Excerpt from course description

People Management: Creating Value Through People


This course contains three core topics; human resource management (HRM), leadership, and business ethics. These topics are highly interrelated and they all contain different perspectives on how organizations can create value through people. Therefore, the course has both common and specific learning goals for each topic.

Course content

This course contains three core topics;

  • Human Resource Management (HRM)
  • Leadership
  • Business ethics


Human Resource Management (HRM)

HRM is basically about getting things done through people. This part of the course is intended to address how organizations can and do manage human resources in order to create an organizational climate consisting of a highly motivated and committed workforce. This part of the course will expose the participants to the intersection between Human Resource Management (HRM), Organizational Behavior (OB), and strategy. The purpose is not to get into technical details of HRM that are best left to specialists – be it the use of selection tests or the specifics of job evaluation. Rather, the course adopts the perspective of the general manager who addresses human resource topics from a business perspective.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
After completion of this part of the course, the students should have obtained an understanding of contemporary research knowledge in HRM and an overview of the most important topics, concepts, and contributions within the field.

Learning outcomes - Skills
After completion of this part of the course, the students should be able to analyze the effectiveness of individual HRM practices and HRM systems in organizations and how to implement more effective individual HRM practices and HRM systems in organizations.

Learning outcomes - Reflection
After completion of this part of the course, the students should be able to communicate and discuss the implications of the main research findings in the field and have an understanding of the difficulties associated with implementing effective individual HRM practices and an effective HRM system.


  • Introduction to HRM
  • Evidence-based management/HRM
  • Main approaches to HRM
  • HRM and organizational performance
  • Case: Southwest Airlines
  • Motivation and job design
  • Compensation management
  • Performance management
  • Recruitment
  • Training and development
  • Summing up and drawing conclusions




The concept of “leadership” emerged to enrich the idea of a “manager” as an organizational engineer. Surrounded by hypes and myths, the leadership concept has remained a globally popular concept to describe the role and performance of business executives and public administrators on all levels. The reason for this is the necessity to safeguard the life of organizations as real social entities in contrast with their abstract existence as planned realities in the form of budgets and strategic documents. The purpose of this part of course is to let the students understand various ways of understanding their leadership roles, how to fill the roles and how to make use of the available knowledge about leadership to improve their performance and survive their job demands.

Learning outcomes – Knowledge
The students will through this part of the course receive guidance in creating their own, practically applicable model of leadership. This will be done by that the students receive knowledge about leading oneself as a leader, leading others, strategic thinking, and managing change. Leadership is a function of all these elements taken together and these elements together influence the organization’s results.

Learning outcomes – Skills
During this part of the course the students should become more self-aware about their own leadership by clarifying their personal leadership model. Further, they should develop skills in influencing others and in strategic thinking.

Learning outcomes – Reflection
You are never the perfect leader. Therefore, this part of the course emphasizes developing the students’ aptitudes of the importance of becoming reflective leadership practitioners, i.e. developing the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning in order to improve and develop your leadership.


  • The basic roles of management and leadership
  • The difference between social and technical validation of decisions
  • Creating realities
  • Personality and mindsets as talents and pitfalls
  • The role of communication and language in leadership
  • Charisma and other central concepts of leadership perceptions
  • Teams and post-heroic leadership
  • The dark side of leadership
  • Developing leaders as tool for leadership and cross-cultural leadership

Learning process and requirements to student
Students will from start to end of this part the course work on their personal leadership development plan. This is a tool for identifying important challenges in their aspirations to improve performance and cultivate their capabilities to assume roles on higher levels. The students will learn to identify the role requirements of leadership in their own surroundings, and to improve their self-awareness in evaluating their own performance. This part of the course will be linked to the “leadership development” track which provides the students with personal diagnostics and individual mentoring. By building on knowledge from the cases and textbook, applied through discussions in groups and classrooms, the students will create a personalized plan for how to improve and train their own leadership capabilities.

The leadership part of the course is designed as a combination of lectures (both in class and online), team presentations, exercises, case discussions and hand-ins, and reflective discussions based on your own leadership experiences. This part of the course requires substantial preparation and active participation in class.

The leadership part of the course is integrated with Leadership Development Programme.



Business ethics

In a global perspective, companies can no longer operate successfully without understanding the role of ethics in management and the importance of both personal and corporate integrity and accountability. Business executives must be able to identify ethical issues in advance, and to present morally and financially viable decisions. They also need to be familiar with the moral psychology of decision making: How can it be that ordinary, decent people in business get involved in corruption and other kinds of wrongdoing?

The overall goal of this part of the course is to strengthen participants’ ability to understand, analyze and respond to a variety of ethical dilemmas in business.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
In this part of the course the participants will become familiar with the basic concepts of business ethics, and their links to core business objectives and strategies. Concepts and findings from moral psychology will enhance their understanding of decision processes where ethical issues are at stake. Communication climate is a key element in working with ethics in a business community, and the participants will gain knowledge about ways to enhance dialogue about ethics in the workplace.

Learning outcomes - Skills
Dilemma training will be a central activity in this part of the course. The purpose of the training will be to prepare the participants for the dilemmas they are likely to encounter in professional settings. They will learn to provide justification for their choices, and to analyze disagreement about moral issues. Through familiarity with ethical theories, concepts and principles, they will become better equipped to navigate in business environments where dilemmas are commonplace.

Learning outcomes - Reflection
The participants will learn to consider their professionalism in the light of how to deal with conflicts of interest and the effects on the environment and society.


  • Ethical Navigation in Business – A presentation of tools and concepts to analyze ethical dilemmas in business.
  • Moral Psychology: The effects of personal and situational elements on practical decision making.
  • Corruption: A case based discussion of the ethical implications of fraud, corruption, and bribery in business.
  • Communication Climate: An analysis of how business managers and their organizations can encourage feedback and dialogue concerning ethical issues






This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.