STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT:
Gaining Competitive Advantage through People
VŠE Honors Academia 2010
Joan Winn, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
University of Denver USA
1. To demonstrate the effectiveness of aligning Human Resources policy with business
2. To develop an understanding of the role played by general managers in Human Resources
Management (HRM) within organizations.
3. To understand the impact of effective HRM practices in achieving a sustainable
This course will expose students to effective human resource policies that create sustained
competitive advantage. To that end, this course will address the effective management of human
resources in various policy areas: staffing, diversity, training and development, voice and
influence, performance appraisal, and reward systems. Rather than taking a traditional, staff
personnel perspective, we will address human resource management from the strategic perspective
of a general manager. This course will examine and analyze specific policies and programs for
the strategic management of the human aspect of organizations.
The predominant teaching method used in this course will be analysis and discussion, cooperative
learning, and field research. Students are expected to be fully prepared for class discussions and
to be active and substantive contributors to their team’s research projects and presentations. Each
student will lead one topic discussion.
1. Organizational Field Study: The group project assigned for this class is to investigate
and analyze one organization’s human resource management policies and practices. (see
specific instructions on assignment sheet). Final paper due date 31 October 2010.
2. Performance Appraisal Assignment: Each team will build a performance appraisal tool
and action plan to support the team performance needs, and will use that tool to evaluate
each team member’s performance in completing the field study assignment. In addition,
team members will provide feedback to each other, to be used in creating an individual
development plan. (see assignment sheet)
3. Teachback: The most effective way to learn is to teach. With a partner, each student will
be responsible for conducting a “teachback conversation” session that will facilitate
learning of key concepts for this course. Each team will select one class session to offer a
teach-back of one or more of the major concepts relevant to that particular session’s topics.
Each 15-20 minute Teach Back conversation (not lecture) will include your own self-
selected text materials. Your Teach Back conversation will include a handout, to be
distributed when you speak, with:
1. The citations for your selected topic readings
2. Three to five key points (total) which you would like to emphasize
3. Your identified conclusions of readings, what are authors trying to persuade
4. An assessment as to the credibility of the sources
5. An assessment as to the relevance of HRM practice and policies
The relevance of your research and your ability to create a powerful learning environment
for your peers will be the critical success criteria for your teachback presentation.
4. Class Contribution: This course component incorporates in-class and virtual preparation
and participation. Since this class relies heavily on in-class discussion and activities, class
attendance and participation are vital. Your class contribution grade will be based on your
contribution to class discussions, preparation for class assignments, attitude toward the
course, involvement in the exercises, and attendance. Any absences will substantially
lower your in-class performance score. In-class performance will be assessed according
to the following general criteria: understanding of critical concepts; effort and
thoughtfulness during in-class assignments; analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of course
material; and effectiveness of communication. This class will be more beneficial and
interesting with active, lively, and informed discussion from a wide variety of viewpoints.
Students are expected to stay abreast of contemporary issues that affect management in
Building on the best practices of performance appraisal, we will use a partial 360° evaluation to
grade in-class performance. The instructor will keep a daily class log with evaluations of the
quality of in-class performance for each student. In addition, each student will provide a summary
evaluation of his or her own performance by submitting a report with a brief self-assessment in
terms of the dimensions listed below. For your self-evaluation of participation, you will be asked
to submit a brief evaluation, and a grade (A to F) of your performance on each of these
Preparation and understanding of the assigned materials and concepts for each class.
Effective communication and actively engaging in class and discussion.
Application and integration of course concepts in understanding and dealing with issues
Linking course concepts and material with outside readings, previous course work,
and/or personal experience.
Use the following grades when evaluating your performance on each of the five dimensions:
A = ongoing contributions in nearly all classes, consistent high level of quality
A-/B+ = quality contributions in most classes
B/B- = moderate quality of contribution in most classes
C+/C = limited contribution in most classes
C-/D = little or no contribution in most classes
Reminder: A Note on Managing Time
Please remember that this course is delivered in a very compressed time frame. It is greatly
to your advantage to plan ahead and manage your time effectively so as to avoid crises and
high personal stress as the assignments come due.
All class sessions will begin at 9am. Our final class meeting will be scheduled at
a later time, after you have completed your fieldwork.
Session # TOPICS ASSIGNMENTS/ Discussion Leader
1 Current HR Issues:
Friday Introduction to Human Resource Strategy
10 Sept Mapping the HR Territory
Class Contract: Student Requirements,
Responsibilities & Expectations
2 Human Resources Flow Bring examples of performance
Monday Planning appraisal instruments (from your
13 Sept Recruiting company, websites, texts, etc)
Interviewing and Evaluation Techniques Bring First Draft of personal action
Selection/Hiring plan to share with your team
3 Performance Appraisal
Performance Appraisal Processes
360° appraisal systems
4 Planning and Development Part I-II of Performance Appraisal
Tuesday Training and Mentoring Assignment due in class today.
14 Sept Career Paths
Tenure and mobility
Termination and downsizing
5 Employee Influence Mechanisms
Legal Environment of Business
Employee Influence Mechanisms
Employee Voice and Empowerment
6 Motivation and Rewards
15 Sept Incentives and Intrinsic Rewards
7 Compensation Systems
Financial impacts of employee behavior
8 Work Systems & Job Design
Thursday Contract Employment
16 Sept Culture and Organizational Dynamics Share examples of work systems from
Health & Safety Issues your research and/or experience
Job design and work processes
9 Work Systems and Competitive Advantage
Reengineering and Change Management
Globalization and Talent Management
4 September 2010
10 Leadership & Competitive Advantage Share what you have learned from
Friday Positioning for the Future your field study research!
17 Sept Lessons from the Field
5 September 2010