IRL101-Introduction to Industrial Relations Cliff Donn
Spring 2002 Office R-228 Ext. 4339

TOPICS: The principal objective of this course is to introduce students to the basic subject matter that constitutes the field of industrial relations and human resource management. This includes such issues as why people work and how they feel about their work, how managers attempt to motivate and direct employees, how the law regulates work and the workplace, and the ways in which workers attempt to improve the conditions of their working lives. For purposes of comparison, there will also be  discussion of industrial relations and human resource management arrangements in overseas countries.

SOURCES: The principal texts for the course will be Volume I of the Journal Perspectives on Work, and Fred H. Maidment, Human Resources 01/02 . Additional readings will come from Clark Kerr and Paul D. Staudohar, Industrial Relations in a New Age, which is on reserve in the library.  Other reading materials will be on reserve in the library or will be provided as handouts. Students should expect to do reserve reading in the library on a regular basis.

REQUIREMENTS: All students will take a comprehensive final examination on Monday, May 13, at 1:30 p.m..  In addition here will be one mid-term examination and four "readings" quizzes.  The dates for all these are on the schedule on page 3 of this syllabus.  The quizzes will each take about twenty-five minutes (half of the class on that day).  The mid-term examination will take a complete class.  There will be no make-up exams.  If you miss a quiz or a mid-term you can make that material up on the final exam.  You may also use the final exam to replace any of the quizzes and/or the mid-term if you are not happy with your grade.  However, if you do the part of the final that replaces a quiz or the mid-term, you will receive whatever grade you get on the final, whether it is higher or lower.  On the other hand, if you are content with your grades on the quizzes and mid-term, then you can skip the parts of the final exam that would replace these.  Put differently, all of the quizzes and the mid-term are optional (except that everyone must take at least one quiz and freshmen must take the first quiz).  However, if you choose to take the quizzes and mid-term, then you will have the choice of doing only the remaining part of the final exam or using the final exam to try to improve your grade.

There will also be a term paper.  See the separate handout on term-paper writing.  The readings quizzes will each count 5% of your grade.  The mid-term exam will count 20% of your grade.  The term paper will count either 20% of your grade or 30% of your grade as you choose.  You will have to make that choice when you hand in the paper's thesis and conclusions.  The final exam will count for the rest but will count for more if you have missed the mid-term or any quizzes or if you choose to "retake" the part of the final for certain quizzes or the mid-term.

There will be internet and other computer work assigned periodically. Timely and accurate completion of that work is required to receive a passing grade in the course.  There will be a small percentage added to each student's grade if all internet assignments are completed correctly and on time.

Regular class attendance and participation in class discussion are required. Students who attend class and are prepared for discussion on a daily basis can expect these facts to be reflected in their grades. The inverse is also true.  Students who miss more than one class during the semester can expect that to have an adverse effect on their grade.  For purposes of this course, an e-mail sent to your groupwise account on the college's computer system constitutes official communication and notification.  Please check your groupwise mail regularly.

If you have a documented disability and you wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the instructor within the first week of class.


Please use this schedule to plan your reading which should be done before the relevant class.
TOPICS DATES * indicates quiz that day
I. Course Introduction Jan 14,16
II. The World of Work  
-- A. Nature of Work Jan 18
-- B. Quality of Work Life Jan 23,25
-- C. Industrial Relations Systems Jan 28
III. Public Policy  
-- A. Employment Law Jan 30*, Feb 1,4,6
-- B. Discrimination Law Feb 8,11,13,15
-- C. Labor Relations Law Feb 18,20
IV. Management. of Workers and Work  
-- A. Recruitment and Selection Feb 25*,27, Mar 1
-- B. Performance Appraisal Mar 6,8
-- C. Compensation Mar 11,13
-- D. Improving QWL Mar 15,18
V. Unions and Collective Bargaining  
-- A. Development of Unions Mar 20*,22, Apr 3
-- B. Union Structure/Operation Apr 5,8
-- C. Bargaining Process Apr 10,12,15,17
-- D. Dispute Resolution Apr 19,22
VI. Alternative Systems Around the World  
-- A. Japan Apr 24*,29
-- B. Britain May 1
-- C. Germany May 3
VII. Summary and Conclusions May 6

Paper Topic Jan 28
Quiz 1 Jan 30
Paper Outline and Sources Feb 20
Quiz 2 Feb 25
Mid-term Mar 4
Paper Thesis and Conclusions Mar 13
Quiz 3 Mar 20
First Paper Draft (optional) Apr 5
Final Paper Draft Apr 15
Quiz 4 Apr 24
Final Exam Monday, May 13, 1:30-4:00




I expect that you will come to class each day on time, having done the reading assignment and any assigned computer work and prepared to participate by asking and answering questions and by expressing your opinions. I expect that you will ask questions about anything you don't understand. I expect that assignments will be done and turned in on time and that they will reflect the best work you can do. I expect that you will contact me if you are having any problems in the course or if you are having personal problems which may affect your performance in the course. Overall, I expect you to work hard at getting the most out of this course that you possibly can. In accordance with the policies of the New York State Department of Education which accredits Le Moyne College, you can expect to be assigned two to three hours of outside work for each hour of class time in the course.  You should not take this course unless you are willing to spend that much time outside of class working on course material.


You can expect that I shall come to class on time each day having thought about and prepared the material. You can expect that I shall answer your questions to the best of my ability and that your opinions will be heard with respect. You can expect that your papers and exams will be graded carefully and returned in a timely manner and that you will be given an explanation of why you receive the grades you receive. You can expect that I shall make time to see you if you need to see me and that I shall keep regular office hours.


A serious commitment to learning and a serious effort toward that end.


At the end of this class, the successful student will be familiar with the factors that determine how people feel about their work, the laws which regulate the workplace, the ways in which employers assemble, compensate and evaluate workers, the structure and function of trade unions, the operation of collective bargaining and the nature of employment relations in several other economically developed countries.  The student will be able to evaluate critcally media reports about these issues and will be familiar with data sources and other sources of information which relate to employment and will be able to access those sources and to find information.  The successful student will be able to describe the relationships among different aspects of the employment relationship and discuss potential policy changes in an informed fashion.


I. Introduction
II. A. Nature of Work

Optional: B. Quality of Work Life Optional: C. Industrial Relations Systems Optional: III. A. Employment Law Optional: B. Discrimination Law Optional: C. Labor Relations Law Optional: IV. A. Recruitment and Staffing Optional: B. Performance Appraisal Optional: C. Compensation


D. Improving Quality of Work Life Optional: V. A. Development of Unions Optional: B. Union Structure and Operations Optional: C. Bargaining Process Optional: D. Dispute Resolution Optional: VI. A. I.R. in Japan Optional: B. I.R. in Britain Optional: C. I.R. in Germany Optional: VII. Summary and Conclusions