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School of Labor and Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Course Descriptions

Required courses for the master’s program include LER 591 (Employment Relations Systems) and LER 593 (Quantitative Methods, or its equivalent). Also required is a choice of one course from each of the four subject areas (Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior, Labor Markets and Employment, Union Management and Labor Relations Policy, International Human Resource Management), plus six more electives from any area for a total of 48 hours.

General LER Courses

LER 450 European Work Class History
LER 540 Labor Economics I
LER 541 Labor Economics II
LER 547 Labor Law I
LER 556 Industrial Relations Theory
LER 557 Human Resources Theory
LER 559 Micro Research Methods
LER 590CMT Career Management
LER 590CSR Corporate Social Responsibility
LER 590E Government Regulation and Employment Law
LER 590EW Employee Stress, Well-Being, and Safety
LER 590FBM Fundamentals of Business and Management
LER 590GI Gender Issues in the Workplace
LER 590GT Game Theory and HR Strategy
LER 590HDA HR Data Analytics
LER 590IM Immigration, Employment, and Public Policy
LER 590PPF The Past, Present & Future of Work
LER 590SN Social Network in HRM
LER 590TI Technology, Innovation, and the Future of Work
LER 590TM Talent Management
LER 590WFO Work, Family, and Organizations
LER 590X Macro Research Methods
LER 591 Employment Relations Systems
LER 593 Quantitative Methods in HR (Statistics)

Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior

LER 522 Government Regulation
LER 523 Organizational Fundamentals for HR
LER 530 Foundations of Industrial-Organizational Psychology
LER 561 Compensation Systems
LER 562 Human Resources Planning and Staffing
LER 564 Human Resource Training and Development
LER 565 Human Resources Management and Strategy
LER 567 Negotiation in Human Resource Decisions
LER 568 Firm Performance and Human Resource Management
LER 569 Power and Influence for HRM
LER 570 Leadership for HR Managers
LER 590CM Change Management in HR Organizations
LER590EB Employee Benefits
LER 590EC Executive Compensation
LER 590ICP Influence, Change, and Politics in the Organization
LER 590NPH Negotiation Principles in HR Context
LER 597 Employee Motivation and Performance
LER 598 Implementing High Performance Work Systems

Labor Markets and Employment

LER 440 Economics of Labor Markets
LER 545 Economics of Human Resources
LER 590EGW Economics of Gender and the Workforce
LER 590WPP Workforce Policies and Partnerships

Union Management and Labor Relations Policy

LER 542 Collective Bargaining
LER 543 Workplace Dispute Resolution
LER 590CB Collective Bargaining in Sports and Entertainment

International Human Resource Management

LER 566 International Human Resources Management
LER 590CER Comparative Employment Relations Systems
LER 595 Managing Diversity Globally


Same as Economics 440. A study of the microeconomic determinants of labor demand and supply, economic effects of unions, and macroeconomic labor market problems. Prerequisite: Economics 302 or equivalent. 3 undergrad hours; 2 to 4 grad hours.


Same as History 450 and Sociology 422. Comparative study of the rise of the working class in European countries; formation, culture and daily life; stratification with the working class; workers in organized labor and revolutionary movements. Prerequisite: One year of college history or consent of the instructor. 3 undergrad hours; 2 or 4 grad hours.


Focuses on federal and state legislation, court and agency rulings, and executive orders that regulate a wide range of private and public employment practices including: Title VII and Affirmative Action Compliance; American with Disabilities Act; drug-, HIV-, and genetic testing; Fair Labor Standards Act; Civil Service procedures; Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and employment-at-will; constitutional protection for employees, job-applicants, and others. Prerequisite: Labor and Industrial Relations 547 or 591, or consent of instructor. 4 grad hours.


Increases students’ effectiveness in analyzing and understanding organizations and the organizational context. It relies on the case method and focuses a number of important themes such as organization design; strategy; decision-making; and culture. In order to prepare students for the various transformations that they will experience in their careers, it examines many of these topics in the context of organizational change. Exposes students to basic ideas about key organizational topic – as well as a number of applications of these ideas – in order to give them a framework for organizing past experience. The topics covered do not offer a recipe for what to do in all situations, but rather give students a set of skills and different ways of thinking that can help them address novel problems they will face throughout their lives.4 grad hours.


