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Week 1 discussion
QUESTION 1: What does Strategic HR mean?
In Chapter 1 we talk about the role HR plays within today’s
organizations. It’s logical is it not? Today, the most valuable asset a company
can have is its employees! Years ago while pursuing our MBAs, we took courses
in Inventory Management, Production, and Plant Operations. But then twenty
years ago our economy was based upon manufacturing and a company’s production
capacity and inventory were of prime importance. Today, we’re in the
information age and employees, especially creative employees with innovative
ideas and technological skills, are paramount.
Twenty years ago, an HRM was little more than an
administrator, someone to process the application form and ensure the new
employee’s beneficiary form was completed correctly. Today, HRM’s are strategic
partners in every thriving business enterprise developing policies and programs
to support the mission of the business enterprise. Be sure to read and
understand the information presented in Table 2.1 on pages 3 and 4 of your
Take a moment and define for us in your own words what you
understand “strategic” to mean? And then discuss in detail and in
your own words why we look at Strategic HRM as one of the first topic in this
Don’t forget to read over and then respond to a colleague’s
Be sure to include citations from at least two sources you used
to develop your responses!
QUESTION 2: Thoughts about HR Functions in today’s world
What I would like you to do is read chapters one and two and
then the Art Brooks and the Mayhew articles. As you read, make note of all of
the HR functions identified in the readings and reflect carefully on the responsibilities
of today’s HRMs.
In your thoughtful idea presentation you want to talk about
organizational functions and about the responsibilities an HRM has today to
help an organization achieve maximum efficiency and meet their stated goals.
Include some thoughts to demonstrate your understanding about how and HRM’s
roles and responsibilities have developed and grown. Once you’ve posted your thoughts,
take the time to respond to a colleague’s ideas.

Week 2 discussion
Question 1: Everyone responds to question 1
The Abreu article you were asked to read this week presents
a list of benefits for an organization in developing a culturally diverse
workforce. Select one of the benefits Ms. Abreu identified and summarize your
understanding of the benefit and why you believe this benefit is import. Use
the recommended articles to support your arguments and views. Be sure to
explain your ideas and support your arguments fully. And last, what does do
these benefits mean to you as an HRM? What policies might you develop and
implement as HRM to ensure your company achieves these benefits?
Question 2: Web search please!
Visit the website and find their
latest “top 50 list.” What criteria are used to evaluate companies that appear
on this list? What are the top five companies for the current year? Develop a
brief commentary about the site. What do you think about the articles available
Question 3: One more time!
Read the bulletted information carefully in the KEY
TAKEAWAYS section of Chapter 3 on pages 22 and 23 and then visit the site as instructed in the Exercises section. Develop your
thoughtful responses to the two questions posed in the text. 1) Explain the
methods an employee can use in filing a complaint with the EEOC. 2) If an
employer is found to have discriminated, what are some of the “remedies” listed
on the EEOC site?

Week 3 discussion
Question 1: E*Recruiting
Today’s HRMs more so than ever before are relying on
e-recruiting techniques. What qualities of electronic recruiting do you think
contribute to the rise in this practice? Please be sure to explain your
opinions. You always want to support your arguments with logic and citations
from sound research sources. Respond to one other.
Question 2: Internal vs External Recruiting
To respond to this topic, you first want to define and
discuss INTERNAL vs. EXTERNAL recruitment practices. You want to demonstrate
your understanding of the pros and cons of each approach. Include in you
discussion an example of a situation in which each of these approaches might be
particularly effective. Be sure to conduct independent research and include an
expert’s ideas (with proper citations) to support your argument. Respond to one
Question 3: What haven’t we focused on? (Everyone responds)
There is a wealth of information available in our texts,
isn’t there? I cannot possibly ask you questions about every topic and concept
– but I want to make sure you know the material. For example, we didn’t talk
about INTERVIEWS and the various interviewing techniques an HRM can use. Then,
there are the important topics of NEGOTIATING with and PLACING employees, once
they have been hired!
For this last topic, I would ask you to select one of the
topics above or a topic that sparked your interest this week and summarize your
understanding about the topic. I would like to see at least two paragraphs in
which you explain your understanding about any aspect of the employee
recruitment and selection processes issues or techniques. Conduct
outside/independent research and include your sources. You get to choose your
focus. Respond to one other.

