Labor Studies & Employment Relations

Graduate Courses

The MLER Graduate Courses give students a broad background in Labor and Employment Relations—taught by a world-renowned faculty—while allowing for a degree of specialization within the degree.

38:578:500 Introductory Seminar in Labor and Employment Relations (3)

Critical challenges facing workers, employers, labor organizations, and the public with regard to work and employee representation. Brief Syllabus

38:578:501 Research Methods in Labor and Employment Relations:

Definition of a research question; literature reviews; effective research search techniques; case-study and survey research methods.  Basic statistical skills, data analysis, and presentation. Brief Syllabus

38:578:502  Writing in Employment Relations

Creation of articulate, persuasive written documents of the type needed in professional positions in employment relations; construction of an argument; intensive, individualized instruction; ESL students particularly welcome.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:503  Problem Solving Tools at Work

Applied analytical and statistical tools for solving problems at work, surveying employees, and maintaining quality.  Projects are individual/group and spreadsheet-intensive.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:504  Leadership in Work Organizations

Leadership theory and its application to work organizations, including unions, non-profits and businesses.  Leadership of small groups and large organizations; leadership diversity and development.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:505 Negotiation

Negotiation strategy and tactics including positional, interest-based, and other theoretical approaches; rights, power, leverage, concessions, commitment; applications include business and labor contexts; negotiation skill development.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:506 Theories of Labor and Employment Relations (3)

The historical evolution and current state of employment relations theory. Workplace democracy, the source of workplace conflict, alienation, the evolution of class, collective bargaining, and other issues are discussed from a variety of perspectives. Brief Syllabus

38:578:507 Strategic Corporate and Industry Research (3)

Overview of methods used to investigate the competitive situation/prognosis of an industry's employers, profitability, sales, employment, wages, and unionization; strategic corporate research. Brief Syllabus

38:578:508 Group Processes and Team Dynamics (3)

Micro facilitation skill development; effective group decision-making or problem-solving event design; moderator behavior allowing a group to identify and achieve its goals.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:509 American Workers and Politics (3)

The democratization of politics and the emergence of workers as citizens; the political role of workers in contemporary U.S. society. The political ideology of American labor and its impact on electoral politics, on voting patterns, and on political participation.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:510 The Inclusive Workplace (3)

Fostering an inclusive workplace; issues related to race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and other aspects of diversity in work organizations.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:511 Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace (3)

Theory of emotional intelligence and its effects on employee performance and organizational success; research on the development of emotional intelligence; self-awareness and self-development.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:512 Self Development for Professional Success (3)

How employees can advance their careers given the changing nature of work and organizations; skill assessment/development, career progression, and work/life balance; intergenerational, gender, and racial/ethnic issues.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:513 Enforcing Worker Rights (3)

Labor standards enforcement in theory and practice, wages, hours, overtime, and healty/safety violations; diverse strategies for improved enforcement, including involving worker organizations.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:515 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (3)

Theories of workplace conflict. Critical review and analysis of dispute resolution techniques in union and nonunion workplaces.

38:578:520 Benefits and Social Insurance (3)

Overview of benefits with a focus on social insurance systems, health insurance, and pensions. Emphasis on public policy issues of importance to both unions and employers.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:525 Public Sector Employment Issues (3)

Scope and nature of public employment; organizations of public employees; problems and issues of federal, state, county, and municipal employees; special problems of particular groups; emerging patterns of future development. Brief Syllabus

38:578:526 Immigration, Public Policy, and Worker Rights (3)

The role of immigrant labor in contemporary society and accompanying public policy debates. Theories of migration, history of migration and migration policy in the United States; labor market dynamics in immigrant-dominated industries. Existing employment and labor rights of immigrant workers. Community, labor, and immigrant organizations’ efforts to improve wages, working conditions, and immigration policy.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:527 Economics and Public Policy in a Global Context (3)

Economic policy options around the globe; governments and markets; macro- and micro-level approaches; fiscal and monetary policies; competition and social protection: trade; labor; income inequality.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:528 Employment Relations in Sports (3)

Using a global perspective across different sports and related businesses, examination of union-management relations; individual talent; diversity; and safety-health issues.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:530 Globalization, Corporate Restructuring, and Employment (3)

Study of the impact of globalization and corporate restructuring on individuals, communities, jobs, work systems, organizations and the economy.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:535 Women and Global Labor Movement (3)

How women are organizing worldwide for gender justice and an improved quality of life; how changing labor movements are addressing gender issues.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:538 Financial Analysis and Corporate Governance (3)

Corporate governance issues; financial statement analysis; and cost accounting for collective bargaining and workplace management.  Brief Syllabus

38:533:540 HR Decision-Making: Financial Decisions (3)

Financial analysis in the HR context. Cost analysis of HR and HR programs. Cost/benefit analysis, organizational finance issues and HRM.

38:578:541 Women and Work (3)

An analysis of women’s experiences and status in a range of work settings; an evaluation of legal, institutional, and public policy responses to issues such as the segregation of work by race and gender, pay equity, the feminization of poverty, sexual harassment, and the restructuring of work and family roles.  Brief Syllabus

38:533:542 HR Decision-Making: Data-Based Decisions

This course addresses research design methodology and addresses basic statistics through regression analysis.

