BUSI 663: Managing Human Capital
MBA Core Course Requirement
Fall 2005 (10/27/05 – 12/15/05)
BA01 & GS01 DC01, DC02, & DC03
Dr. Jeff Kudisch Dr. Ian Williamson
Office: 4506 Van Munching Hall 4526 Van Munching Hall
Office Phone: 301-405-9540 301-405-0624
Office Fax: 301-314-8787 301-314-8787
Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: by appointment by appointment
Required Text: XanEdu Reading Packet XanEdu Reading Packet
Class Times and Locations
Track GS01 Track BA01 Track DC01 Track DC02 Track DC03
Location: SGI 220 BA 140 DC 330B DC 330B DC 330B
Day: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Tuesday
Time: 6:25 – 10:00 pm 6:25 – 10:00 pm 6:25 – 10:00 pm 6:25 – 10:00 pm 6:25 – 10:00 pm
This course examines core principles related to the management of human capital and builds students’ skills for
gaining maximum productivity from an organization’s human capital. It focuses on basic principles for managing
people effectively such as:
strategic management of human capital;
recruitment, planning, and selection strategies;
performance management, feedback and discipline;
strategies for developing human capital;
managing a diverse workforce; and
using compensation and incentives to motivate superior performance.
This survey course provides an overview of many issues related to managing human capital in organizations. All of
the topics selected for discussion are critical ones that every professional needs to know, regardless of functional
area (not just HR professionals). These issues will be examined from both a strategic and a tactical level and should
be relevant to all practicing managers and future leaders.
Some of the related topics to understanding and managing human capital at work (e.g., motivation, leadership) are
addressed in another course (BUSI 662: Organizational Behavior) and will not be the focus of this course.
The course extends students’ existing background and awareness of the problems involved in managing people by
providing structured exercises, cases, and discussion of human capital issues. This course is based on the
assumption that as working professionals, students already have some fundamental awareness of issues related to
managing human capital. The course will build on that background to extend students’ theoretical knowledge and
applied skills. Using exercises, cases, and other assignments, you should gain an understanding and appreciation
for how to manage human capital effectively. After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:
• Diagnose people related problems and issues in organizations
• Determine which human capital management tools you should apply to address varying organizational problems
• Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for increasing organizational productivity and meeting other
organizational objectives and goals.
In addition, because studies have shown that the majority of business graduates will manage or lead employees, the
course is geared toward developing those competency areas deemed critical for managerial success. Such
competencies include: communication skills (verbal, written, and listening), interpersonal sensitivity, teamwork,
analytical thinking, decision-making skills, planning and organizing, ethics, initiative, and leadership. These
competencies are developed as the content of each topic area is learned and applied.
The course schedule is provided as a guideline and is subject to change. Necessary revisions will be announced in
class and posted on the Blackboard with as much advance notice as possible. Be sure to read the syllabus carefully
and thoroughly. You are responsible for all assignments listed on the syllabus and any alterations to this schedule of
events. It is your responsibility to check with the professor regarding changes to the schedule in the event that you
To meet course objectives, the course uses readings, lectures, exercises, cases, and class discussions. Reading
assignments (listed at the end of the syllabus) provide essential background knowledge for class activities and must
be completed prior to the start of each class. Lectures will supplement information gained from the reading
assignments and integrate course material. Class exercises provide opportunities to apply practices regarding the
management of human capital. Cases illustrate how these tactics affect organizational functioning. Because students
bring a wealth of insight, experiences, and perspectives, participation is essential. Students should consider each
other, in addition to the professor and readings, as important catalysts for learning. Further, to foster meaningful
discussions, students are encouraged to locate and read additional relevant material (e.g., popular literature,
newspaper articles, etc., that address approaches/techniques currently being used by organizations).
In addition to these activities, students will work together to complete a team report and presentation that involves a
human capital strategy.
Evaluation of Students’ Performance
Evaluation of student performance will be based on both team and individual efforts. The following weights for each
component are standard across all BUSI 663 sections:
Individual Assignment #1: In-Class Exam - strategic HRM, legal and diversity................................... 20%
Individual Assignment #2: In-Class Exam - covering job analysis, recruitment and selection,
performance management and rewards and compensation......................................................... 30%
Team Project Presentation .................................................................................................................. 15%
Team Project Report* .......................................................................................................................... 30%
Class Participation (including Blackboard posting) ............................................................................. 5%
*Note: Peer appraisals by ALL teammates must be completed and turned in on time in order for the team project to be graded.
