Course Descriptions

Semester 1: May-July (Summer 1)

Competitive Advantage and Profitability
This course introduces you to the tools and frameworks used in market evaluation and assessment of the competition. As you explore advanced business concepts and practices, you will learn what makes a particular business profitable and how it achieves competitive advantage in a given market. You will dig into real-world case studies and gain a more nuanced understanding of business and organizational mechanics. Your grasp of the essentials will prepare you think practically about developing a competitive, profit-driven business strategy.

Strategic Positioning in Markets
Central to your business strategy is identifying your strategic position. Strategic positioning is essentially how your firm “stacks up” to the competition and helps to define the scope and scale of your business. To survive and thrive you need accurate data-driven models for self-assessment and competition analysis. This course will cover product or service differentiation and help you stake your claim in a particular market segment. You will delve into fascinating case studies from fashion icon Gucci to jewelry giant Zales and review several of the greatest do’s and don’ts in the history of strategic positioning.

Understanding Financial Statements
Every company’s finance department keeps detailed records of the daily transactions involved in the running the organization. Periodically, they create reports that allow management, stakeholders and regulating authorities to have insight into the financial health of the firm. This course will develops the skills needed to understand both the metrics that are reported in income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, and how they relate to each other. You will also learn how comparing numbers across your company and the industry from year to year can help you assess the overall financial performance of the firm.

Aligning HR Strategy with Organizational Strategy
A thorough understanding of your organization's value creation model and ability to develop competencies through processes, technology, and people are essential to ensuring that the HR organization is aligned vertically and horizontally to produce superior results. With this understanding, HR will be able to articulate how it can improve processes, people and customer outcomes, and financial results. This course develops the skills needed to assess how organizations create value and to align the HR function to execute the organization's strategy. Participants analyze the Balanced Scorecard approach as a means of vertically aligning the HR system with organizational objectives. They learn how to create a vertical-alignment strategy and use it to improve HR decision-making, people outcomes, processes, customer outcomes, and financial results. And they learn the skills required to plan and assess horizontal alignment of HR systems and practices. Finally, the course discusses best practices related to workforce partitioning, performance variability, value identification, and employee impact.

HR Analytics for Business Decisions
HR leaders help drive business performance by delivering competitive advantage through people. Performance relies on measures, so you need to be adept at planning and interpreting your organization's "people metrics." This requires a solid grasp of HR analytics: the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data designed to improve decisions about talent and the organization as a whole. The use of analytics is changing the way HR professionals quantify the value that people—our biggest asset—have on the organization's ability to succeed in the market or in its mission. In this course, you take a strategic view of your organization's use of HR data and its measurement systems. The course prepares you to determine the HR metrics that align with your company's strategic goals. It explains the characteristics of high quality data and equips you to find and collect that data, inside or outside your organization. It provides a high-level introduction to common analysis techniques and some mistakes to avoid when interpreting data, or when assessing reports and interpretations offered by others. In the final section of the course, you will learn to take the results of your data collection and analysis and communicate your findings in a compelling manner so that change follows.

Semester 2: August - December (Fall)

Residential Session #1 - Strategic Human Resource Management
The primary goal of this course is to help HR professionals better understand their business strategy, and to explore the ways that the management of human capital can help the company achieve its strategic objectives. The course provides a review of business strategy and HR strategy as well as how to analyze linkages among the two.  In addition, it examines metrics that can be used to evaluate the alignment and effectiveness of HR systems.  Finally, the course provides students with the insights and tools they need to work successfully as human resource management consultants, both as HR managers operating within a firm to improve organizational effectiveness and as external consultants providing project support to an internal HR organization.

Residential Session #1 - Labor Relations Strategy and High Performance Work Systems
This course is designed to introduce students to the development of a labor relations strategy at both national and workplace levels, with a particular focus on the restructuring of work. You will examine what an IR system is and how it functions, explore the basic considerations in developing labor relations strategy, and develop a framework to deal with typical IR issues, strikes, conflict resolution and re-structure.

Leading Strategic Change Initiatives
This course will provide you with the tools and concepts to develop and lead strategic organizational change.  The emphasis is on cultivating your ability to assess the need for change, selecting from among viable change initiatives, motivating others to move forward, the process of transformation, and finally sustaining the change over time.

