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375597: Elements of Human Resources Management
MGMT-X 450

  • Fall 2020
  • Section 1
  • 4 Credits
  • 10/05/2020 to 12/06/2020
  • Modified 07/29/2020


This course provides an overview of and introduction to the basic human resources management (HRM) functions: employment, employee relations, training and development, compensation, benefits, and human resources information systems (HRIS). Topics include the various aspects of designing and structuring an HRM/personnel department, the history and future of HRM, the changing nature of work, the relationships of HRM functions, the current legal environment in which HRM operates, sources for obtaining answers to most operational HRM problems, and an exploration of HRM as a career.


This course is designed to help you explore Human Resources as a career and acquire the skills necessary to develop and administer effective Human Resources policies and programs in any kind of organization of any size anywhere. 

The term "Human Resources" applies to the relationship between an organization and its workers.  Larger organizations often have Human Resource Departments, but all organizations,even households, perform human resource functions in order to get the work done.  Typically this class includes participants with professional Human Resources experience and participants who don't have any professional HR experience at all.  However, its a rare participant who's never held a job of any kind.  Being on the receiving end of HR policies and programs provides HR experience from a worker's point of view.  Participants without professional Human Resources experience are often surprised at how much they already know about HR.


 When you've successfully completed this course, you'll be able to:

  • describe how all effective Human Resources policies and programs support the mission and culture of the organizations where they operate
  • explain the impact of different methods of task assignment on organizational success
  • design and administer Human Resources policies and programs that attract, select, and retain the employees needed at a price the organization can afford and that build on and support one another
  • use effective HR administrative systems
  • identify the legal requirements common to all US Human Resources programs and the legal requirements specific to different organizational locations



There is no required textbook for this class.  Lectures are provided within each topic module.

There are plenty of good Human Resources textbooks available.  All of them express their authors' points of view about what's important.  The lectures provided in this class express your instructor's point of view about what's important to consider in order to have an effective Human Resources function.  The lectures include traditional HR topics, such as recruiting and compensation, and broader organizational topics, such as job design.  

Class Structure

This course is based on the exchange of information and ideas.  Each week's assignments include:

  • a lecture about the topic including suggestions for further topic exploration
  • discussion questions for you to answer 
  • discussion among all of us about the topic 
  • a weekly paper intended to give you the opportunity to relate what you’ve learned to a fictional organization.

Class Environment

This class is more like a group conversation than it is like a traditional classroom.  We all learn from each other, so please don't hesitate to ask questions or expand on the topics.  My goal as an instructor is to have you accomplish all the course objectives.


Discussion questions, discussion participation, and weekly papers

You'll demonstrate that you've accomplished the course objectives in three different ways:

  1. Answer the discussion questions shown in each week’s assignments. Almost all of the questions ask you to relate how the organization where you work or one that you’re familiar with handles the aspect of HR under discussion. Because every organization handles HR issues somewhat differently, answers to the discussion questions can help you to understand the diversity of effective approaches. 
  2. Ask questions about the answers that your class colleagues give to discussion questions. Comment on their answers by providing examples from your own experience or from the media. 
  3. Complete a 1-2 page weekly paper based on the application of the week’s topic to a fictional organization.  



Points are earned for posted work.  The total number of points you earn during the class determines your course grade.  There's a maximum possible total of 100 points.

  • Answers to the weekly discussion questions are assessed according to how well you demonstrate that you understand the topic and can apply the topic to an organization you're familiar with.  There are a total of 20 discussion questions for the course for a maximum point total of 30 points.
  • The questions, comments, and articles that you post to the class discussion are assessed according to their value in helping to broaden and deepen participants' understanding of Human Resources.  You have a maximum of four opportunities each week to earn points for your questions, comments, and articles related to the week's class discussion.  A maximum point total of 27 points may be earned for discussion during the class.  
  • A maximum of 1 participation point will be earned for each class week when you participate in the class discussion on at least two separate days of the class week.  A maximum point total of 9 participation points may be earned.  
  • Weekly papers are assessed according to how well they demonstrate your ability to relate the known facts of the case, reasonable assumptions based on the facts, and the HR topic under discussion.  Weekly papers are worth a maximum point total of 34 points.  

Work posted within the inclusive dates of the class week when the topic was assigned is eligible to receive the maximum possible number of points.  The inclusive dates of our class weeks are shown in the Schedule section later in this syllabus.  Make up work will be accepted with the understanding that work posted after the class week when the topic was assigned is unlikely to earn as many points as would have been granted if the work had been posted during that class week.  The weekly participation points can't be made up.


100 points
to 94 points
< 94 points
to 90 points
< 90 points
to 87 points
< 87 points
to 84 points
< 84 points
to 80 points
< 80 points
to 77 points
< 77 points
to 74 points
< 74 points
to 70 points
< 70 points

Course Policies

Doing well in this class

People participate in this class for all sorts of reasons, but if your reason for enrolling is to learn something new and receive a high course grade, you'll need to keep up with the work.  We cover many elements of the broad field of Human Resources in a limited time period and the class needs to move along.  You'll be rewarded for posting your answers to the discussion questions, participating in the class discussions, and submitting your weekly papers during the class week when the topic was assigned (see Schedule below) by being eligible for the maximum possible number of points for your postings.