As a general rule, no ‘extra-credit’ work will be offered, assigned, or accepted in consideration of improving the final
grade or as a substitute for any of the above criteria. There will be no “curve” in determining final grades and rounding
will not be used. Attendance and participation will be evaluated and used for any close grading decisions. Final
grades will be based on a percentage of possible points earned. Specifically, the breakdown for final grading is:
Less than 60% F
Individual Grade Component
Individual Assignments (Total Worth 50%; 2 parts worth 20% and 30%, respectively)
These requirements involve in-class assessments of mastery of the course readings and class discussions on the
aforementioned topics. The assignments will consist of two exams which may consist of multiple-choice questions,
short answer questions, and/or short responses to mini-cases.
Evaluation criteria for the written analyses include the following:
• Content of answer (e.g., identification and understanding of key problems; application of principles/theory)
• Soundness of logic/judgment
• Creativity in analysis and recommendations
• Incorporation of course material
• Writing clarity, organization, conciseness, and grammar
Additional details and grading criteria will be provided closer to the due date. All in-class assessments will be graded
on a scale of 0–100 points.
Team Grade Components
Team Project (Total Worth 45%)
Students are responsible for turning in one team project. This assignment is designed to give you and your team
greater expertise in the rationale behind some recent practice innovations regarding the management of human
capital and to better understand how to effectively implement the activity. Peer appraisals will also be used to collect
additional feedback from team members regarding the effectiveness and contribution of various team members on
the projects. All the project components are described in detail below.
You and your group will be asked to identify a novel HR practice (you may use, but are not limited to, the following
list) used within organizations. Then prepare:
• a 12-page report explaining the practice, its logic, the advantages and disadvantages of the practice, some
company examples, and recommendations for when the practice should and should not be implemented;
• a 12-15-minute presentation describing the practice, its logic, how best to implement the practice in
organizations, and your recommendations for how the implementation could be maximized, and;
Possible Human Capital Best Practice Topics to Consider
Staffing Global Staffing Issues Managing Contingent Selection Practices Layoffs/ Downsizing /
(e.g., Expatriates, Workers/Outsourcing (Pick one: e.g., HR Planning
Building an International of HR Services Behavioral Interviews,
Workforce) Biodata, Integrity Tests,
Personality Tests, Video-
Based Situational Tests)
Training Online Training Mentoring Career Development Executive Coaching
Performance 360-Degree/ Multisource Succession Planning Assessment Centers Assessment of Team
Management Feedback Performance
Compensation & Employee Benefits/ Gainsharing / Profit Skill-based Pay Executive
Rewards Work Family Balance/ Sharing Compensation
Quality of Worklife
Team Written Report (30%)
Reports should be no more than 12 pages of double-spaced text in length (one inch margins, Times New Roman 12-
point font). Please note that the cover page, table of contents, references, and the appendices DO NOT count toward
the 12-page limit. An example format for the paper is given below; however, feel free to be creative in your paper.
• Title and Authors
• Table of Contents (1 page)
• Executive Summary (2 pages)
• Description of your Findings (Approximately 8 pages). This is the main body of the paper and should
include all of your findings regarding the issue under investigation. Begin by describing the practice and its
rationale – how is it designed to be an improvement over similar practices? What is the rationale behind its
usefulness and what research or theory, if any, exists to support its effectiveness? Provide an analysis of its
strengths and weaknesses (e.g., administrative/implementation issues, legal/political issues), and address
other relevant issues (e.g., popularity, user reactions, utility/financial benefits, etc.). Be sure to use both the
academic (e.g., journal articles) and popular literature (e.g., business magazines, books, internet articles,
etc.) to support your ideas and examine the gap between science and practice. You should also describe
how this practice has been implemented in exemplar organizations (be specific and be sure to include the
organization’s rationale for doing so, e.g., “To accelerate transformation to a consumer- and share-holder
business, X Corporation created a Leadership Development Center (LDC) for rising stars at the managerial
ranks. This included one-on-one senior coaching, upward feedback, and the creation of skill banks…”).
