October 23, 2014
CoursesMGNT 461/861:001Syllabus    
MGMT 461/861:001 Syllabus Minimize

Advanced Human Resource Management

Fall 2006, MNGT 461/861:001

Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:30-3:45p

CBA 118






Professor Information

Marie S. Mitchell, Ph.D.

     Office Location:      CBA 265

                 Website:      drmariemitchell.com

                    Email:      mmitchell@unlnotes.unl.edu

                   Phone:      (402) 471-3362

                       Fax:      (402) 472-5855

         Office Hours:      Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 to 2:00pm or by appointment


The prerequisite for this class is junior standing and MNGT 361, Human Resource Management.

Required Text and Course Material

Nkomo, S., Fottler, M., & McAfee, R. B. (2005). Applications in Human Resource Management: Cases, Exercises, and Skill Builders (5th Edition).  Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

Various articles/copies of reading material will be distributed in class.  Extra copies of the articles will be available in my office.  

Overview of the Course and Learning Objectives

The purpose of this course is to review and analyze practices, trends and problems of human resource management (HRM).  Research shows that how managers implement and maintain HRM practices can impact organizational productivity, quality of work life, and profits.  The goal of this course is to prepare you to use HRM practices effectively.  Topics include (but are not limited to): HRM strategy, employment planning, regulation, job analysis and design, performance assessment, recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations and compensation. 

This course follows up to the basic course in Human Resource Management (i.e. MNGT 361).  As such, the course will not focus on HRM content.  Instead, this course evaluates and applies various HRM practices.  By the end of the course, you should be able to evaluate and understand HRM situations and determine the best course of action. 

Learning Methodology

A variety of learning techniques will be used in this course; specifically, a combination of lecture, class activities, experiential exercises, and case analyses.  Research shows that students learn best through application (or doing).  My role as instructor is to provide the requisite guidance and to facilitate class discussion, self-learning and team dynamics.  My purpose is to try to make the concepts of this course as applicable and practicable as possible.  Therefore, a large emphasis is placed on class discussion and practical application.  You are expected to read the designated assignments before coming to class in order to be prepared to participate in class discussion and learning activities.

* Note: I highly advise students to print the slides before coming to class.  Test material will come from class lecture and discussions, in addition to assigned readings, case studies and simulations.  Coming to class with printed slides will help with note-taking. 

Classroom Protocols

Classroom Respect and Professionalism

Although individuals might not always agree, it is important and required that you always be respectful of others in the classroom and while working in your teams.  All thoughtful and professional opinions and comments are welcome.  Students should try to have a positive attitude and willingness to listen to other’s opinions.  By the way, this includes e-mail messages.  Please be professional.  I take this very seriously.  Students who are unable to act professionally will be docked appropriately for class participation and will be asked to leave the classroom, and, depending on the situation, may be asked to leave the class permanently.

Cell Phones, PDAs, Laptops and All Other Electronic Equipment

Electronic equipment, although convenient, often is the source of class disruption.  As stated above, no class disruptions are allowed—this includes interruptions from electronic devices such as cellular phones, beepers, and/or pagers.  Please ensure that you turn off or set all electronic equipment on a quiet setting prior to entering the classroom.  You may use laptops in the classroom to take notes, but no noise please.

Late Assignments and Make Up Exams

All assignments are due at the beginning of class.  If your individual or team’s assignment is not present at the time the assignment is collected, the assignment is considered late and will not be accepted.  If it appears that you will be unable to submit the assignment at the time it is due, please contact me as soon as possible.  No late assignments will be accepted for grading without confirmed and approved documentation (e.g., doctor’s note, funeral notice, etc.).  No make up exams will be given without confirmed or approved documentation. 

Academic Honesty and Integrity

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  I take personal offense to anyone who plagiarizes, cheats or is dishonest in any way on any assignment or exam.  If any dishonesty occurs in this class, the offender will receive an automatic failing grade on the assignment, will be dismissed from the course with an F, and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct, accordingly.  In short, don’t cheat—it’s not worth it.

Course Performance Assessment

Undergraduate Students:                                       

            Individual Graded Performance                                    57.9%

                                                           Exam 1:       150

                                                           Exam 2:       150

                                                           Exam 3:       150


                                         Class Participation:       100

                         Individual Performance Total:       550                       

            Team Graded Performance                                            42.1%           

              Simulations/Case Studies (8 @ 50/ea):       400



                                 Team Performance Total:       400

                                                         TOTAL:      950               100%

            Final Letter Grade Equivalency:

                        A+     950-931                  B-      788-760               D      645-598.5

                        A      930-883.5                C+     759-741               D-     598-570

                        A-     882-855                  C       740-693.5             F       569-0

                        B+     854-836                  C-     693-665              

                        B       835-788.5                D+     664-646

Graduate Students:                                                 

