Comparative wage and HRM systems

ltrav2730  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Comparative wage and HRM systems
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
.Salary components. - Shifts in the socio-economic context in the countries concerned, and its influence on salary determination. - Comparative analysis of the key mechanisms and negotiating processes that occur in the determination of pay policies. - Identification and explanation of the divergences and convergences between the European countries concerned in respect of salaries. - Constraints and opportunities in the field of human resource management vis-à-vis pay policy (e.g. recruit-ment, proactive management, the flexibility and multiplicity of employment contracts, and the individualisation of salaries).
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 To identify and understand the various elements that impact on the composition of salaries. - To conduct a comparative analysis of current pay policies in the European countries concerned (i.e. Belgium, France, Italy and the United Kingdom). - To note how much room for manoeuvre there is for human resource management policies in this field, and the constraints that they have to cope with (legislative aspects) and acknowledge (aspects relating to industrial bar-gaining)
The first part of the course will deal with the topic of comparative HR systems. The following themes will be discussed:
  • explanations for differences/similarities in HR policies across countries (e.g. national contexts, national cultures);
  • cross-cultural human resource management;
  • the different roles of HR managers within the organization and across countries;
  • multinational corporations and their internationalization strategies;
  • comparative training and development policies and practices;
The second part of the course will deal with the topic of comparative wage policies. The following themes will be discussed:
  • the notion of wages and its components;
  • recent developments in reward systems;
  • wage formation processes in Europe;
  • convergence and divergence factors in wage formation across countries.
Teaching methods
  • Interactive seminars
  • Presentations by students
Evaluation methods
The evaluation for this course has both a collective and individual component, more specifically: 
  • The first part of the course (on comparative HR systems) will be evaluated according to a group presentation (20%) and a written, case-study based essay (30%);
  • The second part of the course (on comparative pay policies) will be evaluated according to active individual participation during the courses (10%) and an individual presentation according to the flipped classroom principle (40%).
Students who do not reach a total of 10/20 will have to retake their exam in the form of an oral examination.
Other information
This course forms part of a study programme that takes place in the evenings and on Saturday mornings.
Online resources
All book chapters and academic articles will be made available to the students through Moodle. Here are some of the references that will be used:
  • Brewster, C., Houldsworth, E., Sparrow, P. & Vernon, G. (2016). International Human Resource Management. Kogan Page.
  • Kessler, I. (2007). Reward choices: Strategy and equity. In: Storey, J (Ed), Human resource management: A critical text, pp 159-176. London: Thomson.
  • Lewis, P. (2001). Reward management. In: Redman, T. & Wilkinson, A (Eds.) Contemporary human resource management: Text and cases, pp 98-127. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Van Gyes, G., & Schulten, T. (Eds.). (2015). Wage bargaining under the new European Economic Governance: Alternative strategies for inclusive growth. ETUI.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Labour sciences (shift schedule)

Master [60] in Labour Sciences (shift schedule)

Master [120] in Human Resources Management