People Management

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

Course Description

  • Course Name

    People Management

  • Host University

    Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Human Resources, Management

  • Language Level


  • Prerequisites

    Advanced level of English Tech Savvy

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description

    Nowadays almost everything can be replicated except the value of the human capital of an organization. And it is precisely this which makes a company exceptional and competitive. People management, talent management or previously called human resources management can be defined as the effective use of human capital in an organization through the management of people-related activities. The old Personnel Department has evolved into the modern concept of People or Talent Department which means not only a change in the label but also a shift from a bureaucratic department into a strategic one. Besides, the workforce costs may represent from 50 to 80% of the total company budget. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with the processes, principles, and techniques of workforce management. The program takes a practical view that integrates the last theories of People Management and Organization Development with the practice in the real world. And, although not everyone who takes this course will become a Head of People, as executives and managers they will be involved in managing their teams and work as People Partners. Effectively, the modern conceptions of Talent Management consider the Managers to be the real Head of People of their teams, being the Talent or People Department, a facilitator. People management involves planning, organizational structure, equity and diversity, staffing, induction, training & development, performance management, work climate, labor relations, managing compensation and benefits, health& safety, and employees’ separations. All those processes significantly influence the corporate culture. The role of the People Manager pivots around two axes: people and business; and it is based on competencies as David Ulrich et al. (2007) states in his HR competency model. Therefore, the approach to People Management on this course will go around competencies.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Understand what are the main challenges that the People Department must face.
    2. Learn the different types of organizational structure and their relationship with the company culture and structure.
    3. Reflect on the importance of planning to manage the right flow between the workforce supply and demand in a global context and changing environment.
    4. Review the different ways of recruiting and selecting people, as well as their welcome to the company.
    5. Examine the legal environment (equity and diversity, home-office, data protection, etc.), and labor relations (employees’ rights, discipline, unions).
    6. Design training and career paths in a global context.
    7. Learn about the different methodologies of performance appraisal as a continuous tool of communication with the team and a way of increasing productivity and employees’ satisfaction.
    8. Examine the company’s responsibility in terms of protecting the health and safety of its employees.
    9. Design compensation and benefits plan including the emotional salary (flextime, work, and life balance, recognition, etc.)
    10. Assess the work climate of an organization being able to design and implement action plans to improve the employees’ satisfaction.
    11.  Review the different types of employee separations due to retirements, early retirements, layoffs, dismissals, voluntary separations; and creative ways of avoiding layoffs during downsizing and recessions.
    12. Be familiarized with some trends in People Management such as the Balanced Score Card of Human Resources, Agile organizations, Collective intelligence, Meaning of Work, etc.


    Week Content Activities 
    • Intro class: Presentation of the course, professor and students.
    • People Management Challenges





    • Organizational structure. 
    • Planning



    Business Case 



    • Recruiting, selection and induction 
    • Legal environment and labor relations

    Business Cases, Role Plays, Videos 

    Case Study, Role-Plays

    • Trainning and Development 
    Business Cases, Workshops. 




    • Performance Management 
    • Workplace health and safety
    • Managing compensation and benefits

    Business Cases, Videos, Workshops

    Business Cases, Analysis of articles from newspapers

    Mini cases, Workshops, Role-plays, Best practices analysis




    Work Climate


    Questionnaires, Business Case, Best practices analysis 

    Questionnaires, Business Case, Videos, Best practice analysis

    • Employee´s separations

    Best practices analysis


    13 &14 Miscellaneous: The HR Balance Score Card (BSC), agile organizations, collective intelligence, Meaning of Work, etc. 



    Teaching Methodology 

    The methodology includes a highly interactive lecture format providing real-world examples with class discussions so that a cohesive group sense forms among participants. Those discussions are always open and non-judgmental, yet critical and with appropriate norms and rules. Additionally, students should read some articles that present relevant topics in more depth than the slides do. Case studies will also be used to apply the theoretical concepts to the real business world. Participants will take part in different exercises that may consist of role-plays and group exercises. Finally, students will have to present a Group paper assignment that consists of research and present a course concept applicable to current business. They will have to describe how the chosen business effectively implements such a concept with a critical analysis of methods for improvement.

    Students will have to pass a midterm and final exam together with an individual assessment (the latter based on their attitude and day-to-day work), as this methodology emphasizes continuous appraisal and feedback.

     The professor enhances networking within the classroom as an essential tool for the student’s professional development.

    Grading includes a self-assessment to be done during the last day of class in a face-to-face performance appraisal interview with the professor, filling out a form uploaded in SAM, and a hard copy delivered by the instructor.

    Assesssment Criteria 

    The instructor will use numerous differentiated assessment forms to calculate students’ final grades for this course. For the record, these are listed and weighted below. The content, criteria, and specific requirements for each assessment category will be explained in greater detail in class. In addition, your work and behavior in this course must fully conform to the regulations of the UAB Academic Policy to which you are subject.

    • Work in class 30%
    • Midterm exam 15%
    • Final exam 15%
    • Final Presentation 40%


    Recommended reading:

    • Armstrong, M. (2010). Armstrong's essential human resource management practice: A guide to people management. Kogan Page Publishers.
    • Becker, B. E., Huselid, M. A., Huselid, M. A., & Ulrich, D. (2001). The HR scorecard: Linking people, strategy, and performance. Harvard Business Press.
    • Darino, L., Sieberer, M., Vos, A., & Williams, O. (2019). Performance management in agile organizations. McKinsey. com.
    • David, S. (2016). Emotional agility: Get unstuck, embrace change, and thrive in work and life. Penguin.
    • Edmondson, A. C. (2018). The fearless organization: Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation, and growth. John Wiley & Sons.
    • Friedman, S. D. (2014). Leading the life you want: skills for integrating work and life. Harvard Business Press.
    • Gomez- Mejía, L., D. Balkin, and R. Cardy (2012): Managing Human Resources, Pearson
    • Mondy, W; Martocchio, J. Human Resource Management. Pearson Education Limited, 14th International Edition (2015)
    • Raymond, N; Hollenbeck et al. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, 7th International Edition (2013)
    • Ritz, A., & Thom, N. (2011). Talent management. Wiesbaden: Gabler.
    • Scott, A. J., & Gratton, L. (2021). The new long life: a framework for flourishing in a changing world. Bloomsbury Publishing.
    • Ulrich, D., & Brockbank, W. (2005). The HR value proposition. Harvard Business Press.
    • Wade, J. (2014). Reinventing Organizations: A guide to creating organizations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 46(2), 255.
    • Walton, B. (2017). Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Harper Collins Publishers

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