BSc Management (Accounting & Finance) with Industrial/Professional Experience

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Equality and Fairness at Work

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN31652
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course examines different forms and sources of work and employment inequality. The course is also concerned with fairness and ethics in the workplace and explores barriers and enablers of equality, bullying, sexual harassment, and well-being and stress in the workplace. We explore recent employment developments and how these may be linked to the disadvantage facing some social groups, particularly through examining precarious work and the polarisation of employment in dominant sectors of the economy. The course brings a broad analytical approach, focusing not only on labour market and institutional dynamics of inequality, such as gender pay gap and inequalities facing particular social groups, such as ethnic minorities and migrants, but also explores these issues at the level of the individual and the workplace.



Only available to students on: Mgt/Mgt Specialism; IMABS; IM.




The general aim of the course is to promote an understanding of the societal, labour market and organisational processes that create and sustain inequalities and to explore ways of achieving more equitable and fairer workplaces. The specific aims include:

  • To analyse different aspects of inequality and labour market disadvantage.
  • To explore the psychological theory underpinning the experience of inequality and unfair treatment at work and consider how individuals might react and what the impact will be on them and their workplaces.
  • To examine societal and organizational approaches to promote equality and fairness at work.
  • To promote an understanding of current aspects relating to the management of diversity and fairness in organisations with specific emphasis on wellbeing, stress, diversity and gender issues.


Learning outcomes

In the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  • Identify the current issues relating to equality and fairness in the workplace.
  • Understand key patterns and manifestations of employment inequality  and how inequalities intersect with each other to create and sustain disadvantage
  • Understand how the organisation of welfare, employment and the family may contribute to reinforce or minimize inequalities
  • Identify discriminatory practices for particular groups and evaluate the effectiveness of organisational and institutional frameworks to tackle these
  • Identify the barriers and enablers of equality and wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills developed throughout the course with respect to the implementation of good practice for the management of diversity within organisations.


The themes covered include:
• Approaches to understanding inequalities: The organisational and societal levels
• Intersectional experiences of ethnic minorities and migrants in the labour market
• Gender, employment and the family
• Employment polarisation and inequality in the service economy
• Pay inequality: gender and other gaps
• Flexibility, precarious work and employment inequality
• Fairness and ethics in the workplace.
• Barriers and enablers of wellbeing, equality, stress in the workplace
• Bullying and discrimination, sexual harassment.
• The ageing workforce.
• The psychological contract, equity and justice.

Teaching and learning methods

Methods of delivery: Lecture, seminars, guest speakers, clinics and surgeries
Lecture hours: 28 (3 hour slots, including guest speakers and surgeries weeks 1-9, 1 hour revision lecture week 10)
Seminar hours: 8 discussion based (1 hour weeks 2 to 9)
Clinics: 2x 2hr drop in clinics in week 10
Total contact hours: 40

Informal Contact Methods
1. Office Hours
2. Blackboard, email
3. Peer Assisted Study Sessions (during seminars)

Employability skills

Oral communication
- communication and persuasion skills through group discussion and debate
- skills to learn and research independently.
- skills to recognise issues relating to equality and fairness in the workplace - skills to identify the barriers and enablers of wellbeing and stress in the workplace - skills to identify barriers hampering equality of opportunity in the workplace for both women and men

Assessment methods

Formative: Optional assignment: 1000 word essay rehearsing answers to hypothetical exam questions.

Summative: 2.5hr exam (100%)

Feedback methods

Discussion-based seminars will allow weekly feedback on student understanding of course material.
Optional assignment to receive formative feedback.


Recommended reading

The course will provide a number of recommended books and journal articles for each lecture topic but some useful preliminary readings include:

•    Beardwell, J. and Thompson, A. (eds.) (2017) Human resource management : a contemporary approach . Pearson Education. Chapter 6 on Managing Equality and Diversity by Mike Noon.

•    Grimshaw, D., Fagan, C., Hebson, G. and Tavora, I. (2017) Making Work More Equal: A new labour market segmentation approach. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Available online: file://$/Downloads/634747%20(1).pdf
•    Healy, G., Kirton, G. and Noon, M.  (2011) Equality, inequalities and Diversity. Contemporary challenges and Strategies. London: Palgrave Macmillan
•    Johnson, S. J. Robertson, I. Cooper, C. L. (2018). Wellbeing: Productivity and Happiness at Work 2nd edition. Palgrave Macmillon.
•    Johnson, S. J. (2015). Evidence Review E18: How are work requirements and environments evolving and what will be the impact of this on individuals who will reach 65 in 2025 and 2040? Future of Ageing: Evidence Review. Foresight, Government Office for Science.
•    Quick, J. C., & McFadyen, M. (2017). Sexual harassment: Have we made any progress?. Journal of occupational health psychology, 22(3), 286.
•    Samnani, A. K., & Singh, P. (2012). 20 years of workplace bullying research: a review of the antecedents and consequences of bullying in the workplace. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17(6), 581-589.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2.5
Lectures 28
Practical classes & workshops 4
Seminars 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 159.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sheena Johnson Unit coordinator
ISABEL TAVORA Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Programme Restrictions: Available to students on BSc Management / Management (specialism),BSc International Management and BSc International Management with American Business Studies.

For Academic Year 2022/23

Updated: March 2022

Approved by: March UG Committee

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