HR Mgmt and Strategy

The purpose of this unit is to strengthen my understanding of human resources management and strategy.  Approximately half of my studies will focus on core human resources activities, including recruitment/staffing, training, compensation/benefits, payroll systems, employee relations, and performance management.  The other half of this unit will focus on human resources strategy, including performance, culture, mission/vision development, succession planning, mentoring/coaching, and assessment.  The overarching theme of this unit will be the role of managers and how they can develop and implement effective practices that support organizational objectives.

  1. Human Resources Management
  2. Human Resources Strategy
  3. Organizational Analysis & Assessments
  4. Appreciative Inquiry

I’ve designed this unit with the kind input of Arturo Fisher, Principal of Global Reward Solutions, and various MBA professors at the University of Notre Dame.  This unit is composed of graded online courses, independent reading, short-term projects/case studies, and a (hopefully) published academic case study from my work at Joma Bakery Cafe. All of my work will be documented in my online portfolio, subject to disclosure requirements and approval from the parties involved.

Online Courses:

  1. “Organizational Analysis” (Stanford – September 2012) – Prof. McFarland
  2. “Delivering Happiness – Zappos Workshop” (October 2012) – Jenn Lim

Core Texts:

  1. Appreciative Inquiry Commons
  2. Center for AI
  3. Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner
  4. Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager by Carol T. Kulik. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
  5. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  6. Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  7. Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success by Dean Spitzer


  1. “Why We Hate HR” by Hammonds
  2. “Getting 360 Degree Feedback Right” by Maury A. Peiperl
  3. “Putting People First” by Pfeffer and Veiga
  4. “A Market-Driven Approach to Retaining Talent” by Peter Cappelli
  5. “The War for Talent 1998 Fast Company” , “The War for Talent 2012 1998 McKinsey”“Winning the War for Talent in Local Markets 2012 McKinsey”
  6. “Psychological Contracts in the Workplace” by Rousseau
  7. “Hiring for the Organization, Not the Job” by Bowen
  8. “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill” by Carbonara
  9. “The New-Boy Network” by Gladwell 
  10. “Making Differences Matter” by Thomas & Eli
  11. “The Alternative Workplace” by Apgar
  12. “They’re Not Employees, They’re People” by Drucker
  13. “The Disposable Worker” by Coy
  14. “Purpose: How Truly Great Leaders Measure Their Companies” by Reiman
  15. On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B” by Kerr
  16. “Six Dangerous Myths About Pay” by Pfeffer 
  17. “A Better Way to Deliver Bad News” by Manzoni
  18. “For Gen Xers, It’s Work to Live” by Chao
  19. “The Science Behind the Smile” by Gilbert
  20. “How to Motivate Your Problem People” by Nicholson
  21. “The New Science of Building Great Teams” by Pentland


  1. Human Resources Association (National Capital Area) –

Case Study (Based on University of Notre Dame MBA Course):

  1. HR and Organizational Strategy – “Identify a specific company that you wish to study.  Define as best you can the strategy of that company.  Then choose a minimum of 2-3 human resource practice (e.g., specific practices from categories such as giving recruiting, selection, performance management, compensation) on which you will conduct research to see how they are related to the company’s strategy.  You will present how the practices support the company’s strategy, an assessment of the pros and cons of the practices, and a recommendation about how the practices can be improved.” – To be shared publicly on my blog


  1. Complete two online courses related to human resources strategy
  2. Complete two short-term human resources management projects
  3. Attend one training course on appreciative inquiry (or similar participatory organizational assessment framework)
  4. Complete and publish Joma Bakery Café case study (relates to organizational analysis and appreciative inquiry process)
  5. Write blog reflections about books, articles and other readings

Support Needed:

  1. Finding a mentor in human resources management and strategy
  2. Finding low-cost trainings/courses related to human resources strategy and organizational assessment/analysis

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