Topic 1: You are an HR consultant tasked with providing a well researched report for your client, Beauty Co. The company’s management committee is interested in developing an HR strategy to gain competitive advantage by attracting and retaining a highly skilled and diverse workforce.
Topic 2: 3 issues that reflect what is happening in Australian work and employment, HRM, employee relations, and industrial relations.
Dear student, this is your final assignment for this semester, it consists of two paper writings. It
is advised that you start working on it in your mid-semester break. Please note that this
assignment is now the hurdle in this unit, replacing the previous exam hurdle, so it is essential
that you follow the instructions in this document thoroughly.
Title: Individual research report
• Must include:
o Title page
o Executive summary
o Table of contents
The purpose or objective of writing the report
Careful definition of the problem
Background information (for example a brief history of the organisation,
context of topic or problem)
Definition of key terms where necessary
Outline (for example, the structure adopted for the report). This briefly
overviews the argument and the framework or logical structure that the
reader should expect to read in the rest of the report.
o Reference list (APA style)
Number of words: 2,500 words
Details of the task:
• You are an HR consultant tasked with providing a well researched report for your client,
Beauty Co. The company’s management committee is interested in developing an HR
strategy to gain competitive advantage by attracting and retaining a highly skilled and
diverse workforce. The company, being in the retail services industry, is particularly
interested in creating a diverse workforce that reflects its customer base.
• They want you to research and present a report, based on evidence from academic and
practitioner literature outlining key ideas and concepts from the HR literature related to
attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. The company is particularly interested in
how HR activities can be aligned to contribute to competitive advantage.
• This question will guide your research in order to prepare your boardroom report.
o “Beauty Co is interested in how reward management (define and explain)
can contribute to competitive advantage through employee attraction and
retention. Outline how reward management can enhance employee attraction
and retention for younger workers. What do you recommend?”
o In your report, you must first identify who are the “younger workers” and what
are their needs generally. Then answer the question regarding reward
Number of sources: A total of 13 sources for this paper (APA style) that consists of:
• At least 6 academic sources
• 3 other relevant resources (government reports, government resources, practitioner
material, consulting firm reports, media reports)
• At least 4 of these readings:
o “Nurse manager succession planning: A cost-benefit analysis” Article by
Tracy Phillips; Jennifer L. Evans; Stephanie Tooley; Maria R. Shirey – 2018
o “I’ll take care of you: The use of supportive work practices to retain older
workers” Article by Hélène Mountford
o “Visible tattoos in the service sector: a new challenge to recruitment and
selection” Article by Andrew R Timming – 2015
o “Ahead of the curve: The future of performance management” Article by
Boris Ewenstein; Bryan Hancock; Asmus Komm – 2016
o “Reinventing Performance Management” Article by Marcus Buckingham;
Ashley Goodall – 2015
o “Let’s Not Kill Performance Evaluations Yet” Article by Goler, LoriGale,
JanelleGrant, Adam – 2016
o “Understanding graduate recruitment, development and retention for the
enhancement of talent management: sharpening ‘the edge’ of graduate
talent” Article by Martin McCracken; Denise Currie; Jeanette Harrison – 2016
We will evaluate your report based on these points:
• The report responds clearly and systematically to the overall topic and topic question.
• The report contains clearly structured information about the substance and purpose of the
research topic and topic question.
• The report relies on good quality and appropriate academic and other resources and uses
them in an appropriate, consistent and sophisticated manner to support arguments.
• The report exhibits an informed, broad, and balanced coverage of sources.
• Clearly explained links between sections of the report that leads to a logical conclusion.
• The report is argumentative and it offers a sophisticated critical response to the overall
topic and the topic question.
• In doing this, the report incorporates a range of perspectives and ideas critically to
respond to the overall topic and the topic question.
• The report includes clear, relevant, and appropriate definitions.
• The report makes clear and sophisticated connections between evidence from the
literature, responses identified, and suggestions to the board of management.
• The research report confidently reflects the student “voice” in its use of HRM concepts,
ideas and language indicated by student’s use of their own words to discuss the material
Resources might be helpful:
Title: Media portfolio
• The Media Portfolio is an individual assignment that involves a critical examination and
analysis of current media articles/reports relating to Australia’s employee relations within
the Federal industrial relations system; i.e. look for media articles on anything to work
and employment that reflect your personal interests.
• The purpose of this assessment is to encourage critical understanding of current employee
relations issues and how such issues fit within the Australian industrial relations system.
• At least one issue must be Australian focused, but it is preferred if all issues have some
Australian content as this unit is not an international or comparative employee relations
unit and many of you are working or will work in Australia.
Number of words: 3,000 words
Number of sources: A total of 42 sources for this paper that consists of:
• 30 media articles (10 per issue); all published from 1 June 2020 onwards
• 12 different academic references (3 per issue) + 3 for definitions or general information
Details of the task:
• Each student should identify THREE issues that reflect what is happening in Australian
work and employment, HRM, employee relations, and industrial relations THIS
SEMESTER (starting from 1 June 2020).
