Universalism in HRM is dead

Assignment: Essay

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

Evaluation Criteria


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

the essay.


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.

Total 100

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