The underlying premise of this course is that human resources are a major, if not the most important, source of a firm’s competitive advantage in the new economy. Managers are increasingly realizing that the skills of employees, coupled with their ability to innovate and adapt, constitute key assets for the organization in today’s turbulent economic environment. Consequently, managers are turning their attention to human resource (HR) issues. This course offers a framework for thinking strategically about managing human resources. To better meet the needs of managers, the seminar adopts a top manager’s perspective, which goes beyond the narrower, more operational concerns of the HR manager.
More specifically, this course examines the types of institutions that are established to regulate the employment relationship, the human resource management models developed by firms, the strategy implemented by managers to develop high performance work systems and the factors that hinder or facilitate the diffusion of these systems. Illustrations of successful HR strategies will be presented and discussed.