Course Title: International and Comparative Employment Relations

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: International and Comparative Employment Relations

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


630H Management


Sem 1 2008

Course Coordinator: Dr Malcolm MacIntosh

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

BUSM1044 Industrial Relations A

Course Description

The course examines employment relations in a international context. You will examine patterns of employment relations in selected countries, to illustrate the importance of national law and institutions in employment relations and the degree to which these arrangements might endure. The global context will be further examined through the influence of international organizations and international treaty arrangements on the arrangements in particular countries and on the employment practices of multinationals. The course will provide you with an understanding of the unique human resource challenges facing international organizations.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:
1. explain the influence of national legal framework and institutions influence the employment relations practices in selected countries;
2. identify patterns of divergence and convergence in the patterns of employment relations in those selected countries;
3. demonstrate an understanding of the impact of employment relations institutions on patterns of economic and social development;
4. explain the importance and the processes of developing international labour and social standards, and the influence of trade agreements and the operation of multinational companies on such standards.

Overview of Learning Activities

Lecture material will be used to develop an understanding of national patterns of employment relations. Group assignments and presentations will give students an opportunity to explore themes across counties, and particular issues within employment relations. Each student will be expected to complete a major research assignment in which they can demonstrate their ability to use the comparative method in examining issues and events in employment relations. Class discussion will focus on case studies and student research on issues and will be a significant arena for learning. A DLS site will provide students with a guide to relevant research courses on the web, and in libraries and a comprehensive bibliography will enable them to identify key sources for their research.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students must be able to access the RMIT library to obtain relevant references. Further there a wide range of web sites containing material on national employment relations systems or on aspects of labour regulation globally. A list of sites will be provided on the DLS site.

Overview of Assessment

There will be normally be three pieces of assessment. This may include a group assignment to allow you to develop your skills in working together towards a common outcome, while sharing knowledge and tasks and a research assignment will contribute to your ability to undertake research, synthesise materials and present them in a coherent and concise manner.