Year

2023

Credit points

10

Prerequisites

Nil

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Health administrators today need to be able to effectively manage the health care workforce within their area of responsibility. Therefore, this unit is necessary for current and future health administrators, who will be able to apply evidence-based knowledge and skills to analyse, evaluate, generate and communicate solutions to complex problems such as forecasting workforce demand and supply, staff recruitment and retention and facilitating employee wellbeing and engagement. Health administrators who have specialised knowledge and skill in ensuring organisational best fit by aligning individual employee goals with organisational goals, who are skilled in evaluating workforce-related problems and who employ ethical approaches to workforce management are in a good position to provide their organisation with a competitive advantage within the health sector. Important facets of this role are the application of digital technologies to support workforce management, and facilitating digital capacity within your workforce.

In this unit, workforce management principles and practices will be critically examined. Strategies and skills to promote employee well-being while maximising the allocation and use of resources and enhance accountability will be discussed. Employment relations, diversity, ethics, employee well-being and social responsibility will be critically analysed within this context.

This unit aims to provide students with an opportunity to discuss the theories that relate to the management of resources in health care organisations and to develop knowledge and skills relevant to workforce management to ensure that health care organisations are well-equipped to meet current and future workforce needs.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - reflect upon and explain how knowledge of workforce management theories, concepts, practices, policies and processes can influence quality and safety of life/care in contemporary health care organisations (GA1, GA2, GA4, GA6)

LO2 - compare and contrast theoretically-based workforce management strategies that address potentially challenging issues and processes that may arise in employment relations in contemporary health care organisations (GA3, GA4, GA9)

LO3 - critically analyse the components of an ethically-based workforce management plan that uses digital technologies and incorporates an employee well-being and retention strategy, and the concept of corporate social responsibility (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

Content

Topics will include: 

 Theories and foundations of workforce management in health care 

  • scientific management 
  • bureaucratic management 
  • human relations theories 
  • foundations of human resource management (HRM) 

 Strategic management and strategic HRM 

  • strategic management concepts 
  • strategic HRM concepts and practices 
  • strategic planning process:  
  • scanning the external environment   
  • internal assessment of the organizational workforce 
  • strategy and policy 
  • HRM challenges in healthcare 
  • effects of strategic management on quality and safety of life/care for staff/patients 
  • using digital technologies to support strategic workforce planning
  • facilitating digital capacity in your workforce

Employment relations, diversity and employment equity 

  • the employment relationship 
  • occupational health and safety 
  • equal employment opportunity 
  • workplace bullying 
  • workforce diversity  
  • anti-discrimination policy 
  • managing equity and diversity in organisations 

 Workforce planning, recruitment, selection and retention 

  • workforce planning processes 
  • managing the recruitment process 
  • monitoring recruitment effectiveness and efficiency 
  • factors influencing the selection decision 
  • selection and quality assurance 
  • retention strategies and talent management 
  • performance appraisal and development 
  • industrial relations 

Employee wellbeing 

  • theoretical concepts of employee wellbeing  
  • employee engagement and motivation 
  • individual and team wellbeing 
  • wellbeing and performance 
  • workplace Health and Safety  
  • employee assistance programs 
  • sustainability 
  • succession planning 

Ethics and social responsibility 

  • dimensions of organisational ethics 
  • ethical treatment of employees 
  • social responsibility 
  • employees as stakeholders 
  • organisations as social actors 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Located at the Graduate Certificate level of the course, this unit complies with adult learning principles in that the learning and teaching strategies will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills about workforce management that can be applied in the workplace. Teaching and learning strategies utilised in this unit will support students in meeting the aim and achieving the learning outcomes relevant to this unit as well as to the broader course learning outcomes. 

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students will engage in readings and reflections, e-Module activities and opportunities to collaborate with peers in an online environment. This can involve, but is not limited to, on-line discussion forums, chat rooms, guided reading and webinars. In addition, learning e-modules and links to electronic readings will be provided on the learning environment online (LEO) to guide students’ reading and extend the classroom learning while respecting the individual as an independent learner.   

Through an online learning platform, students will have the opportunity to reflect on theory that underpins ethical workforce management at the strategic level, the nature of the employment relationship and associated human relations processes, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility. In constructing knowledge about the health care workforce via an online platform, students will develop skill in applying theory to ethical and effective workforce management in the health care environment. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Multi-mode  

Modes of delivery in this unit include lectures, class-based discussion, debate, role play and interactive engagement with peers, as well as self-directed study and other learning activities. In addition, learning e-modules and links to electronic readings will be provided on the learning environment online (LEO) to guide students’ reading and extend the classroom learning while respecting the individual as an independent learner.   

The classroom learning environment and associated e-modules will create opportunities for students to reflect on theory that underpins ethical workforce management at the strategic level, the nature of the employment relationship and associated human relations processes, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility. In constructing knowledge about the health care workforce, students will develop skill in applying theory to ethical and effective workforce management in the health care environment.  

