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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N2P409
No such Code for pgprog: N2P509
No such Code for pgprog: N2P809

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI49Z15: Employee Reward Strategy

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N2P109 Management
Tied to N2P209 Management (Finance)
Tied to N2P309 Management (Entrepreneurship)
Tied to N2P409
Tied to N2P509
Tied to N2P609 Management (International Business)
Tied to N2P809
Tied to N2P909 Management (Supply Chain Logistics)


  • None


  • Organisational Behaviour (BUSI4V815)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The aim of this module is to provide an in-depth treatment of the key concepts and controversies in the design and implementation of employee reward systems. The module emphasises the critical evaluation of current practice, drawing on theoretical frameworks from organisational behaviour, human resource management and economics.


  • Rewards and motivation; the social, legal and economic context; the importance of equity, fairness, consistency, and transparency
  • Reward management philosophies and strategies
  • Determining the relative worth of jobs/roles
  • Determining the market rate
  • Designing and implementing pay structures
  • Variable pay for performance: individual, group and company-level
  • Paying for skills, competencies, and flexibility
  • Employee benefits, pensions and non-financial rewards
  • Executive renumeration
  • International reward management
  • Evaluating reward management

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced understanding of the main factors to be taken into account in the design and implementation of employee rewards policies in pursuit of organisational objectives in various contexts;
  • An advanced understanding of the key recent debates and developments in the management of employee reward;
  • An advanced understanding of the rationale and outcomes of variable and competency/skills-based reward systems;
  • A critical appreciation of the importance of ethical and equal opportunities issues in reward management;
  • Further developed their understanding of the contribution of reward management to the strategic management of organisations, and its role in the internationalisation of business.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Developed their ability to apply the techniques of reward management, including job evaluation, in the solution of management problems;
  • Developed their ability to analyse the impact of reward management policies, formulate recommendations, and provide advice on the development of policy and practice;
  • Developed their ability to evaluate practitioner-oriented reports and publications from both academic and practitioner perspectives.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • Further developed their critical thinking, problem-solving, and written and oral communications skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be achieved through a combination of lectures and seminars, involving the use of case studies, videos, individual and group exercises, discussions, oral presentations, and guided reading.
  • Formative and summative assessments will involve the critical analysis of case materials, and the communication of the analysis and findings in written (formative and summative assessment) and oral (formative assessment only) forms. Seminars and the formative assessment will involve an element of team working.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Preparation, Reading, Data Collection and Independent Study 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 2500 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will involve the critical analysis of case materials, linked to a seminar presentation. This will involve an element of team working. Students will receive verbal formative feedback as a group.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University