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MPS Curriculum

The MPS curriculum provides an overview of the major schools of thought in the field of industrial and labor relations, with a particular emphasis on the different theoretical, historical and empirical approaches to the study of the workplace. The purpose of this program is not simply to build management skills, but to strengthen students’ critical, analytical and research skills. Weekly lectures, seminar discussions and a major research project will give students an opportunity to broaden their intellectual base and further their understanding of today’s workplace issues.

Collective Bargaining

The collective bargaining course focuses on collective representation and negotiation. Critical issues in modern collective bargaining are examined, including the historical development of the US system of collective bargaining; a global view of comparative collective representation; labor-management negotiation; and dispute resolution in the workplace.

Human Resource Management

Techniques for the management of workers are discussed. Topics include comparing and contrasting different approaches to human resources decisions in different environments; alternatives for staffing and development of workers; compensation and reward systems; and employee relations and the evolution of modern human resource management.

Labor Economics

This course applies the principles of economic theory to labor markets, work organizations, and their environments. The concepts of labor economics will be studied, including the basic elements of supply and demand in the labor market; "new personnel economics" - the economic issues that relate to selecting, training, assigning, motivating and compensating workers; and key institutions and economic security issues such as unemployment, pensions, disability, discrimination and unions. Students will learn to analyze both business and public policy problems, taking into account basic principles of economic theory and the relevant institutional environments.

Organizational Behavior

This course applies theories and methods from the behavioral sciences to the analysis of behavior in organizations. Areas of study include classical and modern theories of organizations and their underlying assumptions about human nature; the relationship between organizations and their environment; leadership and culture; and the role of power, politics and decision making in organizations.

Labor and Employment Law and Policy

A survey of the law governing labor relations and discrimination in the workplace. Also considered is the government’s influence on the workplace: the role of public policy in the utilization and preparation of the nation’s human resources for employment; government’s historical role in the labor market; the effect of efficiency, price stability and economic growth; equity; and immigration policy and its market implications.

Research Methods

Students learn basic skills for conducting qualitative and survey research. First, students will work through an introductory/review course at home, on their own time. After passing an exam, students will attend a two-week "immersion" course in Ithaca, taught by the on-campus Statistics faculty in the summer.  Topics covered include: Introduction to surveys, introduction to discrete data analysis, basic regression, and integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods.


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