SylSpring2015 Online Essay

Submitted By geo_rob
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Pages: 8

Wayne State University
School of Business Administration

MGT 7640: Management of Human Resources
Section 33767-202
Spring 2015 Online through Blackboard

Professor Ariel S. Levi
Dept. of Management
Office: 316 Prentis Hall
Telephone: (313) 577-4581 (Office) (313) 577-4515 (Dept. of Management)
Fax: (313) 577-5486
E-Mail: or
Office hours: Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00 PM or by appointment

Course Prerequisite

BA 7040 (Managing Organizational Behavior) Course description

The importance of human resource management (HRM)—the use of a firm’s human resources to achieve organizational objectives—has increased steadily over the past three decades. A 1981 Harvard Business Review article titled “Big hat, no cattle” derided HRM as ineffective despite its attempts to prove its worth in improving organizational competitiveness. Around the same time, David Ulrich (prominent researcher and consultant at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business), stated bluntly, “HR must give value or give notice.” Over the decades since then, HR has clearly begun to “give value,” and HRM has become increasingly central and even crucial for organizational survival and effectiveness. Several trends in the business and organizational environment have contributed to the growing importance and respect accorded HRM:

the need to compete in an increasingly global economy the growing use of technology in problem-solving and teamwork the pressure to respond more quickly and flexibly to customer preferences the need to understand and comply with increasingly complex governmental regulations the need to support creativity, innovation, and learning at both the individual and organizational levels the need to recruit and select people who match organizational requirements, in a competitive labor market the need to manage compensation and other rewards to attract, retain, and motivate organizational members the need to manage an increasingly diverse workforce the need to develop and manage a variety of flexible working arrangements, including part-time and contract employment

As a result of these and other trends, HRM has gradually assumed “strategic partner” status in many major organizations. The increasing number of HR managers being promoted to higher executive positions in large organizations, and their increasing levels of pay and influence, attest to the growing centrality of HRM. A 2008 Harvard Business Review article titled “Why did we ever go into HR?” captures the tremendous change in the status and importance of HRM over the past few decades. The article, which describes the career decision of two Harvard MBAs to become HR managers, stated, “HR today sits smack-dab in the middle of the most compelling competitive battleground in business, where companies deploy and fight over that most valuable of resources—workforce talent.”

This course addresses the role of HRM in organizations, both now and as it is likely to evolve in the near future. The course covers the major concepts, functions and analytic techniques of HRM, and their effect on organizational productivity and effectiveness. The course will cover the major functions and issues of HRM, including strategic human resource planning, equal employment opportunity, diversity, job analysis, selection, placement, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, and high performance work systems.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, you should have developed an understanding of: (1) the increasing importance and centrality of HRM for organizational effectiveness and competitiveness; (2) the nature and purposes of the key functions of HRM; (3) the variety of procedures and practices used by different organizations in their attempt to attain these purposes; (4) the tradeoffs and contingencies involved in organizations’ choices and implementation of