• Please select 3 of the following issues:
o COVID-19 related challenges for all parties e.g. JobSeeker, Job Keeper, job loss,
job growth, industry studies, challenges for HRM etc.
o Effectiveness of enterprise bargaining – outcomes, use of industrial conflict, union
involvement; negotiation styles and steps, wage increases, types of leave
o Communication and trust in the workplace; organisational wellness
o Changes in management strategy when dealing with ER or IR or HRM; supply
o Role of the Fair Work Commission or the Fair Work Ombudsman and other
tribunals (e.g. Australian Human Rights Commission, WorkSafe, Australian
Building & Construction Commission)
o Small business and IR or ER or HRM
o Equity and discrimination/uncivil behaviour e.g. equal wages/gender pay gap, age
discrimination, disability discrimination, racial discrimination, age discrimination
(Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers), bullying, harassment
o Industry and company specific industrial relations and employee relations e.g.
building and construction industry, retail and/or hospitality, tertiary education
sector, mining and resources, the public sector, the health sector, the education
(schools) sector, Qantas, Rio Tinto, BHP, banks, Telstra, professional sport (e.g.
football codes, basketball, netball, cricket, tennis)
o Changing nature of work; work and technology, including monitoring and
surveillance and drugs testing; knowledge work; effects on traditional aspects of
occupations e.g. journalism, academic work, mining; artificial intelligence (AI)
o Outsourcing and off shoring; downsizing; job loss; survivor syndrome; job
o Poor or inappropriate workplace behaviour; workplace health and safety
o Wages and pay (minimum wages are important at the moment as there are
delayed implementation of these even though the decision was handed down in
June); penalty rates and their abolition; CEO remuneration; the gender pay gap;
the ethnicity pay gap
• Provide a 3000 WORD ANALYSIS of three chosen issues and show how they link to
ER or IR (or HRM) and to each other. This must consist of the following parts in this
- Table of articles
o As shown in the below format, fully completed with URLs/websites.
o Do not put your media articles in your academic reference list, only in this
o The table format for your media articles is:
URL/website for each article (i.e. not
like the example here)
9 July 2020
2 Fox News 12 June 2020
Online 12 July 2020
Australian 30 July 2020
7 Fox News 16 June 2020
8 Sky News 16 September
9 Sky News 18 August
10 ABC News
So on.. till
o The media articles do not have to be in chorological order. If you use one
article for more than one issue, you can only count that article once in your
total of 30 which means you will need an additional article to compensate for
o The introduction is where you briefly outline the issues chosen for your
analysis and indicate the importance of these issues.
o Indicate how and why the issues fit within employee relations, or industrial
relations, or human resource management and how they relate to each other.
o You may choose to do this by using a theme or a model or by any other means
that you deem appropriate.
o You must provide definitions of the key terms.
o The body makes up the majority of the media portfolio analysis and continues
the ER/IR/HRM theme. Sub-headings may be used to delineate the major
issues chosen and important themes; however, they remain optional. Refer to
each article by number (use the article number from your Table of Articles as
o In the body you should provide an analysis of each of your chosen issues
using relevant references from texts (citing the author + year), journal articles
(citing the author + year), and media sources (citing the article number from
your table, like (A3)). You do not simply summarise your articles or their
main points, as that is only the first stage of the process. You need to analyse
the issue, evaluate it and provide a consistent argument about the issue.
o You need to demonstrate how and why the material presented in the article
supports your arguments. Media articles from the portfolio should be
incorporated to support the arguments being presented but not just
summarised. Treat them the same way you would reference a journal
article. Links need to be identified between the issues and either the
Australian system of industrial relations or workplace employee relations.
o You must include references to academic research (academic journal articles
and texts) to support your argument. A minimum of 12 different academic
references is required (i.e. at least three (3) for each issue + three (3) for
definitions or general information).
o Your media portfolio is not an unconnected or even loosely connected group
of articles on employee relations or industrial relations or HRM, but instead
should be linked by certain issues and a theme – this is to be borne out in your
arguments and conclusion. Students who do not provide clear linkages
between their chosen issues and academic research will not succeed in this
o The conclusion provides an overview of your arguments on the issues and
themes. It may also provide comments on the future if relevant to the issues
selected for analysis. Do not use direct quotes in the conclusion. Do not
introduce new material.
- Reference List
o Include all academic references (journal articles, books, edited book chapters,
industry reports, glossaries) cited in your analysis (APA style).
o DO NOT include your media articles – they go in the table at the front.
We will evaluate your report based on these points:
• Clarity of introduction
o Issues clearly identified
o How & why issues relate to ER, IR, or HRM and to each other
o Main themes and arguments foreshadowed – topic sentences
o Good range and scope of current media articles – number & spread and attached
to hard copy
o Key concepts and terms in the issues identified and addressed
o Logical structure; appropriate use of subheadings, as required
o References to ER, IR, HRM
o Evidence of wider reading, esp. quality journal articles
• Quality of Argument
o Clear, concise, logical themes and argument (relating to ER, IR, HRM) and
covering each issue
o Evidence of critical analysis and evaluation – why & how?
o Main themes and argument clearly restated; no new material
o Main points supporting argument reiterated
o Written expression is clear; good length paragraphs
o Points linked together clearly within and between paragraphs
o Evidence of proof reading
o Correct and consistent referencing
o Accurate reference list (peer reviewed journal articles)