Same as Psychology 530. Theoretical and empirical foundations of various content areas in industrial-organizational psychology; sample topics include employee selection and placement, training, human factors engineering, work motivation, employee attitudes, leadership, and organizational theory. Prerequisite: Twelve hours of psychology or consent of instructor. 4 grad hours.


Same as Economics 440. Survey of recent trends in the labor force, of real and money earnings, and of the distribution of national income used as the basis for a critical economic analysis of contemporary English and American wage theory. Prerequisite: Economics 302 and 303. 4 grad hours.


Same as Economics 541. Economic issues and implications involved in hours of work, employment and unemployment, and trade union institutionalism (the impact of the trade union upon the basic institution of a free enterprise economy); emphasis in all cases on the development of appropriate public policy. Prerequisite: Economics 302 and 303. 4 grad hours.


Same as Economics 542. Examination of: social values and social science concepts to develop a framework for explaining the basis and shape of collective bargaining as it has been practiced in the United States; government and law, unions, and employers as part of the development of this framework; the environment of collective bargaining with respect to the role of economics and bargaining structure; the negotiating process as the interactive basis for union-management relations; conflict and conflict resolution as part of the negotiating process; wage and other effects of collective bargaining as bargaining outcomes; contemporary changes in union management relations. Case materials and exercises may be used to supplement course materials. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 4 grad hours. Graduate credit is not given for both Economics 343 and LER 542.


Same as Economics 543 and Law 665. Examination of the use of procedures to resolve employment disputes in both union and nonunion workplaces; comparative analysis of grievance arbitration, interest arbitration, mediation, fact-finding, and combinations of these procedures; special emphasis given to the role of third party intervention. 3 professional hours; 4 grad hours. Professional credit only applicable to Law 665.


Same as Human Resource Education 534. A study of the economics of personnel with the modern corporation. Topics include hiring, promotion, evaluation, discrimination, raiding, job definition, pay schemes, benefits, and design of work. Prerequisite: LER 593 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. 4 grad hours.


Same as Law 662. A study of the National Labor Relations Act as amended, the pre-act history of the labor movement, and the judiciary’s response thereto, with emphasis on understanding the problems, experiments, and forces leading to the enactment; includes the negotiation and administration of the collective bargaining agreement, especially the grievance arbitration procedure, its operation and place in national labor policy; and explores the relationship of the individual and the union. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or completion of first year of Law curriculum. 3 or 4 professional hours or 4 grad hours.


An integrated analysis of the principles of labor and industrial relations through the study of the works of the major theorists and their critics. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 4 grad hours.


This doctoral seminar provides a broad overview of the role of theory in labor and employment relations research. Specifically, we will take an in-depth examination of the major theories commonly used in micro/HR research. We will approach this task by critically reviewing and discussing various theoretical frames and perspectives drawn from a variety of disciplines including management, psychology and sociology. The course is also aimed at helping students identify an area of research that they may further investigate in their doctoral program, and to be able to develop skills to enable them to critically evaluate and integrate multiple theoretical perspectives on a particular research topic.  4 grad hours.


Training and experience for Ph.D. students in the application of social science and industrial relations theory and research methodology to contemporary industrial relations problems through presentation and discussion of faculty and student research. Ph.D. students are required to make presentations and to participate in workshop discussions during the entire period of their campus residency. 4 grad hours. Approved for both letter and S/U grading.


The purpose of this course is to provide doctoral students a foundation for conducting independent, scholarly micro research (i.e., individuals or small groups as the primary unit of analysis) by addressing the components of the research process. This foundation for conducting independent research is based on the research process as an open system of interconnected choices that unfold sequentially: (1) Choosing and Framing a Research Question, (2) Choosing an Hypothesis to Address the Research Question, (3) Choosing a Strategy and Design, (4) Choosing Modes for Treating Constructs, (5) Choosing Forms for Converting Data into Observations, (6) Choosing Procedures to Analyze Data, and (7) Choosing Conclusions for Interpreting Results. 4 grad hours.


Compensation theory and practice. This course addresses the theoretical and practical issues associated with the design of effective compensation systems. The design phases include establishing internal equity, external equity, and individual equity. Budgeting and administration are also addressed. Case analyses and computer simulations may be used to supplement course materials. 4 grad hours.


