Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI49Z15: Employee Reward Strategy

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI49Z15: Employee Reward Strategy

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N2P109
Tied to N2P209
Tied to N2P309
Tied to N2P409
Tied to N2P509
Tied to N2P609
Tied to N2P809
Tied to N2P909


  • 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 and, to a lesser extent, economics.


  • The module will cover the following:
  • 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
  • International reward management
  • Evaluating reward management

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • An advanced understanding of the main factors to be taken into account, and the main techniques used, in the design and implementation of employee rewards policies in pursuit of organizational objectives;
  • An advanced understanding of the key recent debates and developments in the management of employee reward;
  • A critical appreciation of the importance of ethical and equal opportunities issues in reward management;
  • Further developed their understanding of the contribution of HRM policy and practice to the strategic management of organizations, and to addressing the internationalization of business.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • Developed their ability to apply the techniques of reward management 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, seminars and workshops, 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 9 Weekly 2 hour 18
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 128
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment requiring the analysis of case material and incorporating an element of self-reflection. 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