• Recommendations. (Approximately 2 pages). This is the last major section of the paper. You should
indicate whether your team, as a key decision maker, would advocate the use of this process/concept. Be
specific (e.g., if useful, for what purposes should it be used? not be used? why?). This section should also
include prescriptions for success. Conclude with a discussion of the modifications, if any, that could be made
to improve its effective implementation.
• References. You should use footnotes to cite all of the references you have used throughout the paper. In
addition, you may provide a section entitle “Additional Reading” at the end of the paper to indicate other
relevant reading materials. As noted above, reports should include references from both the academic (e.g.,
Academy of Management Executive; Harvard Business Review; Personnel Psychology; Journal of Applied
Psychology) and popular business literatures (e.g., Fortune, HR Magazine, books, web links, etc.). Below
are some examples for how you might reference material:
Avis, J., Kudisch, J. D., & Fortunato, V. J. (2002). Examining the Incremental Validity and Adverse Impact of Cognitive
Ability and Conscientiousness on Job Performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 17, 87-105
Magazines and Newspapers:
Schlender, B. (2000, May 1). The odd couple: Fortune, 141 (9), pp. 106-110, 114,116,120,122,124,126.
Nelson, B. (1999). 1001 ways to take initiative at work. New York: Workman Publishing Company.
Gallego, G. (1997). The state-of-the art in web-based training. http://www.gracespace.com/weblearn/state/htm
• Appendices. Appendices always add to the depth of a paper. Actual reference material (e.g., copies of articles
cited, inventories, interesting company handbooks, brochures, etc.) should be included in the appendix. Provide
samples of any forms created and place in the appendix.
General criteria for evaluating the team report include the following:
• Depth of investigation and specificity of response (e.g., comprehensiveness of investigation)
• Analysis of strengths and weaknesses
• Soundness of logic/judgment
• Creativity in analysis and recommendations
• Incorporation of course material, as well as incorporation of instructor feedback from class presentation
• Incorporation of company practices
• Writing clarity, organization, conciseness, and grammar
Additional details and grading criteria will be provided closer to the due date. All papers will be graded on a scale of
Final written reports are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 23rd. To ensure timely feedback, reports must be
submitted by the due date. Late projects will be docked 10% of their grade per day.
Team Presentation (15%)
This requirement is designed to develop your presentation and persuasion skills. Each team will make a 12-15 minute
presentation to the class based on its project. At the conclusion of presentations, teams should be prepared to
answer questions. Presentations should be professional, as if they were being given to top management in the client
organization. Presentation assignments (and ordering of presentations) will be determined during the first week of
All members of your group should help prepare the presentation, although you may choose as how many members
do the in-class presentation. Any presentation materials may be used to convey relevant information (e.g., flipcharts,
transparencies, PowerPoint, handouts). A full reference list must be included at the end of the presentation (e.g., on
the last slide(s)). Students may also consider using footnotes on slides where applicable so that interested readers
can access respective referenced material. This is especially helpful when citing data and/or trends. In addition, on
the day of the presentation, each team must distribute (via email or CD) a file copy of their PowerPoint presentation
to the instructor for subsequent posting on the Blackboard.
Students' performance on these presentations will be evaluated by their peers and the professor. Because the class
will learn about the HR practice from your team, the professor will ask them for feedback on how effective your
presentation was in conveying useful information. Specifically, your peers will be asked to assign a number to your
presentation (on a scale of 0-100) based on how clearly and thoroughly you presented information and answered
questions, the usefulness of the information provided, how sound your reasoning was regarding issues related to
implementation, and the feasibility and appropriateness of your recommendations. Team presentation grades will be
based on peer ratings (50%) and the professor’s ratings (50%).
Team (Peer) Appraisals
Peer appraisals from your team members will be used to ensure fair allocation of the team’s report grade to
members. The peer evaluation will focus on issues that are directly related to team success (e.g., level of
contribution, quality of contribution, degree to which person was instrumental in group success, supportiveness of
individual to group members). The peer appraisal form will be available on the Blackboard. Each student’s grade for
the team project will be weighted based on the average peer appraisals of the other members in their team.