Staffing is a vital component of the human resource function. It involves the selection and retention of a committed and high-performing workforce. This course is designed to help students develop an in-depth and practical understanding of the processes and practices involved in recruitment, planning and staffing. We will cover the foundational aspects of selection such as the importance and rationale for recruitment and selection, developing a recruitment process and selection system, job analysis, measurement, utility, reliability and validity of selection measures, staffing decisions, employee retention, among others. Although the topics covered will be presented from a human resource management perspective, we will also draw upon theory and research evidence from other related disciplines such as industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology and organizational behavior. The online class sessions will include a range of activities, including lectures, presentations by industry experts, structured learning exercises, simulations, and case studies. 4 grad hours.


Examination of: theories of behavioral change; application of these theories to training needs, especially with reference to the internationalization of business, changes in labor demand, demographic trends in the United States, and increasing work force diversification; advantages and disadvantages of the various training and development techniques; relation of training to organizational strategies; methods of training evaluation. Special attention is given to the need for and methods of cross-cultural training. Students develop training exercises for class presentation and participation. 2 grad hours.


Same as Business Administration 512. Designed to provide integration across the specific functional areas of the human resources management (HRM) field, while at the same time demonstrating the linkages horizontally within HRM and vertically with strategic management of the firm. This case-focused course places emphasis on human resources issues of strategic importance to the organization. Prerequisite: One prior course from the Organizational Behavior and Personnel Management distribution subject area list (in the M.H.R.I.R. degree requirements for the graduate degree in LER). 4 grad hours.


Human Resource management issues examined from the perspective of the multinational firm. Topics include globalization and human resource strategy, management and the structure of multinational firms, dealing with intercultural differences, selecting employees for foreign assignments, training and developing expatriate employees, evaluation and compensation of employees in international assignments. Individual and group projects. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. 4 grad hours.


General survey course concerning the strategies and tactics of bargaining and negotiation, with special emphasis on applications in human resource management contexts. Topics covered will include: the structure of negotiated outcomes; integrative bargaining tactics; distributive bargaining tactics; negotiation planning; power, persuasion and influence; communication; negotiating in teams and groups; negotiating using 3rd parties (arbitrators, mediators, agents); cross-cultural negotiations. Students will discuss negotiation issues and build negotiation skills through a series of experiential exercises and cases. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. An introductory course in social psychology or organizational behavior is preferred but not required. 2 grad hours (Eight week course).


The purpose of this course is to enable student to understand some basic ideas about and measures of firm performance with heavy emphasis on the role of human resource managers. Students will gain an understanding of how human resource professionals fit into the organization, structure, and function of business firms. Many basic ideas from the field of finance will be studied. The course covers theoretical ideas and has many empirical, policy, and practitioner-relevant applications, all with the goal of providing human resource managers fundamental financial analysis tools to enable them to function effectively in their post-graduate corporate workplaces. 4 grad hours.


This course explores what HR managers need to know to overcome resistance to change, deal with the inevitable stresses associated with change, and implement appropriate change strategies. Topics covered include: (1) assessing bases of power and influence; (2) practicing diagnostic skills to understand behavior in an organizational context; (3) building effective work relationships, both in groups and on a one-to-one basis; and (4) leadership, in terms of alignment, organizational change, and learning to lead. 4 grad hours.


In contemporary organizations, the HR function is often called on to serve a variety of leadership roles. Thus, HR managers will not only need to learn how to utilize and improve their leadership skills in different and changing contexts, but also how to help other employees become effective leaders. The goals of this course are (1) to analyze and discuss a number of key frameworks that will provide students with knowledge of leadership in different types of organizations, and (2) to provide students with practical tools to help them make sense of their own on-the-job experiences and equip them with basic action-planning skills that they can use on the job.


Students in labor and industrial relations may register for this unit with the consent of their curriculum adviser and the adviser under whom the student will perform individual study of research. Such individual work may include special study in a subject matter for which no course is available or an individual research project, including on-the-job research in industry, which is not being undertaken for a thesis. 0 to 8 grad hours.