Week 4 discussion
Question 1: The Nature of Compensation (Everyone responds)
For our first question, take a moment to think about
compensation. What does compensation mean to you as an employee? Talk to your
colleagues at your workplace. What do they think about compensation – and how
well they are believe they are compensated. Are there issues? Is it really all
about money? Is there a psychic component to compensation for you or for them?
Conduct brief research and see what experts say is the effect of satisfied
employees on a company’s bottom-line.
Question 2: Benefits
Why do employers provide employee benefits, rather than
providing all compensation in the form of pay and letting employees purchase
the services they want? Of the benefits discussed in chapter 7, list the ones
you consider essential- that is, the benefits you would require in any job
offer. Why are these benefits important to you?
Question 3: Pay Systems
Define each concept below. Include in your discussion,
thoughts about the nuances or issues surrounding each concept and then
demonstrate how they relate to one another.
Pay Philosophy
Pay Grades
Pay Systems
Job Classifications

Week 5 discussion
Question 1: Defining training and understanding its strategic
At first glance, Week 5 content spans two seemingly
disparate functions – developing training and assessing employee performance.
The processes are defined and presented sequentially in your text. In reality,
the functions are more closely related than they seem in the sense that
assessing performance could identify a need for training, couldn’t it? Let’s
What I would like you to do for this first conference is to
think about training. What exactly is training? Please don’t parrot-back the
text definition!!!
Include in your discussion and explanation, your ideas about
WHY you think corporations spend billions of dollars every year to provide
training for their employees. And last, in your “definition”
discussion include your ideas about how training supports an organization’s
strategic goals and objectives. What does training do for an organization? Are
there really any benefits? Why or why not……?
Question 2: The Instructional Design Process
Your book refers to the Training Program Development Model
and provides a really nice graphic of the flow presented in Figure 8.6 on page
19. For years, I’ve known this process as the Instructional Design Process.
Whatever the title, the process flow is standard.
To respond to this topic, I would like you to discuss and
describe in detail the instructional design process or as our book refers to
it, the Program Development Model. Demonstrate your understanding of the
process. What are the major components? Why do trainers follow this process
flow? What are characteristics and/or consideration of each of component? Do
you think one stage is any more important than another? Be sure to explain your
answer and include citations from your research to support your ideas.
Question 3: Critique this Training Proposal (Everyone
Now that we have discussed the stages of training design
including the needs assessment, the design and the evaluation steps, I am
asking you to apply your knowledge and understanding. Review the following
proposed training design and then develop a critique of its effectiveness and
make your recommendations for improvement. Let’s do it!
Your analysis might be guided by the following questions:
What do you think is done well in the design and what suggestions do you have
for improving the training? Why? Do you think the design met the stated
training outcomes and is the evaluation as designed substantial enough? Are the
evaluation goals Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time Bound?
Imagine yourself as an attendee at the training. How effective would this
session be for you?
Your specific program analysis might include determining if
the right intended audience is included in the training, if their possible
learning styles have been taken into consideration, and if the goals and
objectives of the program are clear and appropriate. Is the delivery of the
program effective? Is the assessment of the training sufficient?
As an aside and a suggestion:
You might want to conduct supplemental research on Learning
Styles and Learning Style Preferences and include a review of the proposed
training as it meets/does not meet the learning style preferences of the
attendees. As we design our training content we need to include activities that
entice the various learning styles of our training audience.
There are five recognized learning styles but we usually
focus on just three: VISUAL, AUDITORY, and KINESTHETIC. Visual learners process
information best by reading the material. Auditory learners prefer to hear
their information. Kinesthetic learners like “hands-on” reinforcement
of the course ideas. Know that we cannot meet all of the preferences, all of
the time. Our goal as content developers is to recognize the varying
preferences and attempt to design specific exercises to meet each – when
possible. When you take HRMN 406, you will focus on this concept in more depth.
But if you’re interested, research the topic Learning Style Preferences and
Training Program: Safe Driving for Schools
Audience: 50 School bus drivers
Duration: 2 hours
Desired Outcomes:
– understand the potential dangers, risks, and statistics
associated with a variety of road safety issues
– avoid behaviors that may put students in danger while on
the school bus
– Flip chart
– Internet access
In a lecture, explain to trainees that according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the
leading cause of death among Americans up to 34 years old. Factors such as
alcohol, high-speed driving and other dangerous behaviors contribute to these
crashes. Most accidents could be avoided by following common safety practices.
On a flipchart, draw two columns for the “dos and don’ts” of
driving. Ask trainees to brainstorm about items for both lists.
Divide students into five groups, and assign one of the
following topics to each group to research on the Internet and then present to
the class:
– Impaired driving (DUI/DWI)

