Topic: Literature Review To what extent are Line Managers responsible for Human Resource Management activities


Assessment task:

Discuss (compare and contrast) academic literature on the topic of the managerial role.

You must use the following three academic articles:

Hales, C. and Knowles, D. (2003) “Supervisors and Supervisors Plus”, Edge, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Spring 2003, pp. 12-15.

Lopez-Cotarelo, J. (2018) “Line Managers and HRM: A Managerial Discretion Perspective”, Human Resource Management Journal, vil. 28, pp. 255-271.

Mintzberg, H. (1975) “The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact”, Harvard Business Review, July-August 1975, pp. 49-61.

This assignment requires you to discuss (compare and contrast) the three sources from the academic literature that are provided, showing what each one contributes to knowledge of HRM activities within managerial roles.

Make sure that you cite the sources of material that you use in text and provide a full References list at the end.

Assessment format:

Structure your assignment as a coherent discussion in the style of a Literature Review – with necessary sub-headings.

Make sure that you use 1.5 or double spacing between the lines.

Use Arial, Times New Roman 12 or a similar font size.

Include page numbers.

Include a cover page with the information about university, module code and title, word count and the submission date. Do not include your name as the assessment will be marked anonymously.

Guidance for different sections of the literature review:


Explain the concept of the Managerial role (what does it mean?, why is it of interest?).Explain the concept of HRM, HRM specialists and the notion that Line Managers might be carrying out HRM activities.

Introduce the three articles that you will discuss in the Literature Review; why are they relevant? – consider their dates, contexts of being written, in what ways they are similar and different. Note that the Lopez-Cotarelo (2018) article is about all Line Managers whereas the Hales and Knowles (2003) article discusses First Line Managers. Mintzberg’s article is about all levels of management. Only Lopez-Cotarelo (2018) focuses explicitly on HRM therefore you will need to be able to recognise HRM activities in the other two articles.

Main body:

You should write a discussion of different aspects of the topics which are written about in these articles. Do not write about the three sources separately!

Read the articles carefully and identify sub-topics that are comparable/contrastable over the articles. Provide sub-headings for these to guide your reader. Do not call this section the ‘main body’.

To give you a start, one of these could be where the data came from in the articles and the methods used to gather data. (This will indicate the extent of validity – can we believe the findings? It will also indicate the extent of reliability – could another researcher use the method as explained and achieve broadly similar results?)

Other sub-topics could be various aspects of HRM activities within the managerial role that were found in these studies.

If you find differences between sources, show evidence from them as to why this might be.


Draw together the key points that you have made – is there a consistent amount of HRM responsibility in managerial roles that is agreed by these sources? Or, what differences have you found? And to what have you attributed these? (Do not introduce any new material or ideas in the Conclusions, except for the “research gap”.)

Finally, identify a “research gap” – what further research should be carried out to discover more about the HRM responsibilities in managerial roles?