ECON 3528 - Human Resources Economics III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course applies economic analysis to crucial aspects of the employment relationship within firms and corporations. Topics may include the selection and recruitment of managers and employees, job design, employee training, motivating and providing incentives to managers and employees, designing compensation schemes, managing turnover, solving retention problems. The course provides theoretical background using the analytical tools of economics and presents empirical evidence from research in the field.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 3528
    Course Human Resources Economics III
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible ECON 7240
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 1012
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Giulio Zanella

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Apply economic analysis to the management of human resources;
    2. Identify the considerations relevant to designing recruitment and retention strategies;
    3. Compare the effectiveness of different incentives and compensation schemes to increase productivity;
    4. Apply the principles relevant to designing contracts to align managers’ incentives to the goals of the organisation.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook: Edward P. Lazear, Mike Gibbs (2014). Personnel Economics in Practice, 3rd Edition. ISBN: 978-1-118-20672-0
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course uses traditional lectures, but with substantive active participation implied by the discussion of case studies.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students are expected to attend lectures and to spend, on average, 4 hours a week reading and studying.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    1 Sorting and investing in employees Setting hiring standards
    2 Sorting and investing in employees Recruiting employees
    3 Sorting and investing in employees Investing in employees’ skills: human capital and on-the-job training
    4 Sorting and investing in employees Managing turnover
    5 Organisational and job design Organisational structure and its relation to managing human resources
    6 Organisational and job design Job design: skills, tasks, and decisions
    7 Paying for performance Performance evaluation
    8 Paying for performance Rewarding performance: the bright and dark sides of incentives
    9 Paying for performance Career-based incentives
    10 Projects Students’ presentations of case studies (group activity)
    11 Projects Students’ presentations of case studies (group activity)
    12 Projects Students’ presentations of case studies (group activity)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Assessment Task Task Type Length Weighting Learning Outcome
    Assignments Individual; Summative 30% 1-4
    Mid-semester Exam Individual; Summative 2 hours 30% 1-4
    Final Exam Individual; Summative 2 hours 40% 1-4
    Total 100%
    Assignments: problem sets to be solved on MyUni as quizzes, posted at the end of week 4 and at the end of week 8; these are due 1 week after I post them
    Mid-semester Exam: problem sets to be solved on MyUni as quizzes, with a time limit
    Final Exam: written report on a human resources paper to be assigned, to be completed by 15 June
    More details on the exams will follow. Note that these will NOT be invigilated exams requiring personal attendance.
    Assessment Detail
    Class participation
    Active class participation will be assessed by having students answer questions in class via the MyUni quiz application, in real time.

    Two problem sets will be assigned during the semester (one in Week 3 and one in Week 9). These will be solved at home individually and are due 7 days later.
    Mid-semester and Final Examinations
    Both the Mid-semester and the Final exams will consist of True/False questions (with required explanation of why a certain proposition is true or false) as well as open questions to check students’ understanding of class material.

    An overall mark of 50% is needed to gain a pass.

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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