Online mode 

Modes of delivery in this unit include online lectures whereby students will engage in readings and reflections, e-Module activities and opportunities to collaborate with peers in an online environment. This can involve, but is not limited to, on-line discussion forums, chat rooms, guided reading and webinars. In addition, learning e-modules and links to electronic readings will be provided on the learning environment online (LEO) to guide students’ reading and extend the classroom learning while respecting the individual as an independent learner.   

Through an online learning platform, students will have the opportunity to reflect on theory that underpins ethical workforce management at the strategic level, the nature of the employment relationship and associated human relations processes, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility. In constructing knowledge about the health care workforce via an online platform, students will develop skill in applying theory to ethical and effective workforce management in the health care environment.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are expected to submit three graded assessment tasks. In addition, students must achieve a cumulative grade of at least 50% across all assessments. The assessment strategy used allows for the progressive development of knowledge and skills necessary for the student to be able to demonstrate ethical and effective approaches to workforce management in the context of safe, quality health care. 

Multi-mode  

To become effective as a health administrator, the student must develop comprehensive knowledge of workforce management. This will be facilitated through demonstration of the theoretical underpinnings, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management and confirmed by lecturer feedback. Student knowledge will be further extended through synthesis of theoretical knowledge to develop a repertoire of strategies aimed at meeting workforce-related challenges that can be applied to ethical workforce management, including forecasting demand and supply, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility.   

Online mode  

To become effective as a health administrator, the student must develop comprehensive knowledge of workforce management. This will be facilitated through online demonstration of the theoretical underpinnings, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management and confirmed by lecturer feedback via the learning environment online (LEO). Student knowledge will be further extended through online-mediated synthesis of theoretical knowledge to develop a repertoire of strategies aimed at meeting workforce-related challenges that can be applied to ethical workforce management  including forecasting demand and supply, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility.  

ACU Online

To become effective as a health administrator, the student must develop comprehensive knowledge of workforce management. This will be facilitated through online demonstration of the theoretical underpinnings, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management and confirmed by lecturer feedback via the learning environment online (LEO). Student knowledge will be further extended through online-mediated synthesis of theoretical knowledge to develop a repertoire of strategies aimed at meeting workforce-related challenges that can be applied to ethical workforce management  including forecasting demand and supply, employee wellbeing, managing workforce diversity and social responsibility.  

Overview of assessments

Multi-mode  ;

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflective Journal/Essay 

Enables students to reflect on and evaluate theories, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management in the context of safe, quality health care. 

30% 

 LO1

GA1, GA2, , GA4, GA6 

Group Work  

Enables students to collaborate with peers to evaluate challenging issues and processes relevant to the employment relationship.

20% 

LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA9 

Essay   

Enables students to critically analyse the ethical and effective dimensions of workforce management and broader responsibilities. 

50% 

LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9 

Online mode  

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflective Journal/Essay 

Enables students to reflect on and evaluate theories, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management in the context of safe, quality health care.  

30% 

LO1

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA6 

Online Group Work 

Enables students to collaborate with peers in an online environment to evaluate challenging issues and processes relevant to the employment relationship. 

20% 

LO1, LO2 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA9 

Essay 

Enables students to critically analyse the ethical and effective dimensions of workforce management and broader responsibilities. 

50% 

LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9 

ACU Online mode

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflective Journal/Essay 

Enables students to reflect on and evaluate theories, concepts and principles of strategic workforce management in the context of safe, quality health care.  

30% 

LO1

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA6 

Online Group Work 

Enables students to collaborate with peers in an online environment to evaluate challenging issues and processes relevant to the employment relationship. 

20% 

LO1, LO2 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA9 

Essay 

Enables students to critically analyse the ethical and effective dimensions of workforce management and broader responsibilities. 

50% 

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Armstrong, M. (2016). Armstrong's handbook of strategic human resource management (6th ed.). London: Kogan Page. 

Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2016). Strategy and human resource management (4th ed.). Basingstoke, NY: Palgrave Macmillan 

Britnell, M. (2019). Human : solving the global workforce crisis in healthcare (First edition.). Oxford University Press. https://acu-edu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/hdp2hg/61ACU_ALMA51150748080002352

Chen, P. Y., & Cooper, C. L. (2014). Wellbeing. Hoboken: Wiley.  

Clegg, S., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T. S. (2016). Managing & organizations: An introduction to theory and practice (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications.  

Collings, D., Wood, J., & Caliguiri, P. (2014). Routledge companion to international human resource management. London: Routledge. 

Nel, P., Werner, A., Fazey, M., Millett, B., Du Plessis, A., Wordsworth, R., . . . Suseno, Y. (2016). Human resource management in Australia (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press 

Quelch, J. A., & Boudreau, E. (2016). Building a culture of health: A new imperative for business. Cham: Springer International Publishing : 

Schreiber, D. A., & Berge, Z. L. (2019). Futures Thinking and Organizational Policy Case Studies for Managing Rapid Change in Technology, Globalization and Workforce Diversity (1st ed. 2019.). Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan. https://acu-edu-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/hdp2hg/61ACU_ALMA51165403820002352

Williams, D., & Applyrs, D. (2015). Making the case: Why diversity matters in the health care workforce. Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 32(22), 28. 

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