This course examines collective bargaining in the contexts of professional sports and entertainment (e.g., movies, theater productions, symphonies and operas, TV and radio programs, and Internet platforms and extensions), while enabling students to cultivate professional skills and evaluate business strategies for sports leagues and entertainment firms. Close attention is paid to antitrust policies in the Sherman Act and Clayton Act that apply to monopolistic employment arrangements such as the reserve system (its opposite is called free agency), the draft and exclusive rights for a player, eligibility restrictions for star amateurs, and other anticompetitive practices in music, theater, movies, and TV. The course examines powerful weapons under the National Labor Relations Act that unions may use to counteract employer cartels in theater, movies, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and related industries; and equally potent employer responses, such as lockouts and the hiring of striker replacements. The course also explores how employers combine in lawful associations to control labor costs and exploit their investments in physical and human capital; and examines bargaining tactics that enable rank-and-file employees, and star performers, to share in the wealth that they generate. Students are assigned weekly question sets, and are expected to submit a course paper based on the accumulation of readings and simulations. The course features several mock arbitration cases, presented near the end of the course, that cultivate student skills in preparing an arbitration case, evaluating evidence, and engaging in oral advocacy. 4 grad hours.


Examines employment systems in selected developed, newly industrialized, and developing economies, focusing on, but not limited to, Asian economies. Discusses how distinctive labor market institutions emerged in the context of rapid economic development and evolved through interactions with the global economy. Topics include management-labor relations, and the roles of firms, national governments, and international organizations in shaping employment systems. Emphasis will be placed on the analytical tools needed to make multi-country comparisons, to link theory and practice, and to understand the reasons for major changes in the nature of employment relations. 4 grad hours.


Change management is a core skill for all HR professionals. This course covers planned change, unplanned change, and continuous change in organizations. Build skills in making the case for change, understanding resistance to change, working with champions, serving as a change agent, conducting a stakeholder map, using project management tools, tracking results with metrics, implementing new technology, and bridging across cultural, organizational and national boundaries. Particular attention is given to building capability and changing cultures within the HR function so that HR can support change across the organization. 4 grad hours.

590CMT Career Management

This is the course for students looking to enhance their understanding of career management. Guided by theory and research, we will focus on three important and interrelated domains.  First, the course provides a framework for understanding career development – covering topics such as the changing nature of work and theories and models of careers. Second, we look at basic career enhancing skills – including navigating the job application process (e.g., mastering interviews, participating in simulated development assessment centers), developing career adaptability and managing job entry and survival. Finally, as future HR specialists/managers, you are often required to mentor and advise others on their careers. As such, we will look at key career management functions – such as mentoring and coaching of personnel, conducting career assessments and developing employee assistance programs. The class sessions will include a range of activities, including lectures, presentations by industry experts, structured learning exercises and case studies.


The renewed interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) over the last decade poses both opportunities and challenges for human resource professionals. This course explores the role of HR professionals in helping their organizations achieve CSR objectives, and discusses how conventional human resources management practices can be re-evaluated under the new frameworks of CSR. The course will inform students of major issues and challenges in the rapidly growing field of corporate social responsibility, both theoretical and practical. Topics include main drivers of CSR, managing stakeholder relations with CSR, and implementation and evaluation of CSR policies. There will be four team projects (4-5 students) throughout the semester regarding CSR practices of selected companies, leading to a final report about how the companies can enhance their CSR performance. 2 grad hours.


Focus is on employment law. Topics covered include employee benefits with special emphasis on health insurance; occupational health and safety issues and various employment contractual obligations, statutory exceptions to employment at will; retirement issues including mandatory retirement, ERISA, private pensions and pension benefit discrimination. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. 4 grad hours.


The goal of this course is to provide students with a solid understanding of employee benefits practices in today’s business environment. We will introduce the socio-economic and institutional context of the development of employee benefits system, with a special focus on the design and management of benefits programs in the changing workplaces. Special topics from basic protection benefits programs, e.g., health care and retirement plans, to emerging enhancement programs such as financial wellness will be discussed in this course. Students will obtain essential knowledge and professional views to effectively manage employee benefits in a variety of companies. The course format consists of lectures, case exercise, class discussions, and presentations. Course grades will be based on a formal group presentation of an employee benefits issue, general class participation, and completion of two thought papers. 2 grad hours.


