Human Resource Management

Course Number: BUSADMIN 3030
Course Name: Human Resource Management (Online)
Course Description:    An introduction to topics such as human resource planning, equal employment opportunity, selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation, safety and health, and employee and labor relations. The impact of laws and of societal and business trends on human resource functions is presented. Each manager's role in dealing with human resources is emphasized.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 2330 or AGINDUS 1500 and completion of 30 credits
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online  (This course is also offered in print.)
Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Explain each major human resource function to someone with no knowledge of them.
  • Explain the human resource function's interaction and interrelationship with general management and other areas within the organization to contribute to the achievement of that entity's goals.
  • Apply fundamental human resource management concepts in real or hypothetical organizations.
  • Examine the ways in which major human resource management activities have had an impact on you as an employee or manager or on someone whom you know well.
  • Explore print and/or electronic resources relevant to the study of human resource management

Unit Descriptions
Course Organization and Assignment Descriptions

Unit 1
Human resource management involves the effective use of employees to achieve the organization's goals. Unit 1 describes strategic human resource management, major human resource functions, and external and internal environmental factors affecting the field. This unit highlights the importance of business ethics, and laws and regulations dealing with equal employment opportunity.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Assess the impact of the changing external environment on the practice and status of human resource management as a field of knowledge.
  • Explain each major human resource function and the relationships among the function to someone with no knowledge of the HR profession.

Unit 2
Job analysis, the topic of Lesson 3, is the process of gathering information about tasks, duties, and responsibilities involved in a job and the human qualities needed to perform them. Job analysis was once called the cornerstone of all human resource activities because functions ranging from recruitment and selection to training, compensation, and performance appraisal depended on it. Today, flexibility is crucial to business, and to remain useful, descriptions resulting from job analysis must be current and adaptable.

Staffing involves planning and implementing recruitment and selection of individuals with desired skills and abilities who will be available when an organization needs them. The process starts with HRP, which was discussed in Unit 1. HRP projects the number of workers with various skills who will be needed in the future. If the estimated supply of employees exceeds demand, some combination of early retirement, work sharing, or layoffs might be necessary. If demand exceeds supply, the firm may have to hire or lease temporary employees, retrain current workers, or use overtime. When the organization needs new permanent employees, it uses various recruitment strategies, which are explained in Lesson 4. Many organizations rely on the Internet and their own intranet to attract qualified applicants.

After the organization generates a pool of qualified applicants through recruitment, new employees must be selected. The selection process, discussed in Lesson 5, can be relatively simple or more complex, depending on the nature and/or size of the organization. Typically, candidates complete an application or submit a rèsumè, which is increasingly done online, and participate in one or more interviews. Selection also may involve testing, background investigation, reference checks, and a medical examination, which may include a drug test.

Talent acquisition refers to recruitment and selection combined. The use of social media and mobile apps is having an impact on talent acquisition, and as with so many other technologies, human resource managers must learn to take advantage of their beneficial features in a way that does not create legal or other drawbacks.

Organizations must consider equal employment opportunity issues during all phases of recruitment and selection. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires medical examinations, if used, to be given after a firm has made a conditional employment offer.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Demonstrate the ability to contruct a job description.
  • Prepare and justify a recruitment and selection plan in a real or hypothetical organization for the job for which a description was developed.

Unit 3
Even the best selection process will not guarantee a perfect match between position requirements and newly hired workers' skills. When that match is less than ideal, or when an organization's or job's demands change, a need for human resource development and training arises.

Development, addressed in Unit 3, ranges from new employee orientation and onboarding to "talent management" and education for high-level executives. Classifying performance appraisal as part of development is admittedly arbitrary, because its results may be used to make pay raise and promotion decisions as easily as to aid employees' professional growth.

Shortly after being hired, employees must be oriented to their new positions. Orientation, along with onboarding, eases the transition from one's formal education to the workforce or from one position or firm to another. It helps employees realize what is expected of them and may reduce turnover during the first few months in a new position. Other special training-related topics discussed in this unit deal with basic skills, cross-training, ethics, and diversity.

Performance management goes beyond annual appraisal of each employee's performance. It is an ongoing process that integrates appraisal with training and the organization's reward system. For example, a potential area for improvement noted during performance appraisal or a technological change may suggest that training is desirable.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Apply learning principles and detailed knowledge of the four main phases of the training and development process in a real or hypothetical organization.
  • Evaluate a performance appraisal system in a real or hypothetical organization.
  • Explain the interrelationship between performance appraisal and training.

