Strategic Human Resource Management, 7.5 credits
Strategic Human Resource Management, 7,5 högskolepoäng
Course Syllabus for students Spring 2022
Course Code:JSHR20
Confirmed by:Council for Undergraduate and Masters Education May 7, 2020
Revised by:Examiner Jun 4, 2021
Education Cycle:Second-cycle level
Disciplinary domain:Social sciences
Subject group:FE1
Specialised in:A1N
Main field of study:Business Administration

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

On completion of the course the students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

1. Describe models, concepts and theories in the fields of strategy, human resource management (HRM) and strategic human resource management (SHRM)
2. Account for HR systems as composed of HR philosophy, HR strategies and HR programmes from a strategic perspective
3. Outline the purpose, goals and characteristics of strategic human resource management for organisations acting in the so-called VUCA-environment
4. Explain the complementary strategic roles of HR departments, professionals, managers, directors and practitioners

Skills and abilities

5. Analyse and assess HR systems from a strategic perspective
6. Make informed decisions, based on strategic analysis, in regard to the formulation and implementation of strategic HR systems relevant to organisation acting in the so-called VUCA-environment
7. Synthesize the strategic roles of HR departments, professionals, managers, directors and practitioners in line with a defined strategic HR system.

Judgement and approach

8. Critically reflect on the development and purpose of strategic human resource management in addressing especially the so-called VUCA-environment.
9. Critically problematize strategic human resource management in research and practice to reflect on capabilities and skills for future SHRM.


This course is anchored in the confidence that individuals and their associated resources, namely human resources are at the centre of both organisational development and the realisation of sustainable strategy. This course underlines the added value for multiple stakeholders in aligning HR with Business so that designing strategic human resource systems becomes a strategic advantage in organisation’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. This course stimulates students to analyse and develop strategic HR programmes for key functional aspects of the HR, among those as recruitment, reward management, employment relationships, well-being management, and talent management. It finally discusses the strategic roles of HR professionals and practitioners in the continuous formulation and implementation of strategic HR systems.

Connection to Research and Practice
This is a theoretically as well as practically oriented course in strategic human resource management. The course provides students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and abilities in working strategically in different contexts such as family business and entrepreneurship. This course opens students to the multiplicity of views on strategy explored in many doctoral theses at JIBS such strategy as practices, organisational capabilities, strategy as emotional patterns and others. This course uses cases from SMEs, Media companies, Family Businesses to explore how HR is a key to their success.

Type of instruction

The course is based on weekly module. Each module includes
  • 1 or 2 online non-recorded live lectures on Zoom,
  • pre-recorded videos,
  • compulsory online group blogging discussions on learning platform (part of “Group reflective discussion” examination),
  • one compulsory written case analysis (part “Individual written case-based assignment serie” examination),
  • and eventual online Q&A sessions.
Beside the weekly module work, at the end of the course, the course is based on an “Individual written assignment” and one compulsory live group discussion part of “Group reflective discussion”

The teaching is conducted in English.


The applicant must hold the minimum of a Bachelor's degree (i.e. the equivalent of 180 ECTS credits at an accredited university) or equivalent (professional experience can be validated as equivalent). English proficiency is required (level 6/B or equivalent).

Examination and grades

The course is graded A, B, C, D, E, FX or F.

Individual written assignment (ILOs: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9) representing 2,5 credits.
Individual written case-based assignment serie (ILOs: 5, 6, 7, 8) representing 3,5 credits.
Group reflective discussion (ILOs: 3, 4, 8, 9), representing 1,5 credits.

Registration of examination:
Name of the TestValueGrading
Individual written assignment12.5 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
Individual written case-based assignments serie13.5 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
Group reflective discussion11.5 creditsU/G
1 All parts of compulsory examination in the course must be passed with a passing grade (A-E) or Pass, before a final grade can be set. The final grade of the course is determined by the sum total of points for all parts of examination in the course (0-100 points). Grade is set in accordance to JIBS grading policy.

Course evaluation

It is the responsibility of the examiner to ensure that each course is evaluated. There must be course evaluators identified among the students. The evaluation is carried out continuously as well as at the end of the course, through a survey. After the course the course Examiner meets with student evaluators to discuss the survey results and possible improvements. A summary report is also created. The report is followed up by program directors and discussed with faculty and relevant others (e.g. Associate Dean of Education, Associate Dean of faculty, Director of PhD Candidates, Dean, or Director of Studies). The next time the course runs, students should be informed of any measures taken to improve the course based on the previous course evaluation.

Other information

The course is given online so that students shall follow policies and guidelines for JU Online education. This implies adopting an ethical etiquette for online teaching sessions (lectures and seminars) described in the course guide. It also implies respecting JU Online digital guidelines, reminded in the course guide.

Academic integrity
JIBS students are expected to maintain a strong academic integrity. This implies to behave within the boundaries of academic rules and expectations relating to all types of teaching and examination.
Copying someone else’s work is a particularly serious offence and can lead to disciplinary action. When you copy someone else’s work, you are plagiarizing. You must not copy sections of work (such as paragraphs, diagrams, tables and words) from any other person, including another student or any other author. Cutting and pasting is a clear example of plagiarism. There is a workshop and online resources to assist you in not plagiarizing called the Interactive Anti-Plagiarism Guide.
Other forms of breaking academic integrity include (but are not limited to) adding your name to a project you did not work on (or allowing someone to add their name), cheating on an examination, helping other students to cheat and submitting other students work as your own, and using non-allowed electronic equipment during an examination. All of these make you liable to disciplinary action.

Course literature


Compulsory course book
Rees G. & Smith. P.E. (2021). Strategic Human Resource Management - An International Perspective – Sage.

Case studies will be provided along the course.

Compulsory readings that will be available on learning platform
Armstrong, M, (2011). The framework of HR strategy. In Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong’s Handbook of strategic human resource management (5th edition).Chapter 08, pp. 123-144. London:KoganPage

Armstrong, M, (2016). The strategic role of HR. In Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong’s Handbook of strategic human resource management (6th edition). Chapter 4, pp. 50-58. London:KoganPage.

Mack, O. & Khare, A. (2016), Perspectives on a VUCA world. In Mack, A., Khare, A., Kramer, A. & Burgartz, T. (2016). Managing in a VUCA world. Chapter 1, pp. 3-18. Cham: Springer International Publishing .

Mintzberg, H. (1987), The strategy concept I: Five Ps for Strategy. California Management Review, October 1987, Vol.30(1), pp.11-24

Johnson, G., Melin, L; Whittington, R. (2003) Micro strategy and strategizing: towards an activity-based view. Journal of Management Studies, January 2003, Vol.40(1), pp.3-22

Ulrich, D, (2007). Alignment of HR strategies and the impact on Business Performance. In Schuller, R.S. & Jackson, S.E. (Eds). (2017). Strategic human resource management. Chapter 8, pp. 124-142. Malden:Blackwell Publishing

A complementary list of compulsory articles and book chapters may be supplied to enable to capture contemporary knowledge and understanding.

Recommended readings
Recommended articles and book chapters may be shared during the course to enable to stimulate further learnings about SHRM.