Individuals are also welcome to turn in a self-evaluation of their performance using the same form as that used by the
team. The professor will not release the scores of individual peer appraisals in order to maintain confidentiality.
Teams are encouraged to complete individual ratings and place them in sealed envelopes, and then bundle all
sealed envelopes together in a larger envelope. Adherence to this process facilitates organization and tracking of
rating materials and is greatly appreciated by the instructor!
Attendance and Class Participation (5%)
All students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with reading assignments and to be actively involved in class
discussions. Students should bring all assigned material to each class meeting. For each meeting, students should
be prepared to effectively lead discussions, and to contribute insightful, integrative comments while respecting the
rights of other class members as participants.
As working professionals, students have many experiences that embody key principles relevant to managing human
capital. Students can learn a tremendous amount from each other - you should feel free (and be prepared) to provide
your comments, ask thoughtful questions, and share your own work-related experiences with the class. Moreover,
active engagement with course ideas and concepts (i.e., thinking about how they apply and why, generating
questions or examples) helps develop well-rounded, reasoned judgments. Finally, research shows that students learn
more when they participate actively. For these reasons, participation is an important class component. As a class
member, you are responsible for helping to create a positive, learning environment. The use of “killer phrases” (e.g.,
“that will never work”, “that is a dumb idea”) and non-supportive nonverbal gestures (e.g., not looking at people when
they speak, etc.) are discouraged and are not tolerated. Students are encouraged to practice effective communication
skills with all members of the class (e.g., carefully listening to others, not interrupting others, etc.). The primary
“ground rules” for this course are as follows:
• On-Time Attendance at all classes and participation is expected of graduate students and professionals. Note
that new material (not contained in your reading packet) will be covered during class meetings and you are
responsible for that material and anything else that is covered during class periods.
• Quality NOT Quantity - Participation does not mean sharing every single idea that occurs to you, disrespecting
others’ comments, or dominating the discussion. As a general rule – quality of contribution will always be rated
higher than quantity of contribution.
There are two additional forms of participation in this course:
• Blackboard Utilization – Throughout the course the instructor will post instructional materials on the Blackboard
to facilitate student learning. Students will also be required to email their PowerPoint presentations and executive
summaries to the instructor for Blackboard posting, thereby allowing everyone to access the material. The web
• In addition, as part of the course requirement, students will need to create their own homepage on the course
Blackboard. This function can be accessed by clicking on the “Tools” feature on the left menu, and then clicking
on the “Edit Your Homepage” option. Students can then view their completed webpage by clicking on the
"Communication" button, selecting "Roster," typing in their names (or someone else's or list all), and clicking on
the name. This should take students to the homepage of interest. Students are asked to include a short bio
describing their background, career interests, what they hope to gain from the course, and anything else of
interest. Students will also need to upload a photo of themselves to their homepage. Because of the large
number of students and the short time frame for this course, this requirement is critical for allowing the instructor
to become better acquainted with each of the students in the class, thus enhancing class interactions.
• Activities - There are likely to be several opportunities to participate in exercises that occur inside and/or outside
of class that will be an important component of learning and knowledge sharing within the class. More
information about these exercises will be provided during the first class session (and throughout the course).
Note that new material may be covered during class meetings and you are responsible for anything that is covered
during class periods. If, for a legitimate reason, you find that you will be late for a class or will have to miss a
class, you should phone or email prior to the class period to inform the instructor.
Evaluation of Instructor Performance
Instructor Performance. You are strongly encouraged to speak with your professor about suggestions regarding the
course. If there is something that concerns you, please offer recommendations for what and how to improve the
effectiveness of the course. Although the professor cannot guarantee that all the recommended changes will be
made, past practice suggests that most concerns can usually be addressed. In addition, the college will solicit
students’ feedback on rating forms at the end of the term. Your professor may also choose to solicit developmental
feedback using other questionnaire measures.
