Decision Making for Human Resource Practitioners

Decision Making for Human Resource Practitioners

Human Resource Management

United Arab Emirate / United Kingdom


This project aims to help develop skills needed by HR Practitioners to solve problems and make decisions within an international context.

Students studying Developing Skills for Business Leadership at Emirates Aviation University in Dubai are expected to analyse, negotiate and solve a problem scenario centred on ‘people issues’.

Coventry University students assume the role of corporate employees to act out a unique workplace scenario to EAU students via Skype.

The CU students will outline three possible actions that the EAU students could take having heard this role play discussion. The EAU students will be asked to make their decision within 5 minutes of hearing the conversation and consequently, the CU students will advise them of the outcome.

Following the role play exercise, the CU students will ask the EAU students what influenced their decision to live, work and study in Dubai and the realities of working full-time whilst studying part-time. The EAU students will then ask the CU students similar questions regarding their decision to study in the UK, why HRM and general advice about study skills and essay writing when English is not your first language.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Be able to demonstrate a greater understanding of intercultural issues and/or cultural norms relevant to decision making in HRM in Dubai and the UK.
  2. Demonstrate use of a range of visual and verbal communication skills appropriate to cross-cultural communication, negotiation and decision making within a specific simulated HRM scenario.
  3. Adopt a critical approach to study skills through demonstrating effective international teamwork skills, considering the perspectives of others, critical self-reflection and continuous personal improvement.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to think globally and consider key issues in International HRM from a variety of perspectives and contexts.

Interaction Activities

For the EAU students the role play exercise will form part of their assessment for the module (M08HRM).

For the CU students the activity will be summative.

Interaction 1: Preparation

  • The OIL project brief is provided to Coventry University students 3 weeks prior to the live role-play interaction is due to take place
  • Students are asked to identify and select a HR profession they will assume and act out during the live demonstration
  • During meeting one, CU students will familiarise themselves with the scripted role-play exercise and present a list of possible actions and outcomes that may be taken in response to each scenario
  • Students rehearse and prepare for the live role-play to be performed for EAU students via Skype

Interaction 2: Preparation

  • CU students meet again 2 weeks prior to the live interaction
  • Students engage in practice of the role play discussion to clarify any queries or concerns about the contribution and impact of each student involved in the performance
  • They also ensure the speed, timing and structure of the demonstration is appropriate for international audiences

Interaction 3: Preparation

  • 1 week prior to the live interaction, CU students meet to share, discuss and decide which questions they should ask peers from Emirates Aviation University relating to the international HR role-play
  • Students are asked to consider the range of diverse perspectives that could inform responses to such a ‘real-life’ scenario
  • Students perform a final rehearsal the scenario

Interaction 4: The Live Simulation

  • Coventry University and Emirates Aviation University students ‘meet’ via Skype on Thursday 11th February at 11am
  • A suitable ‘Skype room’ is reserved and technologies are tested in advance with support of Faculty Learning Technologist Michelle Jackman.
  • EAU students are advised of the specific interactive role-play scenario only 1 hour before the actual performance. Students will be required to listen, learn and respond in this ambiguous scenario and use effective communication skills to ascertain further information in an appropriate manner from CU peers.
  • CU students undertake the role play and ask EAU peers to make a decision on their preferred choice of action in response to the simulated scenario.
  • CU students advise EAU peers of the consequences of their chosen decision.

Interaction 5: Cultural and Social Discussion

  • Following the role play exercise, CU students have the opportunity to question and discuss with EAU peers about other cultural and social aspects:
    • living and working in Dubai
    • the reality of studying part-time whilst in full-time employment
    • value and challenges associated with working in culturally diverse teams
  • Similarly, EAU students have the opportunity to interview and discuss with CU peers regarding:
    • studying in the UK
    • why HRM is the preferred choice of study
    • seek general advice about study skills and essay writing when English is not your first language

Interaction 6: Reflection

All students are provided enrolment keys to access Open Moodle and complete the following activities:

  • Introductions: Students are asked to upload a photograph of themselves (if they are happy to do so) and write a short welcome message. They are prompted to respond to at least two other students’ posts.
  • IHRM Simulation: Students will be asked to summarise what was learned from participating in an international simulation: What went well? What didn’t work well? What would they have done differently?
  • Life and Culture: CU students will be asked to summarise what they learned about living, working and studying in Dubai from their asynchronous discussion interactions.
  • Postgraduate Study Skills: EAU students will be asked to summarise the key postgraduate study skills they discussed with the CU students and found to be most helpful.
  • Survey: All students complete an online survey which will take no longer than 15 minutes to complete about the overall intercultural experience.

Associated course

MA in Human Resource Management

Communication type

Both Asynchronous & Sunchronous


Following the online interaction, students at EAU and CU will be asked to complete a survey requesting their views on the intercultural experience.


Image by Fadi Habib (CC BY 2.0)