– Seat belts
– Speeding
– Distracted driving (such as driving while eating or talking
on a cell phone or texting)
– Drowsy driving
– Lack of knowledge, skills or abilities
– Equipment failures
Learning and Skill Evaluation: Trainees will take a multiple
choice question exam with 20 questions. They must get at least 17 correct in
order to pass the Safe Driving for Schools course.

Week 6 discussion
Question 1
Begin by defining Performance Management in your own words.
Next, identify three (3) of the performance issues discussed in the assigned
readings or that you’ve identified through your independent research. First
define each and then discuss the issues of each as they impact the performance
review process. How can an HRM mitigate each of the issues?
Don’t forget to include two references.
Question 2
Begin by defining Performance Management in your own words.
Next, identify three (3) best practices for a performance evaluation system
discussed in the assigned readings. Conduct a bit of independent research and
compare or contrast the ideas of at least one reference you find interesting.
As you develop your ideas be sure to include your thoughts
about which are the important aspects of an improvement plan and defend your
argument by explaining why they are so important.
Don’t forget to include your reference to support your
Question 3: What haven’t we focused on? (Everyone Responds)
There is a wealth of information available in our text and
in the literature! Similar to the situation in Week 3, I cannot possibly ask
you questions about every topic and concept – but I want to make sure you know
the material. For example, we didn’t talk about the new recommendation that
performance reviews be conducted more frequently – as in monthly.
For this last topic, I would ask you to select a topic that
sparked your interest this week and summarize your understanding about the
topic. I would like to see at least two paragraphs in which you explain your
understanding about any aspect of the employee performance management – whether
it’s ideas about the process issues, techniques, or procedures. Conduct
independent research and include your sources. You get to choose your focus.

Week 7 discussion
Question 1: Labor Unions: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em? (Everyone
Conduct an internet search and look for data on union
membership today in the US. What is the status of union membership today? What
are the experts saying about the need for the continuation of union activities
today? Is there one segment of the workforce that perhaps still might need
union protection? Compare and contrast ideas from two sources and then include
your informed thoughts about union activity today.
Question 2: Define and Describe OSHA
First, define and describe OSHA. In your definition, you
want to talk briefly about the purpose of OSHA efforts. Conduct a bit of
research and summarize possible strategies to reduce OSHA violations in a
particular industry or even in your organization. Can you share at least two
Question 3: Workplace bullying
Conduct research and identify examples of workplace bullying
in today’s workplaces. (The newspapers and journals are filled with scenarios!)
Select two examples and share the scenario specifics (briefly) and then develop
your thoughts about what could have been done to prevent them.
Have you or anyone you have worked with ever been bullied?
What did you do about it? Did you have an effective recourse for helping you
deal with the issue? Why is prevention such an important issue for today’s HRM?

Week 8 discussion
Question 1: Thoughts About Your Learning
Please take a moment to reflect on your thoughts about Human
Resources at the beginning of the semester. (Take the time to scroll through
your Weeks 1 and 2 responses.) Think about your learning over the course of the
semester. What has changed for you? Is there one concept or idea that’s most
important to you? Can you summarize the change in your learning and awareness
as the semester progressed?
Question 2: Achieving the course outcomes?
Our stated Course Outcomes are listed below. Do you believe
you have achieved the Course Outcomes? Is there one assignment or reading that
has contributed most to your learning? Is there one question or area of
interest you would like to have seen explored more?
After completing this course, you will be able to:
1.Apply current knowledge of human resource management to
work productively in an organization as part of, or in relationship with, the
human resource function
2.Demonstrate knowledge of and critically evaluate human
resource programs and make recommendations for improvement
3.Apply knowledge of workplace rules and regulations to
create a working environment that is safe, fair, and legally compliant

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