            Individual Graded Performance                                    61.9%

                                                           Exam 1:       150

                                                           Exam 2:       150

                                                           Exam 3:       150

                                            Evaluative Paper:       100


                                         Class Participation:       100

                         Individual Performance Total:       650                       

            Team Graded Performance                                            38.1%

              Simulations/Case Studies (8 @ 50/ea):       400



                                 Team Performance Total:       400

                                                         TOTAL:    1050               100%

            Final Letter Grade Equivalency:

                        A+     1050-1029               B-      871-840               D      713-661.5

                        A      1029-976.5              C+     839-819               D-     661-630

                        A-     976-945                  C       818-766.5             F       629-0

                        B+     944-924                  C-     766-735              

                        B       923-871.5                D+     734-714

Explanation of Course Assignments

Individual Assignments


Exams may consist of multiple choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions.  The first exam will cover all material covered (e.g., text chapters assigned, case studies discussed, class discussions, and lectures) up to the exam date; with the second exam covering materials covered from the first exam, and the third exam covering material covered from the second exam.  Please bring a scantron to each exam for the multiple choice questions.  All exams and distributed exam material must be returned to me.  Once your exam is graded, I will distribute the graded exams for your review, but all graded exams must be returned to me before you leave the classroom.  You are more welcome to my office to review your exam; however, no one is allowed to keep their exam.  Students who hold on to their exam (or portions of the exam) will receive an automatic zero (0) on the exam and will not be allowed to take any other exams in the class.

Participation and Attendance

You are required to participate in class discussion, activities, and exercises.  You need to be prepared before coming into class, which means read the assignments before class.  I may call on you in class; so, be prepared.  Attendance is important for class participation, but not sufficient for maintaining your participation grade.  Rather, participation is based on you providing meaningful contributions to activities and discussions.  I look forward to hearing your positive contributions and influence on the overall learning experience. 

Much of the learning experience in this class will involve applying the course material.  As a result, attendance is critical.  However, should you miss class, you are responsible for whatever material was discussed and distributed in class.  Please note I believe students who attend all class sessions throughout the semester should be rewarded.  Students who attend all class sessions will receive 5 extra credit points at the end of the semester.   However, if you are habitually late to class or consistently leave class early, you will not receive the bonus points.  Further, I reserve the right to fail or reduce the grade of any student who maintains poor attendance or is frequently late to class.

Team Assignments

The class will be divided into 4-5 students per team.  Throughout the semester and almost every week, you will be working with your team on various team-based assignments.  Choose your team members wisely; once your team is formed, you are married to them until the end of the semester.  Team-work is hard, but can be very rewarding.  The team assignments are outlined below.

Case Studies and Company Simulations

Throughout the term your team will engage in problem-based learning activities.  Case studies involve the team working together to analyze and resolve an HR the problem.  In company simulations, the team will be presented with “situational problems” for a fictional company.  These problems are based on the concepts covered in class.  Throughout the semester, 10 case studies and/or simulation exercises will be conducted, but only 8 will count toward the team grade.  At the end of the semester, I will only count the 8 team assignments (those graded best) toward your team grade.  Two assignments will be dropped from the grade.

Purpose of the Case Studies and Company Simulations:  It is my hope that through the process of applying concepts from the text to business scenarios, you will be able to practice the following six levels of learning.

1.       Knowledge - recall and memorization (individual)

2.       Comprehension - ability to paraphrase and interpret information in one’s own words (individual)

3.       Application – use knowledge in a new situation (team)

4.       Analysis - break down knowledge into parts and show interrelationships (team)

5.       Synthesis - bring together parts of knowledge to form a whole (team)

6.       Evaluation - make judgments on the basis of given criteria (team)

Individual Responsibility: You are expected to come to class with the knowledge and comprehension of the course material.  If you do not come to class with this preparation, you will not be able to contribute to your team’s effort and that will affect your team’s evaluation of you.  Your grade for all team-based assignments is ultimately based on your team’s Peer Evaluation, which is described below.

Team Responsibility: You are expected to apply your knowledge of chapter concepts to a common business problem.  In order to do so, you must work together to analyze the problem, synthesize your knowledge, and evaluate your work and the work of other teams.

Forming Teams and Choosing a Business: During our first classes, you will be encouraged to network and get to know your fellow students.  During our second class, teams will be formed of (about) 5 students and teams will choose a type of business for the simulations.  This business must be legal, moral and ethical, and must be a type of business that has 50 or more employees.  Be creative in choosing the type of business you want, but also pick a business that you (or your team members) have a familiarity with the products/services and industry.