Designing an efficient and equitable compensation system for executive managers has strategic importance with an implication for a broad set of stakeholders. The main objective of this course is to introduce to HR/IR students fundamental concepts and issues about executive compensation and corporate governance. The discussion will focus on the context of publicly traded companies, but the implications will also be relevant to compensation systems for leadership positions in other kinds of organizations. The course will review opposing views on the nature of executive compensation and examine the evidence for each view. The course will also discuss ethical issues, societal concerns, and international comparisons about executive compensation. To balance theoretical understanding and practical skills, students will examine actual compensation contracts from public corporations and analyze their strategic effectiveness. 4 grad hours.

590EGW Economic of Gender and the Workforce

Human resources professionals are often confronted with issues of equity between men and women related to hiring, compensation, and task assignment. This course is designed to help students evaluate explanations for differences in economic outcomes between men and women, using economics as a framework.  The course will present evidence on male-female differences in workforce participation, earnings, and occupations.  We will then study how these differences may be explained by various factors, including education, on-the-job training, family demands, and discrimination.  Further, we will study how employer and government policies may affect labor market outcomes of men and women.  Course activities and assignments will highlight how economic intuition has important practical implications for gender-related issues facing human resource professionals. 4 grad hours.


Organizations and businesses cannot be successful without ensuring health and safety of their workforce. As employees’ health and safety is interlinked with various factors in their work and nonwork environment, there are various approaches in studying employee stress, well-being, and safety (e.g., human factors, public health, etc.). This course will mainly use the “organizational” approach focusing on important psychosocial factors in the workplace that affect employee work stress, well-being, and safety. This course will put an emphasis on organizational interventions to mitigate the impact of stress as well as to promote health and safety among employees. The class will include lectures, in-class learning activities (e.g., exercises, small-group discussions, debate, video clips, instant writing, etc.), and group project. 4 grad hours.


This course provides an overview to several areas of management that influence the role of HR professionals in any organization. Specifically, we address 6 business management topics: (1) Strategic Management, (2) Organizational Structure & Control, (3) Power & Politics, (4) Groups & Teams, (5) Decision Making, and (6) Corporate Governance. Knowing more about these areas of management should help aspiring HR professionals understand what their employers are trying to achieve and how human resource management can add value to any organization. We will discuss the connection between general management topics and human resource management implications each and every class session with special emphasis on this question in our last session. 4 grad hours.


Despite public and organizational policies for fair and equal treatment for women and men in the workplace, both women and men still confront existing and newly emerging challenges at work. For an HR professional, it is quite complex and difficult to address sex and gender issues at work as they are often subtle and intricately related to various individual, organizational, legal, societal, and cultural aspects. Thus, for a future HR professional, it is crucial to understand a range of sex and gender issues at work from diverse perspectives and critically think and discuss how to better manage women and men in organizations. In-class student activities will include small-group debates and discussions, case analyses, individual exercises, etc. Students will also conduct a team-based learning project designed to facilitate in-depth understandings of a workplace issue that the team selects, and critically think possible ways to address the issue in organizations. Example sex and gender issues include but are not limited to the following areas: stereotypes, selection, employment decisions and discrimination, power and relationships, leadership & leadership development, and career. 4 grad hours.


This course provides an opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of strategic thinking from a game theoretical perspective, as well as the interrelationship between game theory, strategy, and human resource management. Whether we realize it or not, we engage in strategic thinking in an innumerable variety of ways every day. This class will begin by considering the myriad instances in which strategy shapes our interactions and our daily lives, and will introduce students to the basic principles of game theory as a toolkit that can be applied to understand strategic relationships.

Students will then learn how to apply this toolkit specifically to the HR function. We will take the broad strategic concepts learned earlier in the course and directly assess how they fit within the more narrow confines of HR. Students will be challenged to think critically about the relationship between game theory and aspects of HR strategy like talent management, workplace incentives, and employee empowerment.

Throughout the course, students will play a series of games with each other and with the professor in order to learn key concepts, and we will draw upon a variety of sources (including podcasts, films, and readings) to comprehensively introduce students to game theory and apply this strategic perspective to HRM. 4 grad hours.


This course describes how an organization can use its human resources data to improve decision making. Through data analytics – inferential statistics, predictive modeling, etc. – a firm can gain a competitive advantage by learning which of its HR practices produces valued outcomes. Students learn to make pivot tables, use the data analysis add-in package, and create dash boards. 2 grad hours.