Unit 4
Compensation can be defined as an exchange of labor for financial and nonfinancial rewards. Among other things, the latter may include praise, a sense of accomplishment, a flexible work schedule, or a chance to socialize with coworkers. Most people become animated when discussing compensation. They usually have an opinion about the fairness (or lack thereof) of the amount of pay they earn and the way in which it is determined. Chief executives' pay is likely to “hit a nerve,” especially when they take in millions in stock options while their firms are “bailed out” at taxpayer expense.

Health care as an employee benefit has been in the limelight over the past year. Since the passage of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) on March 23, 2010, government employees and regulators have been working on the details of the program while attempting to answer a myriad of questions from the general public, businesses, the insurance industry and other stakeholders.

In this unit, you will learn how pay structures and wage ranges are established. You also will study legal issues related to compensation; options for tying pay to performance through individual, group, or organization-wide incentives; and legally required and voluntary employee benefits.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Compare the pros and cons of various job evaluation methods that could be used to establish internal equity in a real or hypothetical organization.
  • Justify whether individual, group/team, or enterprise (organization) incentives or a combination should be used to motivate employees in a specific organization.
  • Develop and justify an employee benefits package for a specific job in a real or hypothetical small business with 50 to 60 employees.

Unit 5
The opportunity to work in a safe and healthy environment is an employee right guaranteed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. To that end, employers not only comply with applicable laws and regulations but also develop and implement safety and workplace violence prevention programs, sponsor wellness and fitness programs, and offer employee assistance plans to help employees deal with substance abuse, negative effects of on- or off-the-job stress, and other personal problems. These will be discussed in Lesson 11.

Employees' right to privacy in the workplace is limited when it interferes with the employer's responsibility to provide high-quality goods and services or maintain safety. Job protection rights are of utmost importance to employees, but they, too, are limited in ways described in Lesson 12.

To be able to recruit and retain an effective workforce and avoid public relations nightmares, employers must adopt fair and effective discipline and discharge policies. In the past, if management practices were not perceived as fair, a workplace would have been ripe for unionization attempts. That is no longer true in the private sector today, where union membership is at an all-time low.

To try to boost union membership the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2007 and again in 2009. Congressional support for the "card check" provision of this act is waning among moderate Democrats, however, because of strong opposition by business groups. The card check feature would have amended the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) to allow a union to represent employees if a majority of employees in an appropriate unit for bargaining purposes signed a card saying they wanted that union to represent them. This would have superseded 60 years of secret ballot elections supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

Regardless of the ultimate fate of this or similar legislation, employers and labor unions must abide by laws and decisions of agencies set up to monitor their relationship. Human resource managers must understand the unionization process and legal steps that they can take to remain "union-free." If their firm is unionized, they must understand the collective bargaining process and grievance mechanisms. Such topics are addressed in Lesson 13.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Explain the main provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, such as its mission, coverage, inspection procedures, enforcement, citations, and penalties, to someone with no prior knowledge of the law.
  • Explain the role of the human resource manager and supervisors in promoting a safe work environment.
  • Compare the approach to safety in an organization you are familiar with to the textbook authors' recommended approach to establishing a safe work environment.
  • Explain several recommendations and actions that can be taken to reduce workplace violence.
  • Explain why organizations should be concerned about employee health and wellness.
  • Identify several sources of job-related stress and several individual and organizational techniques for helping employees deal with stress effectively.
  • Explain limits on employee privacy in the workplace that are related to electronic surveillance and monitoring.
  • Create policies governing employee searches and employee access to personnel files that are legal under U.S. federal law and would be effective in an organization with which you are familiar.
  • Explain when employers can and cannot legally discipline their employees for off-duty conduct and speech.
  • Explain the process of establishing disciplinary policies, including the proper implementation of organizational rules.
  • Distinguish between the philosophy underlying positive and progressive disciplinary action and the steps involved in each in a real or hypothetical organization.
  • Explain several guidelines for discharging employees and conducting termination interviews.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Online Quizzes (3 @ 40 pts. each) 120 points
Assessment Projects 150 points
Lesson Written Assignment and
Unit 3 Written Assignments
145 points
Unit 5 Report 30 points
Lesson or Unit Discussions 20 points
Total: 465 points

Grading Scale
A 90% - 100%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F 0% - 59%