Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Globalisation affects employment relations in most countries. This course is designed to: introduce key concepts in employment relations; explore national employment relations in a selection of nations; and locate those national systems in an international context. The national systems will be studied at both the 'macro' level (including labour legislation, employee and employer representation, and bargaining structures) and the 'micro' level (the enterprise/workplace). Selected source countries will vary from year to year, but will include a small number from the following list: USA, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, China, Thailand, South Africa, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Trimester 3 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Define and critically evaluate various concepts, theories and frameworks of employment relations for their fundamental assumptions, intellectual rigour, and practical value.

2. Recognise and compare employment relations laws and national institutional structures across a number of countries.

3. Locate and assess these laws and institutions in their economic, political, cultural and historical context.

4. Analyse the impact of national employment relations laws and institutions on managerial practices and employee representations at the enterprise/workplace level.

5. Identify and define the role of key international agencies and institutions and their effects upon national employment relations systems.

6. Apply theory and research to contemporary real-world problems.


The course will focus on key concepts in employment relations and their institutional manifestations in selected countries. Topics will include:

  1. Defining and studying "employment relations" (ER).
  2. Critical topics in the study of employment relations.
  3. Employment relations in selected countries, including the history and contemporary nature of labour laws, patterns of employee and employer representation, and bargaining structures at national level and their impact on employment relations at the enterprise level.
  4. International agencies/institutions and their impacts on national employment relations systems.
  5. The effects of globalisation on employment relations.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Contribution

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: PBL Exercise 1

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: PBL Exercise 2

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct and Online


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.