MER Required Courses

Table II – Required/Core Courses

Business (BUSI)   
  • 8204 – Human Resource Management
  • 8210 – Labour Relations
  • 9329 – Labour Law
 
Employment Relations (EMRE)
  • 6010 - Research Seminar in Employment Relations I: Quantitative Methods
  • 6020 - Research Seminar in Employment Relations II: Qualitative Methods
  • 6040 – Research Seminar in Employment Relations III: Applied Research Project
  • 6050 – Interpersonal Skills in Employment Relations
 
Humanities and Social Sciences (ECON, HIST, SOCI, PSYC)
  • 6030 – Labour Market Economics
  • 6075 – Advanced Studies in Labour and Working-Class History
  • 6360 – Sociology of Work
  • One of: 6090 – Special Area in Sociology; or BUSI 9013 - Collective Agreement Administration and Arbitration
 

Course Descriptions

BUSI 8204 – Human Resource Management

This course aims to improve general management competency in the effective use of human resources within any organization. It emphasizes an applied orientation and content includes the examination of topics such as traditional and contemporary approaches to employee empowerment; the development of reward systems; managing the movement of employees into, through and out of organizations; and the development and maintenance of human resource networking and support systems that are responsive to task complexity and competition.

BUSI 8210 – Labour Relations

The origins of the Canadian labour movement, labour legislation and the major substantive elements of collective bargaining are studied in this course.

BUSI 9013 – Collective Agreement Administration and Arbitration

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with principles of collective agreement administration; explore current substantive issues in grievance arbitration; familiarize students with the mechanics of the grievance and arbitration procedure, and to provide students with an opportunity to strengthen their advocacy skills through participation in arbitration simulations. Students will undertake extensive review of labour arbitration cases and will examine the impact of jurisprudence on the philosophy and practice of management in the private and public sectors. Prerequisite is completion of nine courses including 8210, or 8210 and admission to the MER program.

BUSI 9329 – Labour Law

Canadian labour relations law is seen as consisting of three closely-interrelated frameworks that regulate the employer-employee relationship: common law of employment, collective bargaining and direct statutory regulation of employment. This seminar course studies these frameworks as well as the impact of globalization on labour law. Case book materials are utilized and students contribute qualitatively and quantitatively to class discussions.

ECON 6030 – Labour Market Economics

This is a course concentrating on Canadian and Newfoundland labour market issues although these issues are universal in a market economy. The course investigates the labour market decisions that workers and firm managers face and the market environment under which both parties operate. We introduce an analytical framework that permits us to understand the actions of rational decision-makers and then to predict the influence of changing conditions on labour market outcomes. Course topics include factors affecting an individual participation in labour markets, a firm’s demand for labour, wage determination in non-union market, the role of unions, the various structures of wages and wage differentials in the Canadian setting. The emphasis will be to understand what the formal analyses are intuitively trying to make us understand.

EMRE 6010 – Research Seminar in Employment Relations I: Quantitative Methods

This course is intended to provide an introduction to and experience in using advanced quantitative social research methods. The course is intended to be practical in orientation with the goal of achieving the following three learning objectives by the end of the term: (1) students are able to design and implement social research projects with appropriate concern for ethics and using appropriate research tools; (2) students have greater awareness of quantitative methods of social research and are comfortable using such methods; and (3) students have greater awareness of quantitative analysis software and are comfortable using such software to conduct independent research. Overall, this course will attempt to prepare you for your future engagement with research methods, whether in your own graduate research or in other professional experience. The course is by no means exhaustive in its treatment of methods and will serve only to introduce some of the many advanced techniques used by social scientists.*

* Course description subject to change.

EMRE 6020 (EMRE) – Research Seminar in Employment Relations II: Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative methods include wide, expanding and ever-changing ways of both doing research and in presenting results (usually, but not always, in written form). The emphasis in this course will be on understanding and critically evaluating research, rather than in practicing specific qualitative methods, e.g., grounded theory, ethnography, etc. It will also focus more on the range of qualitative methods and the underlying logic of all qualitative methods rather than elaborating on more specific ones. By the end of the course, students should be in a position to be able to decide on which (if any) qualitative methods would make sense for any research that you might want to undertake.*

* Course description subject to change.

EMRE 6040 – Research Seminar in Employment Relations III: Applied Research Project

Much of the MER program focuses on evidence-based practice. In this third course in the research seminar in employment relations, students focus on the application of skills learned in EMRE 6010 and EMRE 6020. Students will be assigned to small research teams of approximately three to five people. Each team will: (a) conduct an applied, field-based research project for a client organization; and (b) be mentored by a practitioner and an academic (the instructor). By the end of the course, students will be able to: examine the relevant scholarly literature to inform their research project; develop a clear research proposal; determine clear research questions for their project; design an applied research project to answer their research questions; gather and analyze data appropriate to the research questions; and make evidence-based recommendations to key stakeholders.

EMRE 6050 – Interpersonal Skills in Employment Relations

While technical and functional area knowledge is important, interpersonal skills are critical to success in the employment relations field. The objective of this course is to help participants develop and refine interpersonal skills in order to cultivate professional effectiveness, career development, and quality of life in general. The skills covered in this course include: self-awareness, self-reflection and development, active listening and communication, negotiations, problem solving and conflict management. Through the use of cases and experiential exercises, we will practice and further refine your interpersonal skills. The course is highly experiential and much of the learning will come from practice-driven exercises and self-assessment.

To facilitate discussion, students must read the assigned material before coming to class. Students should also bring the text and any other required readings to class. As of spring 2016, this course has been restructured to include in-class and web-based exercises. It is critical for students to be prepared for the in-class portion of the course and to participate in D2L discussions.

SOCI 6360 – Sociology of Work

What is work? What do sociologists mean by work? Are there different ways of understanding work? What do we learn about work when we apply a sociological perspective? In this course we will address these questions. We will review a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding work and discuss the ways in which the structure and experiences of work have changed over time. We will cover a wide range of topics including inequalities and work; the connections between paid and unpaid work; the subjective aspects of work including emotion and identity; work quality and occupational health and safety; the organization of work; skilled trades and professions; workplace resistance and unions; deindustrialization and globalization; and so on. Many of these topics intersect in our in-depth study of the changing manufacturing industry in Ontario and agricultural industry in Italy, tourism work in the Caribbean, and the rise of embodied work in the service sector.*

* Course description subject to change.

HIST 6075 – Advanced Studies in Labour and Working-class History

No description available.

SOCI 6090 – Special Area in Sociology: Social Science of Occupational Health and Safety

This course explores key issues and findings in the social science of occupational health and safety (OHS). The course begins by challenging the notion that occupational health and safety is largely a technical problem best dealt with by OHS professionals and at the level of the individual enterprise. It asks: generally speaking, what can social scientists tell us about occupational health and safety? Starting with the assumption that the risks, patterns and consequences of work-related injury and disease are mediated by much more than the fit between work relations and worker bodies/minds including a range of psychological and social processes at micro, meso and macro-scales, we will explore variability across time, regulatory regimes and social groups in the nature of work and work-related exposures. We will also examine some of the factors considered to be responsible for this variability. Section two extends this theme by looking in particular at the changing face of injury, disease, law, intervention and compensation during the contemporary era. Section three deals with what Eric Tucker calls the “politics of recognition and response” in relation to working disasters. Section four focuses on recent literature linking globalization and associated increases in work-related mobility and precarious work to risk, injury, outcomes and options.*

* Course description subject to change.

PSYC 6402 – Group Processes

No description available.