Michele Swift

Michele Swift is an Instructor of Management and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in professional development and human resource (HR) management. She is the faculty advisor for the Management/SHRM Student Club, serves as the liaison between the Management program and student engagement, and is active on several university and college committees. Prior to joining academia, she spent over ten years in HR and consulting where she managed HR self-service implementation projects, assisted with business case development, counseled managers on employee relations issues, provided recruitment and placement services, and managed payroll and workers compensation.

She received her Ph.D. in Organization Management from University Colorado Boulder and her Masters in HRIR from the University of Oregon, and is also an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and Academy of Management. Her current research interests include the motivation for employees to share their knowledge, the relationship between knowledge sharing and creativity, and human resource management practices for knowledge workers. She also has a special interest in the factors that influence persons with disabilities willingness to request accommodation.

My experience with HRManagement

I have been using the HRManagement simulation in my courses for over 20 years—from a relatively static simulation in which student teams stored their decisions on floppy disks to the present day web-based simulation that uses a highly interactive graphical user interface with in-depth data reporting capabilities. I have used the simulation across large coordinated undergraduate sections and also in small MBA courses. Many students enter courses in human resource management assuming that the HR function in an organization is primarily an administrative one without any substantive contribution to firm competitive advantage.

The HRManagement simulation attempts to dispel this notion by putting students in the role of HR decision-maker—every week students need to hire, fire, train, determine compensation and benefits, do industry comparison research, launch special programs, and manage to budget. Special decisions each week can be set up to dovetail with lecture material and require students to deal with situations that they might experience as a practicing HR professional—from dealing with a case of suspected sexual harassment to choosing a performance appraisal system. It becomes immediately apparent to students that the HR function in an organization is vital, strategic, and multi-faceted. Instructors who are interested in teaching HR in an immersive and experiential manner will benefit greatly from the use of this simulation in their course.

HRManagement Master Class will be here in...