In this unit, students explore how businesses recruit, organize, develop and lead their arguably most important resource—their people. In unit 2, students also learn what motivates individuals to perform well at work. Given the pace of change in modern business, the unit looks at how structural changes and changes in the business environment or in key people impact on human resource management. Ethical considerations and cross-cultural understanding are particularly relevant for unit 2, and especially in examining global corporations that have a multinational workforce and diverse stakeholder groups.

Although cultural issues are addressed throughout this unit, HL students also examine organizational (corporate) culture as well as industrial/employee relations. This gives them more tools to analyse the
relationship between different stakeholder groups as well as the role of individuals in a business.

As the unit deals with the interactions between humans and their environments, students have an opportunity to reflect critically and creatively on many TOK considerations. Students may ask how knowledge
is generated individually and collectively within an organization, how it is internally and externally validated, and how it may or may not be questioned.

TopicSL/HL Content
Functions & Evolution of HR Management>>Human resource planning
>> Labour Turnover
>> Internal & external factors influencing human resource planning
>> Steps in the process of recruitment
>> Types of training
>> Appraisal
>> Steps in the process of dismissal and redundancy
>> work patterns, practices and preferences
>> Outsourcing, offshoring and reshoring
>> How innovation, ethical
considerations and cultural
differences may influence human
resource practices and strategies in
an organization
Organisational Structure>> Terminologies of Organizational structures;
>> Types of organizational chart;
>> Changes in organizational structures;
>> How cultural differences and
innovation in communication
technologies may impact on
communication in an organization
Leadership & Management>> Functions of management;
>> Leadership;
>> How ethical considerations and
cultural differences may influence
leadership and management styles in
an organization
Motivation>> Motivation theories;
>> Types of financial rewards;
>> Types of non-financial rewards;
>> How financial and non-financial
rewards may affect job satisfaction,
motivation and productivity in
different cultures.
Organisational Culture
>> Organizational culture;
>> Elements of organizational culture;
>> Types of organizational culture;
>> The reasons for, and consequences of,
cultural clashes within organizations
when they grow, merge and when
leadership styles change;
>> How individuals influence
organizational culture and how
organizational culture influences
Industrial/Employee Relations
>> The role and responsibility
of employee and employer
>> Industrial/employee
relations methods;
>> approaches to conflict
>> Reasons for resistance to change in
the workplace;
>> Human resource strategies for
reducing the impact of change
and resistance to change;
>> How innovation, ethical
considerations and cultural
differences may influence employer–
employee relations in an organization.

Theory of knowledge—suggested links
• The pace of change in modern business is high and what is important to know is not static. How do individuals and organizations cope with change and new demands?
• “Knowledge is power.” If this saying is true, how does it affect different stakeholders’ ability to contribute to business decision-making?
• In large businesses, many stakeholders are far from the centre of decision-making. What challenges does an organizational or a geographical distance create for understanding the concerns of individual and stakeholder groups?
• Each individual and stakeholder group in a business has its own interests. Does this mean that a genuine shared strategy is impossible?
• How can a good leader use the different ways of knowing for effective communication and interaction with employees?
• Can individual motivation only emerge internally or can it be created externally? Is there such a thing as collective motivation?
• What types of knowledge, skills and attitudes might future business leaders and employees need?