HRM and Performance
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleMAN-MHR002A
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Nijmegen School of Management; Master Business Administration;
dr. A. Ahmad
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.L.J. Schouteten
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.L.J. Schouteten
Other course modules lecturer
dr. R.L.J. Schouteten
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. R.L.J. Schouteten
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
2  (06/11/2023 to 28/01/2024)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
By the end of the course, students:
  • Can critically reflect on the literature and research on HRM and performance;
  • Can apply HRM and performance literature to write an academic research proposal for analyzing the HRM – performance relationship in an empirical situation.
During this course, the students:
  • Gain knowledge about the HRM – performance debate and about the background theories and constituent elements of the HRM – performance link (knowledge);
  • Apply this knowledge in a team of three of four students to an empirical situation and write a research proposal (application);
  • Individually, reflect critically on the HRM and performance literature and their own work (reflection).
This course helps students to improve their skills in understanding the mechanisms that relate HRM to performance and to apply this to an empirical situation. The necessary skills for this are relevant for future (HR) professionals, managers, consultants and/or researchers.
The much-debated relationship between HRM and Performance has occasionally moved beyond universal best practice, and academics tend to use a best system approach. However, this issue is not yet decided and unclear what this means and implies. At the same time, practitioners are left with uncertainty about how to configure HRM in their companies. What are the elements of the system? What practices constitute an HRM system that produces the desired effects? What practices allow for 'powerful connections' between the practices? And to what extent are there inconsistencies or even 'deadly combinations' between practices with the ultimate disastrous impact on attitudes and behavior of employees, hence organizational performance? The main question is: what mechanisms can explain why what (combinations of) HR policies and practices are related to performance outcomes?
In the course we address the research as well as the practice perspective. We try to open up the black box between HRM and performance by focusing on the effects that bundles of policies (such as control and commitment policies) and practices (such as flexible rewards, profit sharing, participation in decision making, information sharing, work-life arrangements etc.) have on various HR outcomes and on organizational performance. To achieve this goal, we critically examine relevant literature and apply this to an empirical question.

Presumed foreknowledge
Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, (Strategic) Human Resource Management, (Strategic) Personnel Management.
Test information
The exam consists of two parts:
1. A group paper containing a research proposal for a case organization (50% of the grade);
2. An individual portfolio of individual assignments per class and a critical reflection on the research proposal (50% of the grade). Each assignment in the portfolio will be assessed as sufficient or insufficient; the entire portfolio will be graded on a 1-10 scale.
Both parts of the exam (group assignment and individual portfolio) need to be >5. Results of the different parts are only valid for the running year.

Ma 1

Instructional modes

The course starts with a number (2-3) of lectures as a background and preparation for the group work.


In groups, students develop a research proposal for a case. Additionally, students reflect individually.

Response lecture

Paper (Group & Individual)
Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock 2, Block 3

One individual reflection paper (50%), one group paper (research proposal, 25%), and one group presentation (25%)

Papers & presentation