38:578:543 Organizational Leadership and Change Management (3)

Theoretical and practical issues in organization change, including the rationale for change, why change succeeds or fails; effective leadership of change, and ethical concerns.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:544 Creating and Sustaining a Learning Organization (3)

Processes through which organizations learn or fail to learn; designing methods of education, training and development that encourage organizational learning; theories of organizational and managerial cognition.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:550 Labor Law (3)

The statutes and case law that create the framework for private-sector labor management relations, with special attention to current workplace developments and the public policy debates that continue to reshape American labor law.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:551 Seminar in Minorities and Work (3)

The relationship between race, gender, work, employment outcomes, and labor representation, with a particular focus on the historical and contemporary issues facing African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, other ethnic groups, and women.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:555 Globalization and the Future of Employment (3)

Changes in the global economy and their effects on living standards, job opportunities, and the bargaining power of American workers and their unions. Role of international labor organizations, transnational corporations, and global financial institutions in global economic change. Strategies for dealing with globalization.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:556 Organizational Design and Structure (3)

Considers diverse modes of involving employee in decision-making and reorganizing work for flexibility, service, and better use of advanced technology. Assess options, consequences, and the responses of organized workers.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:557 Trends and Problems in the Nonunion Workplace (3)

An overview of the nonunion workplace encompassing both research and practice; covers surveys of employee attitudes, key issues, alternative vehicles of employee voice, conflict, and the use of new workplace practices.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:558 Seminar in Workplace Democratization (3)

Diverse models of workplace democratization on the job and at the strategic policy level, including joint governance, employee involevement, collective bargaining, employee ownership, worker cooperatives, and self-management.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:559 Organizing for Social Change (3)

Hands on look at how people can take action together by creating organizations; recruiting members; analyzing and building power; designing campaigns; and developing winning strategies. Brief Syllabus

38:578:560 Collective Bargaining (3)

The role of unions and collective bargaining in the U.S. Provides an overview of membership in labor organizations, labor law, negotiations, grievance- arbitration, and alternative futures for organized labor.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:562 Seminar in International/Comparative Labor and Employment Relations (3)

A comparative analysis of labor, social, and economic policy with a focus on how labor movements in different parts of the world marshal political and economic resources to represent workers’ interests.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:563 New Directions in Collective Bargaining (3)

Departures from traditional patterns of collective bargaining and labor-management relationships more generally. Causal factors leading to innovative practices. The current debate over the future of collective bargaining. Models for expanding the scope of bargainable issues.  Brief Syllabus

38:533:565 Economics and Demographics of Labor Markets (3)

Covers the changing nature of the work force, including diversity characteristics and attitudinal shifts. Focus on HRM tracking and gaining competitive advantage though judicious use of change.

38:533:566 Employment Law (3)

Principles of law covering the employment relationship. Some legal issues may also be covered in HR application courses.

38:578:565 Public Sector collective Bargaining (3)

The development of public sector bargaining rights and the role of unions in the public sector. The course will analyze state and federal laws, dispute resolution procedures, and political initiatives, with a special emphasis on New Jersey.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:566 Work and Social Change (3)

Changes in the workforce; how economic and social changes are reshaping categories of employees; their organizations and movements and their needs and desires. Uses both class and social movement perspectives to examine a variety of types of employees.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:570 Interest Dispute Settlement (3)

The practice and policy implications of fact-finding, mediation, and interest arbitration in the public sector. Brief Syllabus

38:578:575 Grievance Processes and Arbitration (3)

The practice and legal foundation of grievance handling and grievance arbitration with represented employees.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:581 Structure and Government of American Unions (3)

Patterns of union administration on a local, intermediate, and national level; effect of structure on the collective bargaining process; issues of internal democracy and membership participation in union affairs.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:598, 599 Individual Studies in Labor and Employment Relations (3)

Individually- directed study by a student under the direction of an individual faculty member.

38:578:610, 611, 613, 614 Topics in Labor and Employment Relations (3)

Selected, timely topics in employment relations; particular topic to be announced.

38:578:612 Labor/Employment History (3)

The changing nature of work and its organization; the history of labor organizations and labor movements; the historical situation of major groups of nonrepresented employees; and the impact of changing government policies on employees, employers, and labor relations.  Brief Syllabus

38:578:615, 616, 617 Issues in LER  (1 each)

Selected, timely topics in employment relations; particular topic to be announced.

38:578:650-655 Selected Issues in Labor and Employment Relations (1 each)

Contemporary issues in labor and employment relations; particular topics to be announced.

38:578:690 Internship in Labor and Employment Relations (3)

Internship in a labor or community organization addressing employment issues; internship in a public or private sector management position dealing with labor and employment issues; or other supervised work experience related to the field.

38:578:694 Practicum in Organization Change (3)

Research or practice in a real work setting undergoing restructuring or organization change, with particular attention to the consequences for employees and the ways in which their interests can be represented.

38:578:695 Practicum in Adult Noncredit Education or Training (3)

Research or practice in labor education, management education, or joint extension programming; research or practice in workplace training or continuous learning programs.

38:578:701, 702 Research in Labor and Employment Relations (3)

Supervised research under the direction of an individual faculty member.