Universalism in HRM is dead
Write an essay in which you address the following topic:
‘There is no argument whatsoever in favour of current models of “best practice” in HRM.
Human resource specialists should act on the basis that every policy choice in HRM is
contingent on the specific strategy and competitive context of the firm. Universalism in
HRM is dead.’ Critically examine the evidence to support this claim.
Your essay must: show evidence of wide-ranging research; present robust arguments; flow smoothly in terms of
the points you make; be written in a clear fashion; and adhere to APA referencing guidelines. Take note that an
essay is more than a mere summary of material or a reiteration of what you have read. An essay must demonstrate
qualities such as synthesis, critical thinking and original thought.
Format Standard essay format i.e. Introduction, Body,
Assignment instructions :
For this assignment you are required to:
1. Carefully consider the essay topic.
2. Selectively read scholarly journal articles and gather the information you will need for your
essay. Focus your reading on the best-fit versus best-practice debate in Strategic HRM (see, for
example, chapter 3 in Boxall and Purcell (2016))
3. Develop an essay plan.
4. Write the first draft.
5. Check and redraft the essay several times.
Length: Maximum of six (6) A4 pages of text, double-spaced, 11 point Times New Roman font,
excluding References and the Cover Page with author details. Just six pages of the essay will be
marked. There must be no headings within the essay.
Margins: 2.5cm (1”) on every side.
Your essay must be based on scholarly strategic HRM textbooks and primarily journal articles from reputable
databases. You must avoid using general HRM textbooks. Information from freely available webpages is not
always reputable and will not be accepted as source documents. Your essay must be based on a minimum of 15
academic sources. Ensure the sources you use are high quality and referenced correctly.
Marking criteria Elements of Essay and
Criteria include: Captures attention.
Describes what the essay will be about.
Explains how essay is structured. Provides
other relevant background information.
Introduction is a clearly discernible part of
Criteria include: Keeps to the topic. Each
paragraph has a key idea. Paragraphs fully
developed. Transitions to connect ideas.
Essay flows well. Shows evidence of
extensive and appropriate research.
Effective use of the literature to establish
authority. Written in a clear, easy-to-
understand, and grammatically correct
Criteria include: Discussion summed up
effectively. Wraps up the essay in a clear
and interesting way. Some reiteration of
previous points, but does not simply list or
repeat what has already been written.
Essay has sense of completion. Shows
insight about the topic.
Criteria include: According to APA
referencing guidelines. Complete list of
sources. Suggests wide reading. Good
quality resource material.