Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
Discover the strategic role of human resources in helping organizations gain competitive advantage. Learn to formulate policies and programs that support high performance through training, empowerment, and job design. Explore how economic, social, psychological, legal, and cultural forces influence employment relations. Gain expertise in areas related to recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, and job design.
Estimated time to completion may be less than 2 years, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call your enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence.
Students in this course explore contemporary management concepts and practices to gain a foundation for building the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective and ethical manager in a global and interconnected environment. Students examine and contrast management and leadership theories and practice. They also explore keys to success in the program, including setting goals; establishing priorities; managing time; communicating effectively and working in online settings; and giving, receiving, and using constructive feedback and reflection. Students are also provided with a brief introduction to Walden University, graduate studies at Walden and related processes and policies, the M.S. in Management program, and the essentials of scholarly writing.
Managers encounter a variety of challenges on a daily basis, which require the ability to employ existing tools and strategies to strategically communicate with individuals and the organization at large and to understand the different types of attitudes and values of others. Individuals with these skills are most successful when their efforts are coupled with the ability to think critically and analytically. Students are provided with the opportunity to improve their overall critical-thinking and reasoning skills within a managerial context. Using relevant management articles, case studies, and current topics analyses, students sharpen their diagnostic-reading skills and learn to construct effective, ethical, evidence-based arguments, which are fundamental capabilities of effective managers. They also examine common fallacies in thinking and reasoning as well as the rhetorical use of language to formulate convincing and effective arguments.
Effective business practice requires the ability to handle important negotiations, from internal disputes to international mergers, as well as the knowledge of methods and tools to prevent, manage, and break inherent conflict. Students in this course explore the challenges of managing people in times of perceived conflict and dispute, and they work toward developing skills to identify different types of conflict situations. They engage in hands-on, practical exercises in general contingency thinking and action approaches, negotiation and bargaining strategies, and communication styles designed to help them resolve conflicts and move toward win-win outcomes.
Business managers possess an important role in developing the people for whom they are responsible and in creating and sustaining effective teams in complex and diverse organizational settings. Students in this course explore this role while focusing on developing skills and knowledge required to obtain the best performance from individuals in order to achieve goals and create positive environments. They also consider and discuss the ethical and legal implications of managing individuals and teams. Students examine the challenges of managing a diverse workforce, including issues that arise from cross-cultural differences and virtual work settings. Through this course, students learn the importance of communication as a tool to manage internal and external relationships and practice their communication skills to prepare for an effective role in management.
Today’s business environment is constantly evolving to accommodate changes in economy, leadership, new regulations, and internal reduction and growth. Organizations require leaders who know how to work through barriers to effect positive and efficient organizational change. Students in this course learn about situations that constitute and require such change. They engage in a variety of assignments through which they explore effective strategies for initiating change and anchoring change into corporate culture to achieve organizational goals as well as for managing unplanned or unwelcome change. Students explore a variety of approaches and methods to transition individuals and organizations within evolving environments. They distinguish between reactive responses and proactive responses to change and examine the implications of culture, inertia, and uncertainty. Additionally, students explore the importance of understanding motivation and effective communication in mitigating negative reactions to change and facilitating the change process itself.
Leaders in business must often take creative approaches to solve problems. Systems thinking is a popular method of problem solving because it allows leaders to see how problems interrelate and influence one another, which often leads to optimal, sustainable solutions. Students in this course can expand their perception of problem solving and stimulate positive social change on important global issues by exploring systems thinking as a process whereby problems are viewed as individual components within a larger system. The course provides a framework for analyzing relationships within a system and for avoiding the risks associated with viewing problems in isolation. Students use systems thinking tools to model single-, double-, and multiple-loop feedback systems, at the micro and macro levels of analysis. In addition, students learn about scenario building and examine how the practice of systems thinking provides a foundation for creating sustainable outcomes for organizations and society.
There are multiple approaches to practical managerial problem solving that are rooted in the systematic collection, analysis, and display of relevant data and information. In this course, students examine the importance of data, beginning with the process of transforming information into data, and then focusing on the best methods for presenting data. Students evaluate common misinterpretations or errors in working with data and determine how to detect data presented in a deceptive manner. Students explore the basic tools used by quality, Six Sigma, and lean-method practitioners. They learn how they can use these analytical-thinking practices to improve their general managerial decision-making skills. They also practice their communication skills through small group discussions on a variety of topics, such as the relationship between data and information, effective problem-solving attitudes and capabilities, production processes, data deception, and survey sampling.
Managing business processes often involves careful planning and forecasting, taking into account many factors, such as expenses, investments, and often times, unforeseen financial obligations. Students in this course explore the role of budgeting and resource allocation along with related processes within the organizational context. They examine processes related to managing budgets and strategies to read and communicate effectively the often complex financial information related to unit and organizational performance. Students also explore and discuss the implications of resource availability as well as methods to plan for and prioritize the use of resources, while considering ethical issues related to sustainability and resource scarcity.
In this course, students focus on the challenges and opportunities for managers to create value and to increase organizational performance. Building on concepts, such as skill-based strategy and human capital development, the theory of constraints, and value innovation, students explore and exercise various strategic-thinking perspectives and tools designed to improve and sustain organization-wide performance. Students also evaluate the different stages through which organizations transition to failure and examine methods for recognizing and halting negative trends.
Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to synthesize management content, theory, and practice to create their personal visions and goals. Students assess existing research and methods, reflect on their current approach to management, and purposefully plan for a future as a management professional who affects positive change. Students produce individual treatises that include essays on their values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses, which serve as a foundation for continued professional growth and development; thus, students become better equipped to meet the management challenges of an uncertain tomorrow.
One of the most important assets of an organization is its talent, in other words, its human capital. However, too often there is little planning or strategy applied to the creation and management of this huge asset. In this course, students have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to create and work effectively within a talent management and planning process. They explore recruiting strategies within a human capital development context and focus on building specific skills in managing an organization's talent through position planning, talent selection and placement, and retention. Using industry best practices, students also engage in applications and group projects to practice developing initiatives that align with organizational strategies.
Understanding the specific value of the human resource (HR) capital of an organization is crucial. Metrics for HR management provide the tools for both measuring human capital value and for overseeing and managing an organization's human resources. Students in this course explore HR metrics as tools for organizational and individual performance improvement. They work toward establishing a foundation for the effective deployment of performance metrics as part of the recruitment, training and development, and retention of human resources. Students learn which metrics to employ and how to manage the results, a pivotal responsibility of HR managers. Students in this course are provided with the tools to make informed decisions required to create, apply, interpret, and manage results of appropriate metrics as an HR professional.
Performance management is a set of practices and processes that creates career opportunities to attract appropriate resources, establishes an environment that nurtures individual productivity and development, and smoothly transitions individuals to their next position or organization. Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to address these three key sets of processes. They practice writing job descriptions, selecting the right employees, developing skill-based performance standards, effecting relevant onboarding programs, and implementing educational and training programs intended to drive the success of employees and the organization as a whole. They explore how to maximize employee productivity through structured feedback, coaching, reflective performance development conversations, effective compensation models, employee recognition programs, and career development paths. Students also examine ways to improve performance management systems by integrating feedback from the exit interviews of valued employees.
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