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HA107-Strategic-HRM Powered By Docstoc
         Gaining Competitive Advantage through People
                           VŠE Honors Academia 2010
                                Course Syllabus
Joan Winn, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
University of Denver USA
Email: jwinn@du.edu

Course Objectives
  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
      competitive advantage.

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.

Teaching Methodology

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
       and problems.
      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.

                             TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
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
             Assessment Tools
             360° appraisal systems
             Giving Feedback
             Employee Development
    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
             Succession Planning
             Termination and downsizing
   5        Employee Influence Mechanisms
             Legal Environment of Business
             Labor Unions
             Employee Influence Mechanisms
             Employee Voice and Empowerment
    6       Motivation and Rewards
Wednesday    Motivation
 15 Sept     Incentives and Intrinsic Rewards
             Employee retention
   7        Compensation Systems
             Incentive Systems
             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
             Project Teams
             Virtual Teams
             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

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