Engaging Students in the Co-creation of Session Content: A Global Human Resource Management Example

Dr Angela Mazzetti (Senior Lecturer in Management Practice)

Newcastle University Business School

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


What did you do? 

In this case study, I explore how the transferability of human resource management concepts to a wider global context can be enhanced through involving international students in the co-creation of session content. This case relates to an international cohort of postgraduate students studying on the Business School’s Global Human Resource Management programme who have aspirations to work as global people professionals.

Over the course of three seminar sessions, students were engaged in debating and researching the topic of ‘the quality of working life’. For one of the sessions, students presented their insights on the concept based on their own analysis of published research focused on a specific geographical context. The students also shared their insights and reflections on the activity via a Canvas discussion board.

The co-creation approach to session content enabled the concept of ‘the quality of working life’ to be explored from a diversity of global perspectives and enabled the students to reflect on how these insights might impact their future practice as people professionals.

Who is involved? 

Dr Angela Mazzetti, Senior Lecturer in Management Practice, Newcastle University Business School, and the students studying on the Global Human Resource Management Programme.

How did you do it? 

The quality of working life and the role that people professionals play in enhancing the quality of working life was the overarching theme for three seminar sessions with the students.

For the first session, we debated the diversity of factors informing objective measures and subjective perceptions of the quality of working life. A range of factors were discussed including: pay and contracts; workplace relationships; meaningful work; work design; voice and representation; and health and wellbeing. At the first session, students were also briefed on their contribution to the theme. The students were asked to organise themselves into small working groups to source a journal article or professional report that discussed any aspect of the quality of working life from a global perspective. The students had approximately three weeks to prepare to present their work in the second seminar.

In the second seminar session, the students worked in small groups to present the insights from their research. The students decided the running order of the presentations. All students had prepared for the session and a diversity of quality of working life issues (such as gender inequalities, pay and reward, safety and wellbeing, LGBTQ+ experiences, voice and representation, and work-life balance) were debated from a diversity of global contexts (such as China, Scandinavia, Germany, India, and the USA).

In the final seminar, we connected their insights from the previous seminar and debated how these insights might challenge the role of people professionals working in a global context. This was then linked to their assessment on their individual career aspirations and goals as future people professionals.

After the sessions the students were asked to share their research with the wider group via a Canvas discussion board. This enabled the students to not only interact with one another on related topics of interest but also to compare and/or contrast their findings from different geographical contexts.

Why did you do it? 

Working with such a diverse cohort of international students I considered that the activity would:

  1.  give the students an opportunity to look at issues that they were interested in; and
  2.  relate these insights to their longer-term career aspirations as people professionals.

Does it work? 

The activity was very successful. All students had done the research and had prepared a short brief which they presented in the session. The students engaged with a diverse range of academic, practitioner and policy articles and reports, bringing together different approaches to the quality of working life. The students participated well in the session and showed great respect and interest in each others’ insights.

Positive feedback was gained from the students with some commenting that they had been initially very nervous about presenting their work but that they had found the environment supportive and constructive. Others commented that the sessions had helped them to reflect on their careers and their skills.

The Graduate Framework

The case study demonstrated the following attributes:
  • Socially Responsible
  • Future Focused
  • Collaborative
  • Engaged

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