Course Grievance Procedures
If you feel you have been graded unfairly in this course, you may use the following procedure to voice your concern:
(1) Within SEVEN (7) DAYS of receiving the grade, give me a written appeal. After ten days, the professor will
assume that you agree with his assessment and consider the grade final. In other words, do NOT wait until the
term’s end to appeal grades earned weeks earlier. (2) Prepare a written statement explaining why you think the grade
is incorrect or unfair. Be sure to document your reasons by referring to inconsistency in application of grading
standards, etc. Stating simply that you feel you want or “deserve” a higher grade because you worked hard is NOT
sufficient grounds for an appeal. Performance reflects a combination of effort AND ability. (3) Submit the written
statement together with the graded material (if appropriate). The professor will consider your complaint and make a
decision. You will be notified in writing of my decision. If you are not satisfied with the professor’s decision, you may
use university grievance procedures as your “appeal.” Please note that the professors document fully the rationale for
Additional Class Policies
1. Special Needs. Any student with special needs should bring this to the attention of the instructor as soon as
possible, but not later than the second week of class. All known student disabilities and religious holidays will be
accommodated. If you have a documented condition (e.g., learning or physical disability, pregnancy, etc.) or a
religious holiday that requires accommodation, please see me as soon as possible so that we can determine
2. Academic dishonesty. The University's Code of Academic Integrity is designed to ensure that the principles of
academic honesty and integrity are upheld. All students are expected to adhere to this Code. The Smith School
does not tolerate academic dishonesty. All acts of academic dishonesty will be dealt with in accordance with the
provisions of this code. Please visit the following website for more information on the University’s Code of
On each assignment you will be asked to write out and sign the following pledge:
"I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this exam/assignment."
Students are expected to take personal responsibility for upholding standards of academic integrity and report
any questionable incidents they observe that the professor may miss. In this course, some activities that would
be regarded as questionable or dishonest include the following:
a. Using any unauthorized materials during the in-class assessments.
b. Plagiarizing material on the written report. Plagiarism involves quoting verbatim others’ written ideas
without giving credit to the original source. This can take several forms, such as (1) “borrowing” others’
online or email comments about the cases and representing them as one’s own ideas; (2) using online
services providing access to teaching notes for cases used in the course and relying on these externally
generated analyses to write case analyses; and (3) incorporating large sections of previously written papers
(even if written by the author) or organizational documents into the body of the team’s written report without
citing the original source. (Note that if teams wish to include organizational documents, these should
generally be placed in an appendix with appropriate citations.) In short, students should include full citations
for all previously written text incorporated into students’ written reports and case analyses.
Academic dishonesty is also defined as soliciting or providing assistance to others when the professor
explicitly forbids assistance. If you have any questions as to what is considered dishonest, please ask. The
professor will be happy to discuss it with you. Moreover, please note that expectations concerning academic
honesty extend beyond the classroom to all activities associated with this class.
Inclement Weather Policy or National/State/City Emergencies
Baltimore & DC students: In the event of inclement weather, please listen to your local radio station to see if the
University of Maryland at College Park is closed. You may also call 301-405-SNOW to determine if the University is
closed. If UMCP is open and you feel the weather poses too much of a threat for you to attend class, use your best
and safest judgment. If you decide not to attend class, you should contact the professor via email or phone to inform
him that you will not be in class due to the weather.
Shady Grove students: In the event of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, you should follow the
delays and closures for the "University System of Maryland, Shady Grove Center," not the University of Maryland,
College Park. Closure and delays will be reported on local radio and television news stations but you may also call
USG at 301-738-6000, press 1.
COURSE SCHEDULE: BUSI 663 Managing Human Capital (Fall 2005)
Date Topic Reading & Written Assignments Deliverables
Week 1 Course Required Readings: Identify Team Members, Topic,
Overview • Pfeffer & Veiga (1999) Putting people first for organizational success. Academy of Management and Date of Presentation
DC02 10/27 Executive.
GS 10/31 Introduction to • Case: GE’s Talent Machine: The Making of a CEO (HBR 9-304-049)
BA 11/1 Strategic
DC03 11/1 Human Suggested Readings:
DC01 11/2 Resource • Rynes, Brown, & Colbert (2002). Seven common misconceptions about human resource
Management practices: Research findings vs. practitioner beliefs. Academy of Management Executive.