Requirements for posts

Posts need to be informative and worded respectfully. Because this is a business course, please use real words in your posts as though you were writing them at work.  If you include work that's not your own original work, include an attribution.

Make up work

Work will be accepted any time while the course is running with the understanding that you're unlikely to earn as many points for make up work as you would have had the work been posted during the class week when the topic was assigned (see Schedule below).  Because the purpose of the weekly participation point is to encourage lively discussion of each topic during the class week when each was assigned, the weekly participation point can't be made up.

Extensions and Extra Credit

Because the entire course is available to you when the class begins, I'm not inclined to grant requests for extensions or opportunities for extra credit.  The course is available 24 hours a day for 9 weeks.  Please use your time wisely.

Planning Your Study Time

What you get out of this class depends in large part on how much effort and time you're willing to put into it.  Because our class discussions are such an important part of the class, posting your answers to the week's discussion questions, asking questions or commenting on what your class colleagues have posted or posting articles that can broaden and deepen our understanding of the topic tend to be more valuable to the class if they're posted earlier in the class week.  Participation in the class discussion on more than one day during the class week when the topic was assigned is strongly recommended and is rewarded by earning a weekly participation point.


Institutional Policies

Student Conduct

Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others or violation of others' copyrights. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with policy provisions which proscribe these and other forms of misconduct at:

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UCLA Extension provides appropriate accommodations and support services to qualified applicants and students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids/services such as sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals, extended time for and proctoring of exams, and registration assistance. Accommodations and types of support services vary and are specifically designed to meet the disability-related needs of each student based on current, verifiable medical documentation. Arrangements for auxiliary aids/services are available only through UCLA Extension’s Service for Students with Disabilities Office at (310) 825-7851 or by email at [email protected]. For complete information see:


Your instructor may post the interim grade Incomplete/I if at the end of the class your overall work is of passing quality but a portion could not be submitted for understandable reasons (e.g. illness). It is your responsibility to petition your instructor for permission to submit work late and to provide an explanation, and it is his or her sole decision whether to accept the explanation. If permitted, the Incomplete/I grade will be posted and a time frame defined for you to submit the missing work, ranging from one to twelve weeks. Incomplete/I grades that remain unchanged after twelve weeks will lapse to F, NP or U. Receiving an I grade entitles you to submit only the missing work your instructor has agreed to accept late, and does not allow other work to be retaken or oblige UCLA Extension to provide continuing access to course materials via Canvas. The Incomplete/I grade is not an option for courses that do not bear credit, such as 700, 800, or 900-level courses. For complete information, see:

All Grades are Final

No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates our policy.

All Extension students and instructors who believe they have been sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Department of Student and Alumni Services for complaint resolution: UCLA Extension, Suite 113, 10995 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Voice/TTY: (310) 825-7031. View the University’s full Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence at

Additional Items

Course and Instructor Evaluation

UCLA Extension values your feedback on course and instructor evaluations. We ask all students to take a few minutes to complete an end-of-course evaluation survey. Updates to the course and instruction are influenced by your feedback. Understanding your student experience is essential to ensure continuing excellence in the online classroom and is appreciated by your instructor and the UCLA Extension academic leadership.

Your participation in a survey is voluntary, and your responses are confidential. After instructors submit grades, they will be given an evaluation report, but this report will not contain your name.

About Your Online Course Materials

Please note the following about online course components at UCLA Extension:

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the technical requirements of Canvas and familiarizing themselves with the Canvas Learning Management System.
  • Students are responsible for keeping a copy of all assignments and work submitted, and to be aware of all assignments, due dates, and course guidelines.
  • Students are encouraged to keep and/or download a local copy of their assignment files, as access to the online environment of a specific course is limited to 30 days after the final course date, as listed in the course catalog.

    If you need assistance downloading student materials from your course, please contact Canvas Support or the UCLA Extension Learning Support Team.

UCLA Extension Canvas and Learning Support

For immediate 24/7 Canvas technical support, including holidays, click on Help (located on the menu to the left) where you can call or chat live with a Canvas Support representative.

UCLA Extension Instructional Design and Learning Support
The UCLA Extension Learning Support staff assists both students and instructors with Canvas-related technical support, as well as general and administrative questions.

Learning Support staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM (Pacific Time), except holidays:





Week One

10/5 - 10/11

Organizational Mission & Culture

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper 


Week Two

10/12 - 10/18

Getting the Work Done

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Three

10/19 - 10/25

Recruitment & Selection Part I: Recruitment

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Four

10/26 - 11/1

Recruitment &Selection Part II:  Selection

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Five

11/2 - 11/8

 Training and Development

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Six

11/9 - 11/15

Compensation Part I:  Wages and Salaries

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Seven

11/16 - 11/22

Compensation Part II: Employee Benefits

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Eight

11/23 - 11/29

Employee Relations

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper


Week Nine

11/30 - 12/6

HR in Multinational Organizations

    -  Answer discussion questions
    -  Participate in discussion
    -  Submit weekly paper