Global Development Institute Blog

On-campus session with the University Ethical Grand Challenge Team and Organisational Visits to the World of Wedgwood and Trentham Gardens

The MSc Human Resource Management Enhancement Programme (HRMEP) has been developed over seven years, with support from Heads of School and Faculty, to offer closer student engagement with a wide range of organisational contexts in the field of HR practice, with a focus on the professional, cultural and social dimensions of student’s experience. HRMEP aims to equip learners with a robust theoretical framework in human resource management and at the same time to provide students with an opportunity to gain insights into practice-focused human resource practices across a wide range of management contexts and sectors.

Aligned with The University of Manchester’s targets on social responsibility, we continued to work with the University’s Ethical Grand Challenge Team to deliver an in-person session focusing on ethical issues in the workplace from a global perspective. Colleagues in the University Division of Student and Academic Services, including, Sarah Swithenbank, Sian Yeowell and Caroline Henaghan, worked with Lujia to deliver the session for MSc HRM students on Thursday, 8th December 2022. On the following day of the lecture, we visited the newly reopened, World of Wedgwood and Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent. Special mention to Olivia Thackstone, the Visitor Experience Manager in the World of Wedgwood and colleagues in the Trentham Gardens, for organising our visits.

Student Feedback

Student representatives of the MSc HRM (ID) Programme have collected feedback and reflection from their colleagues on their experience of the lecture session and visits.

Feedback on the Ethical Issues in the Workplace, The University of Manchester Ethical Grand Challenges

This session brought valuable insights into ethical dilemmas at the workplace. By brainstorming ideas from different contexts, we were asked to work in a team and take different approaches to solve the issues. By raising our voices against discrimination and injustice, we gained awareness of making change. We also got some valuable insights into various scenarios, making a contribution to building fairer communities across the globe. Getting involved in the activities enables us to truly understand ethics and which is not confined to distinguishing right from wrong, but the expectations which come from the realworkplace. It is essential for us to cultivate cultural sensitivity in the world. It is suggested that the balanced approach should fit with the culture organisationally and individually; reflecting on experiences on a regular basis would deepen the understanding of steps that can be ethically responsible for different scenarios. Thus, it was a very inspiring and practical session to achieve sustainable development.

I benefited from the guest lecture on ethics in the workplace, which I have to say is an inevitable issue for those working in human resources. The presentation had a more in-depth look at issues around multiculturalism, gender and sexuality. These issues are extremely important with the convergence of cultures in various countries and the more open business attitudes of multinational companies. In this seminar, I was able to experience through the case study video that when a person is assigned to a company in another country, they have different views and ways of dealing with certain issues due to different cultural backgrounds and ideological differences, which I think is a very good way for me to absorb the working time skills of HR. I learned from this lecture how our class has different views and ways of dealing with these matters in different countries and cultures, and I also thought about these HR issues independently and deeply through case studies. I really enjoyed the witty and interesting teaching style of both instructors, and I hope that there will be more lectures on similar HR practice related discussions.

Feedback on the Organisational Visits to World of Wedgwood and Trentham Gardens

It has been a great honour for us to engage in the factory tour of the World of Wedgwood. The organisation always fosters a craftsmanship spirit of striving for the best. We also gained opportunities to engage with staff to discuss Human Resource Practices. Perfecting techniques is very important in their company culture, and there is significant in-house training for new employees.

Through the visit, the staff also introduced us to some of the company’s management style and the organization. They also told us about the operation of a more mature multinational enterprise. We were also given a talk about some of the practical work in human resource management. This visit will be very helpful for us in our future HR management practice, especially in multinational companies, to see and deal with problems from the perspective of HR management. We also got a deeper understanding of how a multinational company is built up from scratch.

Many thanks, again to our colleagues Sarah Swithenbank, Sian Yeowell and Caroline Henaghan in University Division of Student and Academic Services, Olivia Thackstone in the World of Wedgwood and colleagues in the Trentham Gardens. We are very glad to have been able to work together with all of you and this year, the students are very lucky to have face-to-face communication with you. We look forward to further cooperation in the future.



Note: This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole