This course teaches students to think strategically about managing an organization’s human assets, and to achieve competitive advantage through people while also behaving responsibly. Focus is on aligning human resource practices consistently to produce the skills and behaviors that make organizational strategy work.
Relevant course content focuses on social impact management and public policy. One session is devoted to exploring the challenges and benefits of merit pay for teachers. Readings include “When Students’ Gains Help Teachers’ Bottom Line” and “Into the Hornet’s Nest.” Multiple sessions address employee rights, work-life balance, and the social impact of compensation plans, contrasting benefits-rich systems with piecework rewards systems with minimal benefits (e.g., no sick days, no retirement benefits). One of these sessions also includes discussion of the ethical ramifications of outsourcing to developing countries. Cases include Lincoln Electric in China and SAS Institute; readings include “Fringes vs. Basics in Silicon Valley.” In addition, the course touches on the impact of company values and reputation for positive social impact on the ability to attract, retain, and motivate employees (case: Infosys; reading: “Employment as a Social Relation”).