MGMT5701 Global Employment Relations - 2021

Term 1
6 Units of Credit
Management & Governance
The course outline is not available for current term. To view outlines from other year and/or terms visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Understanding of global and national aspects of employment relations is crucial for managing and representing employees in the modern workplace. This course analyses selected national employment relations systems in a global context. It explores the implications of global processes such as offshoring for national employment relations systems, management and workers. It shows how the outcomes of global processes are shaped by distinct ‘varieties of capitalism’, in which national employment relations systems are embedded. It explores the implications for domestic employment relations of such global institutions as the World Trade Organisation, the International Labour Organisation, and Global Union Federations.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

For HR Majors, this course is a requirement for Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) accreditation.  It is an elective for Masters of International Business students.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrKristin van Barneveld Business School building - Ref E12+61 2 9385 7770Please contact me via email to arrange a time.

​You will meet your class tutor in your first tutorial.  Contact details for the full teaching team will be published on Moodle.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The course aims to expose students to the variety of institutional and regulatory contexts that shape employment relations, and to build a sense of the variety of employment relations practices in various national contexts, and as shaped by processes under the broad heading of ‘globalisation’. This provides a sense that there may be different employment relations possibilities than those that are shaped within a single location.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​Online lectures and audio-visual material will cover most of the conceptual content of the course. Lectures also provide opportunity for student involvement in considering key concepts and emerging issues. Students should engage with online discussions, supported by their reading.

In most weeks, lectures will be delivered synchronously at the scheduled time. In all weeks the lectures will be recorded for you to review in your own time.

Tutorials run synchronously most weeks and you will be expected to come at your appointed time. I understand that not everyone has access to high speed internet. Please contact the LIC separately via email if you are going to have ongoing technological issues and we can work out a way that you will be able to continue in the course.

Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with employment relations ideas and to acquire both practical and critical knowledge of practice in other national contexts. Tutorials provide each person the opportunity to contribute and learn via active participation. In particular, tutorial questions include a requirement for students to consider the main, practical content of lectures and readings, as well as engage with ‘thinking’ questions that address institutional and employment relations variety and globalisation processes.

5. Course Resources

Textbook: Frege C and Kelly J (eds) (2020) Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy, Second Edition, Routledge, New York,.

Please refer to the class Moodle site for further details regarding weekly readings.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

This course has been developed out of extensive research of world-wide practice in teaching employment relations, as well as UNSW’s own previous courses in industrial relations.

Each year, feedback is sought from students about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. In this course, we seek your feedback through regular communications with the course coordinator, and formally through UNSW's myExperience survey at the end of the term.

In response to feedback received in 2020 and with the move to online teaching, significant changes have been made to the assessment items in the course. A formal group work component has been added to encourage students to learn from each others experience and tutorial activities have been strengthened with a learning journal and reflection.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 15 FebruaryLecture

Course introduction

Introduces the course, including key concepts (employment relations, varieties of capitalism, globalization and neo-liberalism). Describes assessment and course organisation.


Icebreaker and general discussion exploring ideas around globalisation.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 2: 22 FebruaryLecture

Employment Relations and Varieties of Capitalism

Elaborates on employment/industrial relations and ‘VOC’. Makes comparisons across countries to underscore notion of ‘varieties’. Argues for more ‘variety’ than the Hall and Soskice ‘VOC’ approach.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Includes discussion of key elements of industrial relations systems and differences between it and human resource management.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 3: 1 MarchLecture


Explains the topic of globalisation, exploring the concept’s facets, its institutions, and its links to ‘neo-liberalism’. Considers how neo-liberal globalisation dis-empowers unions, exacerbates inter- and intra-national inequality, and drives a ‘race to the bottom'.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Includes consideration of concepts like unitarism and pluralism; differences between varieties of capitalism and the role of social protection.

See Moodle for tutorial details.


Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 4: 8 MarchLecture

The Anti-Globalisation Movements

Covers various movements that have arisen to counter the ‘race to the bottom’ in globalisation, including the International Labour Organisation, Transnational Unionism, and new social media activism.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Includes discussion of differences in living standards and the connection to national industrial relations systems.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 5: 15 MarchLecture

Liberal Market Economies (1) The US and UK

Covers key characteristics of liberal MEs, such as the influence of liberal ideology (small government), the hegemony of stock markets and short termism, management prerogative, and hostility to unionism.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Discussion of international labour standards and human rights.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Learning Journal Part A due 12pm, 16th March 2021

Week 6: 22 MarchLecture

Liberal Market Economies (2) Australia and New Zealand

Australia and NZ moved from coordinated to liberal economies from 1980s.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Exploration of key features of LMEs, Brexit, the New Deal and American Unionism.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 7: 29 MarchLecture

Varieties of Asian Corporatism

Discusses Chinese, South Korean and Singaporean employment relations.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Discussion of key characteristics of Australian and New Zealand characteristics of capitalism.

See Moodle for tutorial details

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 8: 5 AprilLecture

Coordinated Market Economies (1) Germany

Summarises the main features of ‘ideal’ coordinated economies, in particular ‘patient capital’, and elaborates its ‘complementarities’ with the German employment relations system. Features of the latter include strong industry unions a strong national training system and, with ‘corporatist’ links into business and government.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


There are NO tutorials this week - you should take this time to complete your Group Presentation due 12pm 12th April 2021.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 9: 12 AprilLecture

Coordinated Market Economies (2) Nordic Countries

Covers a ‘type’ of coordinated economy – the Nordic – in which the union movement plays the strongest role of any other type. These countries show the strongest indicators of social equity and protection, as well as strong industrial performance.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.

Group Presentation due 12pm 12th April 2021.


This Tutorial will be asynchronous with participation required via the discussion board.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Week 10: 19 AprilLecture

Coordinated Market Economies (3) Japan

Discusses the rise and fall of Japan as an alternative (to the American) economic model, because its political economic institutions, including a strong state, and a marginalized (until relatively recently) labour.

Final course wrap up.

Note that 3 quizzes each worth a total of 30% of course mark will be done in lectures in random weeks.


Discussion of features of Nordic and Japanese CMEs.

See Moodle for tutorial details.

Ongoing assessment of tutorial participation through the learning journal and final reflection.

Learning Journal Part B and Reflection due 12pm, 23rd April 2021

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School program learning outcomes, academic integrity, student responsibilities and student support services. For information regarding special consideration and viewing final exam scripts, please go to the key policies and support page.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Services team.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Learning Support Tools
Business School provides support a wide range of free resources and services to help students in-class and out-of-class, as well as online. These include:

  • Academic Communication Essentials – A range of academic communication workshops, modules and resources to assist you in developing your academic communication skills.
  • Learning consultations – Meet learning consultants who have expertise in business studies, literacy, numeracy and statistics, writing, referencing, and researching at university level.
  • PASS classes – Study sessions facilitated by students who have previously and successfully completed the course.
  • Textbook access scheme – To support the inclusion and success of students from equity groups enrolled at UNSW Sydney in first year undergraduate Business programs.

The Nucleus - Business School Student Services team
The Nucleus Student Services team provides advice and direction on all aspects of enrolment and graduation. Level 2, Main Library, Kensington 02 8936 7005 /

Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee strives to ensure that every student is empowered to have equal access to education. The Business School provides a vibrant, safe, and equitable environment for education, research, and engagement that embraces diversity and treats all people with dignity and respect.

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9065 9444

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Support for Studying Online

The Business School and UNSW provide a wide range of tools, support and advice to help students achieve their online learning goals. 

The UNSW Guide to Online Study page provides guidance for students on how to make the most of online study.

We recognise that completing quizzes and exams online can be challenging for a number of reasons, including the possibility of technical glitches or lack of reliable internet. We recommend you review the Online Exam Preparation Checklist of things to prepare when sitting an online exam.