Creating evidence-based value in people management

This module examines what it means to take an evidence-based approach to people management. You'll develop your ability to critically evaluate and apply different kinds of evidence to making decisions about people management policies and practice. Throughout the module, you'll apply learning to your own context and experience and learn from the experiences of other learners on the module. You'll consider how effective and critical approaches to evidence-based practice can generate value for the different stakeholders of an organisation. You'll also look at the ways in which poor decision-making about people management can destroy value.

Vocational relevance

This module can be studied as part of the MSc in Human Resource Management, which provides a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD). In particular, it will help you build capabilities that align with the CIPD Evidence-Based Practice core knowledge standard at Chartered Member level.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

The module is designed to develop your critical, ethical, and reflective use of evidence in people management in the service of generating value for multiple stakeholders. The module consists of the following four units:

Unit 1: Value and ethics in people management
You'll begin by exploring what it means to think of people management as a value creating and enhancing activity or a sometimes value destroying activity. You'll then consider and debate the ethical responsibilities organisations and their managers have to generate value and avoid value destruction for a wide group of stakeholders.

Drawing on real-world examples of people management, you will explore what it means to take a sustainable approach to generating value through people management that takes account of the needs of multiple stakeholders, including wider society and the environment.

Unit 2: Evidence-based practice in people management 
In this unit you'll examine what is involved in taking an effective and critical approach to the use of evidence in making decisions about people management practices, policies and initiatives. You'll explore the importance of considering the relevance of evidence in the specific context you will apply it, and the need to consider multiple stakeholder groups. You'll also look at how to consider evidence about ‘what works’ in the context of ‘what matters’ both in terms of organisation goals and ethical practice.

You'll consider and apply techniques for estimating the financial  costs and value of people management initiatives and develop your ability to think critically about these. To finish the unit, you'll explore the psychological, social and political elements of decision processes you will need to work with as an effective people management professional.

Unit 3: People analytics
This unit introduces the emerging role of people analytics in human resource management. It aims to provide you with the skills to collaborate with data scientists and related roles, and with individuals and organisations providing consultancy support on analytics. The unit is also designed to help you to look critically at claims about analytics, big data and AI and separate the hype from genuine potential benefits. This will include examining some of the ethical issues involved in using data and analytics in people management.

Unit 4: People management, technology and the future of work 
The final unit is organised around a project in which you'll conduct your own literature research and review of evidence. You'll consider some of the major trends, challenges and dilemmas in HRM technology and the future of work. You'll explore how advanced technologies radically change people management and HR practices. You'll choose one topic for review and share your findings with other students to benefit from learning about what they have discovered and reviewed.

Throughout the module, you'll apply the learning to your own context and learn from the experience of other students. A major element of the assessment will involve applying your learning to your own challenges and experience.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve
  • guiding you to additional learning resources
  • providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students in the dedicated module and tutor group forums
  • providing feedback to the tutor group on tutor group forum discussions and blogging tasks

You'll be able to contact your tutor by email, phone or via your tutor group forum on the module website.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

There is a compulsory residential day school which takes place in March. Further details will be made available at the start of the module.

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Creating evidence-based value in people management starts once a year, in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2030.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

All entrants must hold a BA/BSc degree awarded by a recognised university, or equivalent. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


Start End England fee Register
02 Nov 2024 Apr 2025 £1865.00

Registration closes 10/10/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2030.

Future availability

Creating evidence-based value in people management starts once a year, in November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2030.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

Ways to pay for this module

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

You will have access to a module website with an extensive variety of specially created resources designed exclusively for this module by a team of academic experts. This includes:

  • audio and video content, including interviews with senior people management leaders
  • case studies
  • multi-media based activities
  • published articles
  • two electronic textbooks
  • a week-by-week study planner
  • online tutorial access
  • access to The Open University library.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

Request your prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus