BA Modern Language and Business & Management (Chinese) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Organisations and Employment

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN24521
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course addresses five overlapping themes: 

  • The Nature of Work is explored briefly introducing important theoretical ideas about the employment relationship and the labour process within the context of the  capitalist society and the role of different stakeholders in the process.
  • The Organisation of Work is explored focusing on classical ideas about how work has been managed and organised. Foundational ideas about the management of  work are introduced and critically examined. Connections are made between such  ideas and practice Moreover, the role of management/human resource departments, employees and trade unions is evaluated.
  • The Changing Experience of Work is explored in relation to changes in the 
    composition of workforces, with a particular focus on skills and careers. The theme of change is scrutinised with a focus on features prevalent in the service economy, such as equality and diversity and work-life balance. 
  • The Response of Organised Labour is explored considering industrial relations issues, including representation and conflict at work and issues facing workplaces as a result from the increasingly sophisticated organisation of work by management and employers. A particular focus is given on the role of trade unions in resistance to forms of exploitation, as well as changes to traditional forms of worker representation. 
  • Work in the Global Context is explored from the lens of globalization and other international trends amidst the diversity of economic, social, cultural, and institutional contexts in which contemporary organisations operate.


The course aims to provide students with basic understanding of both traditional and contemporary ideas about work organisations. The course introduces students to several themes related to the organisation of work, focusing on the role of management and employers, as well as workers and trade unions. Management issues are explored from a historical, critical and gender perspective, combining theory with practical issues facing organizations today. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to: 

  • Explain and assess key traditional and contemporary debates about work organisations from the perspective of various stakeholders (management/Human Resource Departments, employees, unions and the wider society).
  • Identify and review critical approaches to management. 
  • Interpret empirical evidence about the changing nature of work and skills in contemporary workplaces and employee experience at work
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of gender in relation to these issues.
  • Evaluate the role of organised labour in response to new management practices. 

Teaching and learning methods

One hour lecture per week for 10 weeks.
One hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Lecture hours:10
Seminar hours: 10
Private study: 80
Total study hours: 100

Total study hours: 100 hours.

Informal Contact Methods

Office Hours: 2

Assessment methods

1. Non-credit bearing formative assessment 
2. Examination - 100% 

Feedback methods

  • Informal advice and discussion during lectures and seminars. 
  • Specific course related feedback sessions. 
  • Written feedback on non-assessed coursework. 
  • Feedback after students have given a group or individual presentation. 
  • Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance. 

Recommended reading

  • Noon M., Blyton P. and Morrel K. (2013), The Realities of Work, Palgrave McMillan 4th edition
  • Wilkinson, A and Barry M (2020) The Future of Work and Employment Elgar Online
  • Skidelsky, R. and; Craig, N. (2020). Work in the Future: The automation revolution. Palgrave McMillian
  • Thompson, P and McHugh, D.  (2009) Work Organisations, 4th ed. Or 3rd edition from 2002 Palgrave McMillan
  • Bratton, J (2015) Introduction to Work and Organization Behavior McMillan 3rd Edition

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Syed Imran Saqib Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Pre-requisites: N/A 
Co-requisites: N/A 
Dependent courses: N/A 

Programme Restrictions: Available as a free choice option to students who have received prior agreement from their registering School. Not available to BSc in 
Management/Management (Specialism), IMABS, IM,or ITMB/ITMB (Specialism). 

BMAN24521 is available to visiting and exchange students admitted through the University of Manchester’s International Programmes Office. 

For Academic Year 2024/25

Updated: March 2024

Approved by: March UG Committee


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