The Spachman Professor of HR & Labor Relations, University of Rhode Island



 November 2016. With Randy Tinseth (Cornell Eng '81), VP of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, before his guest appearance in my Airline Service and Operation Management graduate course at Cornell University.

November 2016. With Randy Tinseth (Cornell Eng '81), VP of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, before his guest appearance in my Airline Service and Operation Management graduate course at Cornell University.

Human Resource Management

WHERE: Rutgers U; New Mexico State U
LEVEL: Undergraduate, Graduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "Human Resource (HR) Management is a critical function in all types of organizations. While many of the tasks associated with HR management are centered in a firm’s HR Department, all supervisors and managers have responsibility for effectively managing employees. This course covers the broad range of topics associated with HR management from the perspectives of (1) the HR professional and the formal organizational HR function, (2) managers and supervisors anywhere in the firm, and (3) employees… The course familiarizes students who hope to become managers or team leaders during their careers with some of the HR management issues they will ultimately come into contact with, such as motivating employees, training and developing people, managing employee performance, and the supply and demand of labor. From a broader perspective, this course also provides a cursory integration of several policy issues prevalent in work organizations, including health care and pension stability, and the immigrant workforce in America, among others."

Airline Service & Operation Management

WHERE: Cornell U
LEVEL: Graduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "This course provides an overview of air transportation, with a focus on the airline industry and airline management. Most course content will revolve around aviation in the U.S., although some international topics will be discussed. The first few weeks will be spent learning core concepts and terms of airline management, the historical development of the airline industry, the regulatory environment of aviation, and other foundational topics. Then, the majority of the course will emphasize learning and applying industry methods for network (route) planning, schedule planning, pricing, revenue management, and fleet planning. Every student will do this in a hands-on way using actual industry data and methods (students will have individual log-on credentials to an actual database product used by air carriers to obtain passenger traffic, fare, scheduling, and other information). In the final few weeks of instruction we will cover all or some of the following topics, as time permits and as student interest dictates: aviation labor relations (including the Railway Labor Act); air cargo; airline financing; airport management; and aircraft maintenance, repair & overhaul (or MRO)."

Introduction to Management

WHERE: U of New Mexico; Cornell U
LEVEL: Undergraduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "We are all affected by management in some way. Not only do managers and management impact our personal experiences while working as employees within organizations, but we also feel the influence of managerial and organizational decision-making as consumers of products and services, as residents in our communities and cities, and in practically every other aspect of our lives… This course provides an introductory look into the concept of management, particularly its role as a primary activity within the larger context of business and work organizations. In the early weeks we’ll set the stage by defining and describing what management is and why it matters, discussing the roles managers play in employee achievement and organizational performance, and reviewing the evolution of management theories, viewpoints, and thought. Then, we’ll carefully consider some environmental and contextual influences on managerial practice, such as governance structures, stakeholder interests, ethics and corporate social responsibility, diversity, and regional economic cooperation and globalization. We’ll devote the majority of our time together deep-diving into the four traditional functions of management – planning, organizing, leading, and controlling."

Organizational Behavior and Diversity

WHERE: U of New Mexico
LEVEL: Undergraduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "Organizational Behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and organizational structures and systems have on human behavior within organizations. Factors such as individual motivation and personality, group communication and decision-making processes, and organizational culture and diversity all affect the way people behave at work. In turn, these behaviors can influence individual-level outcomes such as worker satisfaction, group-level outcomes such as team effectiveness, and organization-level outcomes such as firm productivity and performance. This course will review key concepts, models, and theories of OB, helping you to understand the role that OB plays in the world of work."

Dynamics of Work and Work Organizations

WHERE: Rutgers U
LEVEL: Undergraduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "Workplaces have changed in fundamental, and sometimes contradictory, ways over the last few decades. On one hand there has been an enormous growth in teamwork, involvement, communication, and other forms of “empowerment.” On the other hand, there has been an increase in restructuring and layoffs, even among white-collar or unionized employees who had long been secure. This course will examine the “dynamics” of these developments; that is, how they are experienced in daily work. We will focus less on organizational structures, and more on the functioning of teams and on work relations. The course has two major parts. The first part will deal with the dynamics of traditional “blue-collar” and front-line sales and service work; the second with managerial and professional work. We will look at a number of cases of work reform, including quality circles, autonomous teams, and total quality management. We will discuss both the large organizational and social implications, and the more immediate questions of how to work most effectively in these environments. We will also examine in detail how to create effective teamwork. Finally, we will also consider how unions have responded to contemporary workplace developments."

International and Comparative Labor Relations

WHERE: Universidad de La Salle (Bogotá, Colombia)
LEVEL: Undergraduate

FROM THE SYLLABUS: "Globalization is a driving force in the today’s world economy, influencing: (1) the ways in which work is experienced by individuals and how workers respond to increasing change in their work environments, (2) the various strategies of human resource and labor management adopted by employers, and (3) the roles played by the state in employment relations, and the development of national models of employment relations. This course provides an introduction to employment relations systems in several selected world economies. In this way, our approach will be “international.” For each country, we will examine labor relations issues from the perspectives of workers, firms, and the state. Additionally, our readings and discussions of each national employment relations system will be continually compared to and contrasted with others so that we are better able to understand, and critically appraise the effectiveness of, country-specific industrial relations responses at the worker, firm, and state levels. In doing so, our approach is also “comparative.” Before focusing on individual countries, the course begins with an introduction to the field of employment relations itself. At multiple times throughout the course, while discussing individual country employment relations systems, we will also examine the impact and influence of supra-national regulatory bodies, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO)."