Cornell University

Lee Dyer : Teaching


  • HR6600 HR Leadership: Views From the Top

  • HR6620 Agility and Complexity in Organizations

HR 6600: HR Leadership: Views From the Top (Graduate Course)

This hands-on course offers students a unique opportunity to learn about strategic business and human resource issues from the perspectives of senior human resource executives.  During the semester five Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) from major corporations meet with the class for lively give-and-take sessions on subjects of strategic and topical interest to their corporations.  Before the CHRO's visits, student teams prepare background papers on them, their companies, and the topics they have chosen for the teams to work on.  Students discuss these papers on a timely basis to assure readiness to address the issues at hand when the CHROs come to class.  During the CHRO's visits, the teams host them and usually have an opportunity to interact informally with them as well.  After the visits, the teams revise their background papers into white papers that reflect insights gained from their research and class discussions.  Subsequently, the five white papers are assembled in a book that is shared with the CHROs and others.

HR6620: Agility and Complexity in Organizations (Undergraduate)

Increasingly, companies find themselves either by choice or chance competing in tumultuous environments leading them to search for new ways of enhancing their adaptability, nimbleness, resilience, or agility.  Most focus on flexing their basic bureaucracies and the first part of the course explores these efforts.  A few, though, are tentatively exploring the desirability/feasibility of using tenets derived from complexity science to create new organizational forms that are capable of driving continuous innovation in the marketplace with experiencing major upheavals.  The remaining two-thirds of the course, then, focuses on these efforts.  At this point, the pedagogy shifts from traditional to experiential.  Through self-organization, participants are provided opportunities not only to experiment with new organizational forms, but also to feel first-hand what life in them is like.  By the end of the course, students should be prepared to become knowledgeable forces for organizational transformation in the 21 st century.