Managing Human Capital - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Managing Human Capital

Course Number 2060

Associate Professor Michel Anteby
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
28 Sessions

Career Focus

Managing Human Capital has been specifically designed to teach practical skills for the general manager who seeks to manage both other people and his or her own career with optimal effectiveness. Any and all students who believe they will need to effectively manage other people to produce superior business results should take this course. This course will cover how to create best practices in recruiting systems, performance evaluation systems, how to develop your people, how to manage a reduction in force, and how to have difficult conversations in the Managing Others' Human Capital (MOHC) segment. In the Managing Your Own Human Capital (MYOHC) segment, students will learn how to develop as a professional, navigate the transition to general manager, and evaluate career transitions and choices strategically.

Educational Objectives

Most general managers will pay lip service to the importance of effectively managing their people. Few are successful in fully connecting and committing to their people in creating value. Only after general managers question their assumptions about employee motivation and appropriately structure human resource processes can these objectives be achieved.

Proper management of human assets has the potential to be a source of sustainable competitive advantage for high-performance organizations. You will study various ways in which companies have successfully managed their people to create not only revenues, profits and growth, but also unique products and services (in unique working environments).

Proper management of one's own career, despite recognition of its importance, is rarely studied explicitly or rigorously. In this class, you will have the opportunity to think through your personal success factors and definition of success, different perspectives on work-life balance, and how to make career choices that will set you on the path for long-term success.

Course Content and Organization

This course is not simply a re-work of the first-year course on Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Rather, drawing upon many aspects of the first-year curriculum, it provides a more practice-based course than LEAD that highlights how to specifically develop and adjust the basic levers in an organization to achieve superior results.

The MOHC segment is divided into three modules. The first module connects the organizational requirements and business objectives that are critical to the success of an organization with its output by focusing on different work systems that are based on different assumptions about people, their motivation, how they work and what they want out of their work experiences. The second module focuses on the specific levers within an organization that can be manipulated to achieve more efficient and effective organizational systems. The final module pulls all the pieces together to illustrate how organizations achieve internal alignment and flow, and how this improves their ability to compete. We also consider what organizations must do to create and manage organizational change.

The MYOHC segment will involve students in exercises designed to challenge their assumptions about career planning and evolve their own career-management strategy. We will also confront issues related to work and personal life. Just as there is no one correct business model for an organization, there is no one path to success. There are, however, components of individual career management that must be aligned. Case protagonists will attend many of the class sessions and will play an important role in the learning process.