Leading Organizational Change
Effective change leaders do three things: they anticipate where things are moving, they facilitate the implementation of change, and they sustain momentum by taking charge and moving things ahead.  Great change leaders know how to be both proactive and reactive.  In this course, you will examine your own leadership style and practice skills that will help you translate ideas into organizational results, find ways to overcome organizational inertia, and examine strategies for overcoming individual resistance to change.

Navigating Power Relationships
Leaders at every level need to be able to execute on their ideas.  In virtually every case, this means that leaders need to be able to persuade others to join in this execution.  In order to do so, understanding how to create and utilize power in an organization is critical. In this course, you will focus on your own personal relationship with power as well as how power works in your organization and social network.

Leading for Creativity and Innovation
One of the challenges organizations face today is how to innovate.  Innovation has become the modus operandi of organizational life.  Every organization needs to innovate quickly to stay competitive.  But, what does “innovation” really mean? In simple terms, innovation is the practical application of creative ideas to drive organizational results: innovation results in something useful that benefits the organization. This course clears away common misconceptions about the mystery surrounding this popular buzzword and identifies how individuals can harness creative energy to drive innovative results.  Students will identify strategies for encouraging divergent thinking and examine methods of fostering a culture of innovation.

The Psychology of Getting Things Done
Getting things done more efficiently and effectively, and without derailment in the face of setbacks, is a universal problem that few people solve on a consistent basis.  In this course, you will learn how to apply an integrated, comprehensive, and research-based framework for getting things done that will help you improve the performance effectiveness of yourself and your team.

Reading and Managing Emotions
The effect of human emotions are the primary driver or impediment to individual and group effectiveness.  This course equips leaders to manage their own emotions and those of others to maximize the effectiveness of themselves and their groups.  Students will assess situations in which emotions have a disproportionate impact, evaluate their own level of emotional intelligence, and develop emotion-management strategies to respond effectively and efficiently to situations.

Semester 3: January (Winter)

Diversity and Inclusion in Practice
The management of diversity and inclusion has evolved from handling day-to-day compliance issues to leveraging diversity for competitive advantage. Organizations that no longer see diversity as a legal or moral requirement, but as a competitive advantage, have an opportunity to improve performance at the financial, employee, customer, and community levels. Diversity and inclusion practices must be embedded in an organizational culture to make a positive impact on performance. This course summarizes the evolution of diversity and inclusion management; outlines key management practices for improving performance, contextualizes diversity in terms of current challenges, and provides direct linkages between diversity and the bottom line at the organizational and functional levels.

Semester 4: January - May (Spring)

Getting Results through Talent Management
As the existing "war for talent" intensifies and becomes increasingly global, organizations must develop strong talent-management practices that are tightly aligned with business strategy. Successful organizations build talent management cultures to take advantage of their human capital. They focus on attracting top talent, identifying and developing future leaders, and retaining the best prospects in the high-potential talent pool. This course focuses on developing a strategic approach to managing core talent. Such an approach begins with the development of an employment brand in order to attract the best talent to the organization, promote the organization as a preferred employer, and produce superior recruiting outcomes. Organizations must then identify and implement an integrated marketing and communication strategy to build brand awareness. The complexity of managing employee retention and engagement includes understanding the root causes of talent-retention problems. The course identifies practices and solutions for increasing the likelihood of top talent remaining with the organization and becoming its future leaders.

Strategic Engagement
Employee engagement can be broadly defined as employees consistently acting in the best interests of the organization. Linked to critical outcomes including absenteeism, turnover, customer satisfaction, operational performance, and financial performance, employee engagement is a vital driver of an organization’s bottom-line performance. This course focuses not only on why employee engagement is important and valuable, but also on how to foster and measure employee engagement and link it to key organizational metrics and outcomes. It examines the business case to pursue employee engagement as a strategic initiative and evolve beyond the transactional approach of traditional employee relations to a strategic approach focusing on relationship-oriented and emotional measurements of employee commitment. It also develops the competencies necessary to build employee engagement in your organization, the risks involved, and the implications for the HR professional in adopting this approach.

Total Rewards Compensation
The conversation around employee pay has changed from one of base salaries, bonuses, and cash compensation to a “total rewards” approach that seeks the right blend of monetary and non-monetary elements that will engage each employee and benefit the organization. This course equips students with the tools and insights they need to apply a total-rewards view to compensation that aligns with their organization’s strategic goals and operational realities. This includes the Compensation Calculator, offering a method of job comparison that incorporates the total rewards view.

Residential Session #2 - Managing and Developing Talent
This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of how the HR system can be used to manage and develop talent. Consideration is given to both theories and practical applications involved in effectively managing and developing human capital. Topics covered include employment branding, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and retention, identifying and developing high potential talent, executive compensation, and executive assessment and coaching.  Emphasis is placed on exploring these issues from both strategic and tactical levels to increase organizational effectiveness

 Residential Session #2 - Organizational Behavior: Managing Change
This course addresses key issues for general management and organizational change efforts including:creating effective formal structures; managing organizational culture; and dealing with common problems of intergroup interaction.Its primary aims are to help students better understand aspects of organizations that are important drivers of individual and group behavior, and develop their ability to diagnose and manage common problems. In the first part, we consider the trade-offs associated with different structural configurations, and the relationship between formal structure and organizational culture.We discuss strategies managers can use to influence culture, and when different strategies are most likely to be effective. In the second part, we examine factors that affect how well subunits function, including sources of intergroup conflict, common biases in group decisions, and arrangements that affect individual and group-level creativity.

Human Resources Leadership
Effective HR leaders look beyond managing the HR function. They don't stop at building the talent pool of the organization; they operate at the most senior levels and play a strategic role in the organization. They influence the strategic planning process to ensure alignment with the goals and values of the organization, while managing the process to ensure superior outcomes. This course introduces the SELF Model of Human Resources Leadership that defines the leadership and influencing competencies needed to balance the tradeoffs present in the formation of organizational strategy. The SELF Model focuses on HR's role in guiding strategy development to ensure that it will result in the expected Strategic, Ethical, Legal, and Financial outcomes for an organization. This course also introduces the Human Frailties framework, a tool for managing the interpersonal dynamics at the most senior levels of the organization in order to produce the most positive results.

Negotiation Skills
Being able to negotiate is a practical, everyday skill that is critical for anyone working within an organization. The good news is it’s a skill you can practice and master. Negotiation skills are ones you can use in any context and, once you master the behaviors of effective negotiation, you will use all the time. In this course, you will develop an awareness that every conversation is a negotiation, and you will identify the critical components of effective negotiation.

Semester 5: June - July (Summer 2)

Managing Global Employment Issues (modules 1-4)
Many of today's organizations operate in global markets where employment issues, regulations, and labor practices can vary dramatically from one country to another. HR professionals need to have a global perspective and a solid grasp of international employment issues so that the organization runs smoothly and productively. In this course, you will learn how to design and implement an integrated management system that increases efficiency, productivity, and profitability through the introduction of high-performance work practices (HPWP). You also need a forward-thinking approach to workplace diversity and understand current human rights challenges. In this course, you’ll analyze case studies and see how arbitration, mediation, and facilitation techniques used in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can mitigate productivity loss, resolve serious workplace conflict and head off costly litigation. Learn how to implement high-performance HR practices in both unionized and non-unionized settings.

Residential Session #3 - HR Leadership
This course focuses on developing the leadership and influencing competencies necessary to lead the HR function. You will develop a better understanding of the role of courage and influence in leading the HR function and making difficult decisions, explore the concept of Lean as applied to manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, and examine organizational design, specifically as applied to designing and managing matrix organizations.  Finally, the course will examine the business fundamentals associated with restructures and mergers and acquisitions and HR’s role in their successful execution and integration.
Residential Session #3 - Global and Comparative Employment Relations
This course provides an understanding of global and cross-national variation in employment relations institutional features, how these features are changing or transforming as a result of globalization and economic integration, and these change inform the development of global labor relations strategies for corporations.  The course will also focus on evolving new forms of global private voluntary regulation that have become an important element of the global HR function.  Finally, the course will provide students with an in-depth political, historical, and economic analysis of China and India and examine associated implications for employment relations. 

This course provides an understanding of basic principles of negotiation theory and their application to the practice of negotiating. Students will learn the different sub-processes involved in negotiations, apply principles of game theory to negotiations, examine the roles of power and tactics in negotiations, and learn interest-based approaches to negotiating.  Finally, the course will examine cross-cultural issues in negotiations.