590SCM Successful Change Management for Human Resources Professionals

It is becoming increasingly necessary that HR professionals have experience in successfully guiding organizations through change. In this course, students will explore how HR strategy and change management can enable successful business results. We will specifically evaluate how organization design frameworks align to business strategy, and how HR professionals can use this information to develop a practical, sustainable path for change management. In addition, students will learn and apply straightforward diagnostic and communication tools to better diagnose areas of resistance. 4 grad hours.


The proposed course examines the magnetic attraction of jobs in the U.S. and immigration, with a particular focus on laws that have regulated or restricted this inflow from the 1800s through the present. Each week, the course integrates three related perspectives on immigration and its impact on the employment relationship in the U.S. Weekly readings will be assigned from each of the following rubrics: (a) Employment Laws, (b) Immigrant Narratives, and (c) Government and Institutions. 4 grad hours.


Strong leadership and employee engagement are fundamental to achieving positive organizational results. This course explores the relationship between leadership, employee engagement, and business outcomes. Rooted in organizational effectiveness capabilities, we will cover topics in the context of driving change and supporting strategic outcomes for the enterprise.

We will explore theoretical models, specific methodologies and tactics that drive engagement. As a Human Resource leader, you will build skills in defining strong leadership, clarifying leadership expectations and building ‘visible and felt leadership.’ You will explore how to measure employee engagement and diagnose common barriers to effective engagement. Students will utilize ‘gap assessments’ to be able to prioritize and recommend specific actions that will be supported with tools and techniques that ‘build’ employee ownership. 4 grad hours.


Students in labor and industrial relations may register for this unit with the consent of the curriculum adviser and the adviser under whom the student will perform individual study or research. Such individual work may include special study in a subject matter for which no course is available or an individual research project, including on-the-job research in industry, which is not being undertaken for a thesis. This course is for students in the online program only. 4 grad hours.


How has the nature of work changed over the course of modern U.S. history? What future changes in the organization of work and employment should we prepare to confront? This course offers students an introduction to the dynamics of change and transformation that have shaped work and employment in the United States. Following an introductory unit on the nature of work (drawing on John Budd’s 2011 text The Thought of Work), the course will proceed in a series of industry case studies. Each week will be devoted to an examination of the past, present, and future of work in a given core industry (agriculture, energy, auto, education, health care, etc.). Key assignments will include in-class presentations, short reading response papers, and a final project on an industry of each student’s choice. 4 grad hours.


Social networks describe the structure and characteristics of social relationships among members of a connected group. Social network analysis is a powerful tool for uncovering how information and resources flow within and between organizations. This course introduces a framework for analyzing social networks and social capital within organizations. Students learn key concepts from social network analysis, including, 1) how to social networks form and evolve, 2) how do social network positions and structures affect various outcomes such as performance and innovation, and 3) how should we manage our own social networks as well as the networks in our organizations. The course focuses on both social science research and applications of social networks. 2 grad hours.


Will your job be replaced by a robot?  Will technological change lead to mass unemployment and civil unrest?  How can employers, policy makers, and workers adapt to the changing landscape of employment in the 21st century?  In this course, we will study a wide variety of trends in modern employment, including automation, the gig economy, offshoring, and algorithmic hiring and staffing.  We will approach these developments from diverse disciplinary perspectives, to understand the economic, sociological, and technological antecedents and consequences of innovation and technological change.  In addition, implications for public policy and human resource management will be emphasized.   The class format will be primarily seminar style, with the expectation that all students will closely read each week’s excerpts and actively participate in class discussions. 4 grad hours.


This course will introduce students to the building blocks organizations use to manage the performance of individuals, teams and total organizations. Learn how to create a work environment that enables employees to thrive. We will explore the major facets of Talent Management from developing core competencies to the design and implementation of performance management systems to identifying, assessing and developing talent, to delivering performance coaching for individuals and teams to driving employee engagement and retention. Explore key Human Resources/Organizational Development practices through experiential learning. Students will be expected to actively participate in team and partner-based projects, group discussion/ debate, assessments, presentations and a variety of learning methodologies that will promote professional growth. 4 grad hours.


