In the early twentieth century, when employees began to speak out against unsafe or unfair work environments, unions began to emerge. These organizations advocated for the interests of employees – who felt (and often were) abused by managers and owners. Over time, while unions have in fact been instrumental in changing workplace conditions and legislation, there have also been instances of abuse of power and inequity within unions. Whether unions work with management or against management would be an interesting conversation. Union contracts have to be negotiated and renegotiated regularly, and not too infrequently we read news reports of strikes (work stoppages) used as a threat to move a negotiation along. However, negative implications of strikes affect more than just employees. The exercises which follow provide students with opportunities to learn more about unions and bargaining/negotiation.
Monica Forret, Lakshmi Balachandra and Smriti Anand
Sheri B. Schulte, Avi Kay, Denise Potosky and Monika Renard
Many organizations operate on autopilot. An employee leaves the organization and a new employee is hired to replace him or her. This practice may be efficient, but it might not be effective. What if technology plays a more significant role in the position than it did when it was previously conceived? What if several of the required tasks are no longer needed? What if the need for the position has changed drastically, or if a new position must be created, rendering a previous job description useless? Simply refilling the job without considering these kinds of changes in the environment could end in disaster. An apparent short cut to save time and money could in fact lead to hiring the wrong person for the wrong job, robbing the individual and the organization from effectively utilizing a valuable human resource. In this chapter, students are exposed to four exercises that afford them opportunities to perform a job analysis, determine job specifications, and create a new job description. With this experience, students learn first-hand the importance of job analysis and design, from both individual and organizational perspectives.
Scott J. Behson, Vicki R. Whiting, Suzanne C. de Janasz, Deb Cohen and Gary Stark
The following exercises don’t fit neatly into one chapter; instead, they feature, and often integrate, multiple HR concepts. Some, like the first two exercises, can be used across the entire semester, enabling students to learn and apply HR concepts across a variety of situations.
Beth Zuech Schneider, Vicki R. Whiting, Nicholas D. Rhew and Arlise McKinney
Borders are disappearing, and employees work side by side with other employees from around the world. As more organizations enter new markets and new countries, they need to expatriate talents into foreign lands, and hire locals. Both of these processes require a great deal of information gathering and analysis of various countries’ laws, customs, cultures, and labor supply. Understanding and overcoming the challenges of managing employees in the global workplace is the focus of the following exercises.
Robyn Berkley, Lynn Bowes, Stacie Chappell, Suzanne C. de Janasz and Jason Myrowitz
In theory, the golden rule should apply to the way in which humans are treated by other humans: Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. In practice, however, this concept is affected by differences in values, culture, belief systems, and the unequal distribution of power. The expectation that workers are treated fairly, and with respect, is occasionally violated in organizations. Over the years, these violations have been debated, and developed into laws which are intended to protect the parties bound by an employment contract (discussed in the next chapter). Beyond law and legislative acts, there are expectations for ethical and socially responsible behavior, however these expectations are difficult to define – within a culture and, even more so, across different cultures. However, students of HR should be able to understand and apply frameworks for determining the degree to which behavior of individuals and organizations is ethical and socially responsible. The exercises contained in this chapter – ranging from a case on ethics in HR policy to a reflective exercise on how it feels to act in a socially responsible manner – offer students opportunities to apply frameworks to a variety of situations.
Colette A. Frayne, Mary B. Teagarden, Elisabeth K. Kelan, Victoria Mattingly, Kevin M. Walters, Katrina Thompson, Susan Dustin, Elizabeth A. Cooper, Robyn Berkley, Diana Smrt and Gary Stark
Many countries have enacted a set of laws designed to protect individuals and groups from discrimination, for example on the basis of race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation. Such laws help to ensure equal or fair treatment. In this chapter, we have attempted to focus on the application of such laws, as opposed to clarifying them in specific terms. The eight exercises build student awareness of conscious and unconscious biases and how they can result in unfair, illegal, or discriminatory treatment of individuals and groups. The exercises are designed to be delivered in-class and beyond, encouraging interaction with people out of class, who acknowledge an identity that differs from each student in some way. These kinds of experiential activities also encourage personal reflection and meaningful, deep learning.
Jeffrey A. Mello, Joy Turnheim Smith, Beverly J. De Marr, Joseph Seltzer, Vicki Fairbanks Taylor, Cristina Arroyo, Madeline Crocitto and Jason Myrowitz
Even when selection, training, and performance appraisal symptoms work well, conflicts which require intervention and, sometimes, disciplinary action, inevitably arise. Humans are not always kind to one another in their family homes … let alone inside a workplace. What are the nature and origin of typical organizational conflicts? What kinds of issues can be avoided or placed on hold, and which ones require immediate intervention from management or HR? This chapter features eight diverse exercises that explore issues of discrimination, harassment, and even termination.
Ellen A. Ensher, Madeline Crocitto and Monika Renard
What should employees be paid, and what benefits should they receive? How much are they worth, and what are ways to measure this? And what are some of the challenges of getting compensation right … and what happens when you don’t? The exercises included here provide a variety of opportunities for students to analyze and apply tools to achieve an equitable approach to paying employees. In addition, several exercises enable students to critically analyze and be able to negotiate what they’re worth.