• Rynes, Trank, Lawson, & Ilies (2003). Behavioral coursework in business education: Growing
evidence of a legitimacy crisis. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2, 269-283
• Ulrich (1998, January-February). A new mandate for human resources management. Harvard
Week 2 Managing Equal Required Readings:
Opportunity & • Dass & Parker (1999). Strategies for managing human resource diversity: From resistance to
DC02 11/3 Diversity learning. Academy of Management Executive.
GS 11/7 • Thomas & Kanji (2004). IBM’s diversity strategy: Bridging the workplace and the marketplace.
BA 11/8 (HBR 9-405-044)
DC03 11/8 • Case: The Case of Mismanaged Ms. (HBR 87614)
• Bernardin, H.J. (2003). The legal environment of HRM: Equal employment opportunity. Human
resource management: An experiential approach (3rd ed, pp. 33-52). New York, NY: McGraw-
Week 3 Managing Equal Suggested Readings
Opportunity & • Schneider & Konz (1989). Strategic job analysis. Human Resource Management.
DC02 11/10 Diversity • Kudisch (1992). Developing and distributing a task analysis questionnaire (TAQ). In Bernardin
GS 11/14 (continued) & Russell (Eds.), Human resource management: An experiential approach. New York: McGraw-
BA 11/15 Hill.
Week 4 Exam 1 Required Readings: In-Class Exam
• Behling (1998). Employee selection: Will intelligence and conscientiousness do the job? (Approximately 1 hour & 15
DC02 11/17 Recruitment & Academy of Management Executive, 12, 77-86. minutes)
GS 11/21 Staffing • Hanft (2003, March). Smarter hiring, the DDI way. Inc. Magazine.
DC03 11/22 Suggested Readings
• Campion, Palmer & Campion (1998). Structuring employment interviews to improve reliability,
validity, and users’ reactions. Psychological Science.
• Mercer (2002, Jan/Feb). 5 overlooked ways to hire winners. Manage.
• Byham (2004, March/April). Can you interview for integrity? Across the Board, 35-38.
• Curb your enthusiasm (2004, June). Management.
• Greer, Youngblood, & Gray (1999). Human resource management outsourcing: The make or buy
decision. Academy of Management Executive.
• Cascio (2002). Strategies for responsible restructuring. Academy of Management Executive.
Week 5 Recruitment & Required Readings: 2 Group Presentations
Staffing • Case: Recruiting at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. (HBR 9-494-071) (Recruitment & Staffing)
GS 11/28 (continued) • Manzoni (2002). A better way to deliver bad news. Harvard Business Review.
DC03 11/29 Performance Suggested Readings:
DC01 11/30 Management • Longenecker, Sims, & Gioia (1987). Behind the mask: The politics of employee appraisal.
Academy of Management Executive.
(*Revised per • Managing Performance (HBR 9-496-022)
Thanksgiving) • Toegel & Conger (2003). 360-degree assessment: Time for reinvention. Academy of
Management Learning and Education, 2, 297-311.
• Conger & Fulmer (2003, December). Developing your leadership pipeline. Harvard Business
Week 6 Performance Required Readings: 2 Group Presentations
Management • Note on Rewards Systems (HBR 9-482-017) (Performance Management)
GS 12/5 (continued) • Kerr (1995). An academy classic: On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B. Academy of
BA 12/6 Management Executive.
DC03 12/6 Compensation
DC01 12/7 & Incentive Exercise: Critiquing Performance Appraisal Forms
DC02 12/8 Systems
Exercise: Genesis Computers
• Pfeffer (1998, May-June). Six dangerous myths about pay. Harvard Business Review, 109-119.
Week 7 Compensation • Case: Nordstrom: Dissension in the Ranks? (A) (HBR9-191-002) 4 Group Presentations
& Incentive (Training & Compensation &
GS 12/12 Systems Suggested Readings: Rewards)
BA 12/13 (continued) • Bates (2003, December). The metric maze. HR Magazine, 48 (12), 51-55.
• Becker & Huselid (2003, December). Measuring HR? Benchmarking is not the answer! HR
Magazine, 48 (12), 57-61.
DC02 12/15 Wrap-Up
• Phillips (1996, February). ROI: The search. Training & Development.
Week 8 EXAM 2 In-Class Exam
12/23/05, Team Written Report & Peer
Friday Appraisals Due by 5:00 pm