Each day, HR / ER professionals face myriad issues with employees and the organizations that they support. Many times, these professionals rely on their intuition, “gut instincts” and years of experience to create resolutions and interventions to solve these issues. Although done with good intentions, these interventions often lack analytical rigor and forethought about unintended consequences and the root cause of the issue. This class will allow students the opportunity to learn real-world analytical techniques and critical thinking skills that students can use in any HR / ER role in any industry. By focusing on several of the functional disciplines within HR (e.g., staffing, training, non-exempt workforce, etc.), students will learn how to create themes from qualitative data and stakeholder interviews, use basic descriptive statistics (e.g., means, counts, etc.) to support or refute anecdotal data, define and appropriately use internal and external benchmarks, describe basic parametric statistics (i.e., regression analysis) to determine the impact of independent variables on the dependent variable and use analysis techniques to “Tell a story” with data.


The goal of this course is to provide you with an introduction to the interface of work and family in organizations. We will focus on three related topics: (1) individual employees and their families, how they experience work and family/life conflict and how they can achieve balance between work and family life; (2) organizations and the work-family benefits and policies they provide (or not), their usefulness for employees and the benefits they might provide for the employer; and (3) the changing definition/perception of family and issues related to gender and equity in the workplace.The class will include lectures, guest speakers, class discussions, exercises, and films. 2 grad hours.


This course focuses on the evaluation and analysis of key labor market policies, programs, and interventions. The course has two primary goals. The first is to introduce students to key labor market debates and challenges. The second is a practical goal: to inform students about the various institutions and dynamics that they will face when seeking to hire and train workers in their future HR positions. The focus will be on the U.S. labor market, although the course will cover some international/comparative topics as well. The class will take a multi-disciplinary approach to the topics it addresses; most of the readings will be drawn from the economics, sociology, and public policy literatures. 4 grad hours.


This research methods course is intended for PhD students in industrial relations and related fields who anticipate conducting quantitative empirical research in non-experimental settings. The objective of the course is to provide students with an understanding of how non-experimental research designs and statistical procedures are used to test for causal relationships between variables. The course emphasizes the use of both research design and statistical methods for obtaining unbiased estimates of the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable. The course assumes students have a good understanding of multiple regression applied to cross-sectional data. From this basic knowledge, the course focuses on sample selection strategies, the use of panel data, the identification of “natural” experiments and the use of instrumental variable techniques methods useful for testing hypotheses in non-experimental settings. Specific techniques applied to limited dependent variables and duration data will also be introduced. 4 grad hours.


A general framework for the analysis of employment relationships. Topics include industrial relations theory, the American system of collective bargaining, inter-country system differences, and human resource management strategies and practices. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. 4 grad hours.


Application of statistical methods to problems in human resources and industrial relations. Analysis and presentation of results using computer software. Covers statistical techniques through analysis of variance and multiple regression. Prerequisite: Any elementary statistics course. 4 grad hours.


Over the past four decades organizational approaches to managing workforce diversity have evolved from meeting the requirements of Title VII law to nurturing effective and diverse work groups as a business necessity. The challenge for managers is to understand the various aspects of diversity and its consequences in organizations. The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of how the Human Resource Management function can contribute to leveraging diversity as a competitive advantage. Each week we will examine various HR functions in relation to diversity management practices. By the end of this course students will have a holistic appreciation of the HR tools necessary to implement effective diversity management practices. 4 grad hours.


Managing and motivating employees effectively is one of the most complex and challenging issues facing companies today. While business leaders acknowledge the need for implementing effective performance management systems, recent studies indicate that an overwhelming majority of performance management systems are unsuccessful. Takes a strategic approach to employee motivation and performance starting with a firm level view to reviewing current approaches to employee motivation and performance management. Aims at providing students with practical and conceptual tools that will aid them in future endeavors to design and implement employee development and performance management systems. Format includes in-class discussions, case studies and individual assignments and papers. 4 grad hours.


Intensive analysis of all aspects of high performance work systems, including work design, reward systems, training, team operations, lean/six sigma systems, and labor-management partnership. Special focus on skills and principles for effective implementation, in ways that advance employee well-being and to organizational effectiveness. 4 grad hours.


For all students writing theses in labor and industrial relations at the MHRIR and PhD levels. 0 to 16 hours. May be repeated. Approved for S/U grading only.