Case Studies and Company Simulation Process:  Each case study evaluation and company simulation is a one-page document that contains one or more problem scenarios, with 3+ questions associated with that issue.  Your team must write all answers on this simulation document—and only on the document provided in class; otherwise, the answers will not be graded.  This is important as all teams must have the same resources – no more and no less.  The time limit of each case study and simulation will be designated at the onset of the exercise.  If everyone on the team is prepared, there will be plenty of time.

Content and Grading:  Your answers should clearly and concisely demonstrate your knowledge and comprehension of the concepts, as well as the team’s ability to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate your work.  You will be graded based on the following criteria:

·         Evaluative skills.

·         Use of innovative and creative ideas.

·         Inclusion of concepts discussed in class and required reading materials.

·         For simulations: Application of concepts to the team’s business and the problem scenario.

·         For case studies: Application of concepts to the company of interest’s business and the problem scenario.

Peer Review

You are also required to complete a Peer Review form on each team member.  The Peer Review is essential to provide performance feedback on team activities to each team member at the mid-point of the semester.  At the end of the semester, you will complete evaluations on each team member and those evaluations will influence the amount of team assignment points you, individually, will receive.  Thus, the Peer Review is a painful but purposeful way to avoid surprises and resolve problem areas.  Complete one Peer Review form on each team member.  Time will be provided in class to openly discuss these evaluations in which your team will provide ways to improve problem areas.  The Peer Review form will be posted on my website.  You must complete a Peer Review on each team member or receive a ZERO (0) for all team assignments.

Peer Evaluation

The Peer Evaluation is a follow up to the Peer Review.  Here again, it is painful but purposeful.  The Peer Evaluation is one method to ensure full team participation and cooperation on team assignments.  The grade your team earns on all team assignments (Case Studies and Company Simulations) depends on your team’s overall performance and efforts.  I am aware, however, that not all team members participate actively or give their 100%.  As a result, Peer Evaluations will be used to provide a basis as to how many individual team assignment points each of you will receive, based on your team’s evaluation of your efforts.  Your team assignment points will reflect the percentage given to you by your team’s averaged evaluation.  For example, if your team’s Peer Evaluations average to 90% (A-), then you will receive only 90% of the points your team earned on all assignments.  You must also complete a Peer Evaluation on each team member (due date posted below in the Course Itinerary).  The Peer Evaluation form will be posted on my website.  You must complete one Peer Evaluation for each team member or you will receive a ZERO (0) for all team assignments.


Graduate Students’ Requirement

In addition to the assignments explained above, each graduate student is required to write an evaluative paper on a current HR practice – you are conduct some preliminary research and identify a current and trendy HR practice (e.g., telecommuting) for the paper.  Before moving forward, however, make sure that you have your topic approved by me.  Your topic must be approved by Wednesday, September 13, 2006.  

The purpose of the assignment is to highlight your evaluative skills and application of the HR material.  The paper should be well-written, concise, evaluative, and demonstrate analytical thinking.   There are no page length requirements on the assignment – make it long enough to adequately address the required analysis, but not overkill – so, I’d say 30 pages, single-spaced is the max (and that’s a lot of space!).

In the paper, demonstrate your analytical HR skills.  You must address the following:

  1. Define the practice and describe exactly (a) what it is and (b) how it involves HR managers.
  2. Describe whether the practice is a good or bad thing for organizations; specifically:
    1. When should HR managers consider using this practice

                                                              i.      Under what circumstances (internal and external factors) will this HR practice be effective

                                                            ii.      What resources and processes are needed to make this practice effective

    1. When would this practice not be useful for an organization

                                                              i.      Under what circumstances (internal and external factors) will this HR practice be ineffective

                                                            ii.      What resources and processes will ensure this practice will be ineffective

  1. Provide a useful example of an organization that has implemented this practice effectively.  Make sure you link the example to your points in 2(a) above.
  2. Use in-text and bibliographical referencing, following American Psychological Association (APA) format.

Class Itinerary

The following class itinerary is tentative and subject to change.  Any changes will be discussed in class and noted on my website (www.drmariemitchell.com).  All assignments must be completed before class.


CH = Class Handout – this material will be distributed the class before the assignment is due.  Extra copies will be located in my office.  You are responsible for getting the readings from me.

N = Nkomo, Fottler, & McAfee text.

GS = Graduate Students Only



Topic of Discussion



Mon., Aug. 21

Course overview

Introduction to HRM



Wed., Aug. 23

Decision-making 101: Understanding how to conduct effective case study and simulation analyses

Reading Assignment

N: A Model of Analyzing Cases (pp. xiii-xvi)



Mon., Aug. 28

HRM Strategy

Reading Assignment

CH: Pfeffer & Veiga (2001)


Wed., Aug. 30

Evaluating HRM Strategy

* Case Study Analysis

Reading Assignment

N: Case: The New Director of HR (pp. 3-9)


Mon., Sept. 4

Labor Day Break – No Class



Wed., Sept. 6

Motivating Employees (a review of theory)

Reading Assignment

CH:  Kerr (1975)

CH:  Nelson (2003)


Mon., Sept. 11

Job Analysis and Design

Reading Assignment

CH: Weatherly (2006)


Wed., Sept. 13

Evaluating Job Design

* Exercise and Simulation

Reading Assignment

N: Exercise: Writing Job Descriptions (pp. 115-117)


GS: Identification of Evaluative Paper Topic


Mon., Sept. 18

Exam 1 Review



Wed., Sept. 20

Exam 1

Bring a scantron to class.


