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Curriculum

The twelve courses that currently constitute the MSILR program curriculum.

Curriculum

Using a cohort executive education model, students take twelve courses (36 credits) over a three year period. Classes meet two nights a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) and are held in the state-of the-art executive education classrooms at Baruch’s new Vertical Campus. Students in the MSILR Program engage in a rigorous investigation of numerous topics. Listed below are the twelve courses that currently constitute the curriculum.

 

YEAR 1

Labor Relations

This course examines the labor, employment and industrial relations framework as it exists today in the American economy. Emphasis is placed on the exercise of both labor and management’s power and responsibilities, and the process under which both sides operate. Historical developments are reviewed and the future of labor-management relations is explored, with potentially adversarial or cooperative relationships. Important administrative and institutional issues are addressed with the course culminating in a project on the grievance and arbitration process.

Organizational Behavior

This course surveys major concepts, theories, and research from the social sciences—in particular, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and social psychology—as applicable to understanding and managing human behavior in the organization. Analytical and conceptual in nature, the course focuses upon personal, interpersonal, and social system aspects of human behavior in organizations.

Human Resource Management

Focus on how human resource management affects individuals, organizations, and society through its impact on individual productivity, quality of work life, and organizational performance. Specific content areas include recruitment, personnel selection, training, performance management, motivation and compensation, among others. The course also puts an emphasis on understanding (and managing) the ethical dilemmas often associated with making HR decisions.

Applied Statistical Analysis

This course focuses on practical aspects of business statistics, specifically for management, operations, and human resource policies and practices. The coverage of topics includes the following sections: descriptive statistics, selected probability issues, and inferential statistics. Actual business cases are studied with the help of spreadsheet software.

YEAR 2

Collective Bargaining

Building on the material covered in Labor Relations, this course focuses on the historical and legal frameworks associated with collective bargaining. Factors in this dynamic relationship, including the role of mediation, are addressed. Students present analyses of actual NLRB and Arbitration cases and participate in a team collective bargaining contract negotiation project. Union and Management teams eventually arrive at an agreement or a work stoppage at the end of the semester.

Training and Development

This course examines the process of developing an organization's human resources in order to meet current and future needs. The role of training in employee development and specific skill acquisition is emphasized, with regard to needs assessment, program development, techniques, and evaluation.

Compensation

Theories and state-of-the-art practices are explored to provide an appreciation of the unique role that compensation plays in enhancing organizational effectiveness. All forms of compensation are addressed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities to enhance employee engagement along with individual and organizational performance. Legal and performance management issues are considered along with union involvement and participation in pay, incentives, benefits, and performance management.

Employment and Labor Law

Labor and Employment Law -- the law of the workplace -- is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of study and practice. We read federal and state laws setting forth the rights of workers, unions, and employers. Using real-life case studies in teams, we analyze the legal, political, public policy, and practical HR and IR implications of decisions of federal courts and administrative agencies that implement these laws. After first focusing briefly on the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, the course examines current issues in employment law and recent Supreme Court decisions such as those involving age and gender discrimination, retaliation and privacy. Other timely employment law issues discussed are unjust dismissal in nonunion environments, workplace safety, whistle blowing, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on race, religion, disability and sexual orientation.

YEAR 3

Practicum: Developing Managerial Skills

This course focuses on the practical and behavioral skills required for managers to be effective within their organizations and builds upon the content presented in Management 9300 (Organizational Behavior). These skills include assessing talent, understanding a manager’s strengths and areas for improvement, communicating effectively, working in teams, effective management, leadership, decision making, managing stress and conflict resolution. Instructional methods include diagnostic surveys, simulations, role-playing and teamwork exercises. As a practicum, this course teaches skills grounded in behavioral science theory and research that are essential for a successful career in management.

Topics in Human Resources Management

Topics of a specialized nature in the area of human resource management are explored. In recent years the course has focused on negotiations—theory and processes as practiced in a variety of settings. The premise undergirding the course is that the best way to learn negotiation skills and actually internalize them is to negotiate in a setting where insight is offered, feedback is plentiful, personal reflection is encouraged, and careful analysis is required. Therefore, the negotiation course is highly interactive and experiential such that you can immediately apply its lessons.

Labor Relations Capstone Seminar

This course is designed as a dynamic coordinating seminar, augmenting prior material and learning experiences in the MSILR program. The main focus of the "State of the Unions" is on potential legal/structural reform. Prominent guest speakers engage students in conversations relevant to private- and public-sector Labor organizations, Management, Government, Human Resource Departments and Neutral parties. Texts and readings engender thought and discussion on historic changes, successes and failures of the labor movement and future prospects.

Human Resources Management Capstone Project

Utilizing the substantive information, and research and writing skills from the first 2-1/2 years of the program, student teams produce a responsible, fair and legally defensible set of HR-related policies pertinent to a current employment law issue. The work is supervised closely by an experienced faculty member. This course serves as the capstone research seminar for all degree candidates in the Baruch Executive MSILR Program.

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