections a reader might be very confused about the focus of your essay.

HRD Role and Current Issues and Challenges (around discrimination and bullying or diversity and inclusion)

In this section, you need to outline the role and responsibilities of the HRD Manager. You need to read refereed journal articles and case studies within many high quality HRM journals to find out what the current HRD challenges around discrimination and bullying or diversity and inclusion in many organisations (not just your chosen organisation or e.g., a Health Service). There are many challenges, but this assessment needs to focus on discrimination and bullying or diversity and inclusion. You need to ensure that your arguments are all supported by contemporary refereed journal articles (no older than 10 years) - every comment you make that presents as a fact, assertion or argument must be substantiated with a refereed journal article that is cited in text. You may use one direct reference but mostly you must paraphrase your work. Marks are lost for unsubstantiated opinions. In fact, your opinion is not sought here. What we are interested in is your capacity to critically argue and communicate well researched information.

Adaptive - #AoL3a Adaptive - Option 4 – this is about constructing solutions based on comprehensive theoretical knowledge.

In this section #AoL3a Adaptive - Option 4 applies to constructing solutions based on comprehensive theoretical knowledge. You need to use the refereed journal articles to argue for a more strategic focus. You must present a solid and comprehensive argument with solutions and recommendations and how the organisation will benefit from a strategic approach to HRD. In the contemporary journal articles, you will find numerous case studies that demonstrate HRD is critical to the performance of employees, the performance of the organisation and to ensuring employees remain in employment. You need to demonstrate critical thinking and synthesis of the literature. You must present how the organisation will address current and future challenges for the individual employee and the organisation. In this final section you should include HRD activities that will benefit employees and the organisation.

Make sure you include a summary of the essay. This is where you write what you have concluded based only on your research – here you can base your opinion on your research and express that opinion. The conclusion is not just a summary, it should be a strong paragraph that presents succinctly what the essay was about and your argument to expand the HRD Department. You have to convince the Executive that they should invest in HRD. Therefore, conclude with a strong statement about how HRD will benefit employees and the organisation.

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