Mon., Sept. 25

Recruitment and Job Applicant Search

Reading Assignment

CH: Overman (2006)


Wed., Sept. 27

Evaluating Recruitment Efforts

* Case Study Analysis


Reading Assignment

N: Case: Recruiting Recreational Vehicle Surveyors (pp. 136-138)



Topic of Discussion



Mon., Oct. 2

Legal Issues I

Reading Assignment

CH: Casio (2006), The Legal Context of Employment Decisions


Wed., Oct. 4

Guest speaker: Hal Johnson

Reading Assignment

CH: Jacobs (2006)


Mon., Oct. 9

Team Exercise Class

Understanding Today’s Legal Climate

* Simulation



Wed., Oct. 11

Legal Issues II

Reading Assignment

CH: Casio (2006), The Legal Context of Employment Decisions


Mon., Oct. 16

Fall Break – No Class



Wed., Oct. 18



Reading Assignment

CH: Schmidt & Hunter  (2004)

CH: Barrick & Mount  (2004)

CH: Pulakos (2006)


Peer Review Forms (one for each team member)


Mon., Oct. 23

Selection – Brief Review

Evaluating Selection

Reading Assignment

N: Case: Selecting Patient Escorts (pp. 139-141)


Wed., Oct. 25


Reading Assignment

CH: LeBlanc & Mulvey (1998)

CH: Griffin & Kursh (2006)


Mon., Oct. 30

Dealing with Compensation Issues

* Exercise and Simulation

Exam 2 Review

Reading Assignment

N: Exercise: Ethical Compensation Dilemmas (pp. 246-249; questions: 1, 5 (change name Sue to Bob), and 7)


Wed., Nov. 1

Dealing with Compensation Issues

* Exercise and Simulation

Exam 2 Review

Reading Assignment

N: Exercise: Ethical Compensation Dilemmas (pp. 246-249; questions: 1, 5 (change name Sue to Bob), and 7)


Mon., Nov. 6

Exam 2

Bring a scantron to class.


Wed., Nov. 8

Performance Management

Reading Assignment

CH: DeNisi & Gonzalez (2004)


Mon., Nov. 13

Conducting Performance Appraisals

* Exercise and Simulation

Exercise material will be given in-class.


Wed., Nov. 15

Special Topic:  Unsavory work behavior: Retaliation, aggression, violence, oh my…

Reading Assignment

CH: Daniel (2006)

CH: IPRC (2001)

CH: Deming (2006)




Topic of Discussion



Mon., Nov. 20

Dealing with unsavory work behaviors

Reading Assignment

N: Case: Violence at Work: Westside Health Systems (pp. 284-291)


Wed., Nov. 22

Thanksgiving Break – No Class



Mon., Nov. 27

Training and Development

Reading Assignment

CH: Moulton (2003)

CH: Poe (2002)


GS: Evaluative Paper Due


Wed., Nov. 29

Developing Effective Employees and Effective Development Systems

* Case Study Analysis

Reading Assignment

N: Case: The mentoring problem at Walnut Insurance (pp. 181-183)


Mon., Dec. 4

HR in a Global Context

Evaluating HR Global Issues

Reading Assignment

CH:  Roberts, Kossek & Ozeki (1998)

Reading Assignment

N: Case: Fred Bailey: An Innocent Abroad (pp. 42-45) Due date set in class


Wed., Dec. 6

HR in Practice

Exam 3 Review (Final Exam, non-cumulative)

Reading Assignment

CH: Rynes, Brown, & Colbert (2002)


Peer Evaluation


Mon., Dec. 11

Final Exam (Exam 3)

Exam time:  1:00 to 3:00pm







TO:                 MGMT 461/861 Students

FROM:           Marie S. Mitchell

SUBJECT:     Course Requirements and Assignments



Once you have fully reviewed the syllabus and understand all of the requirements for this course, please print, sign and date your name below.  The completed form below must be returned to me for my files.  Thank you.






I have read the syllabus in full and agree to the terms and conditions as explained in the syllabus.  Further, I agree to have my performance reviewed by my peers and understand the absenteeism policy.



Name:             ____________________________________________

                                                      (Print name here)


Signed:           ____________________________________________

                                                      (Signature here)


Date:               ____________________




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