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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

MGMT 375: Labor Relations

Course Description

Study of management approaches to collective labor agreements. Extensive study of negotiation, grievances and agreement administration.

Prerequisite: MGMT 361

Syllabus Contents



  • Holley, William H., Kenneth M. Jennings, and Roger S. Wolters. The Labor Relations Process. 10th ed. Cengage, 2011.
    • ISBN-978-0-538-48198-4
      • Note: MBS offers a custom edition for Columbia College with the following ISBN: 978-1-133-83804-3.

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit

Course Overview

Material in this course is presented from a unbiased perspective so that students will develop a neutral understanding of the history of collective bargaining, when there is a need for representation, the legislation supporting the process, and the philosophical positions of unions and employers.  The student should, upon completion, be able to view employer - union relationship from a scholarly perspective regardless of their personal experience and/or beliefs. Each week we will cover different aspects of the labor relations process.

Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office
  • Microsoft Word Document 2007 docx or higher format must be used

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

Course Objectives

  • To understand how labor agreements are administered.
  • To examine the potential outcomes of the labor relations process and collective bargaining issues.
  • To examine the negotiation process.
  • To understand the rights and responsibilities of union and management.
  • To apply the labor relations process to different labor relations systems.
  • To review the history and legal basis of the labor relations process.
  • To understand and appreciate union-management relationships.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the development of labor law and the nature of contemporary labor-related regulatory agencies.
  • Explain the differences between public and private sector labor relations.
  • Describe the union-management relationship and the role of the union in labor relations.
  • Describe the labor relations process.
  • Discuss the historical development of organized and unorganized labor.
  • Analyze labor relations problems in various global scenarios and develop plans for resolving issues.
  • Discuss the nature of negotiations and factors affecting them.
  • Identify strategies for labor-union-management-government cooperation.
  • Describe the application of the labor relations process to different labor relations systems.
  • Describe the nature of negotiation impasses and their resolution.
  • Describe wages, benefits and non-wage issues in bargaining.
  • Describe the factors affecting labor relations organizing campaigns.
  • Identify the rights and responsibilities of union and management in the labor relations process.
  • Discuss the contemporary social environment for bargaining.


Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussion Assignments 30 6%
Dropbox Assignment 25 5%
Quizzes 300 60%
Case Problems 70 14%
Comprehensive Final 75 15%
Total 500 100%

Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussions Introduction Sunday
Quiz 1 40
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 1 5 Sunday
Quiz 2 40
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 2 5 Sunday
Quiz 3 40
Part 1 Case Problems 20
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Quiz 4 40 Sunday
Part 2 Case Problems 20
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 3 5 Sunday
Quiz 5 40
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Quiz 6 40 Sunday
Part 3 Case Problems 20
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 4 5 Sunday
Quiz 7 40
Part 4 Case Problem 10
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Dropbox Assignment 5 5 Saturday
Quiz 8 20
Final Exam 75
Total Points 500

Assignment Overview

Discussion Assignments

Grading will be based on quality and quantity. It’s suggested that the original discussion response be posted by Wednesday each week and the replies to other students be posted through Sunday midnight. The Instructor reads, grades and monitors the discussion postings, but generally allows the interaction to take place between the students. The Instructor will provide his feedback on the discussion at the end of the week. Discussion postings after the end of the week will be ineffective as an interactive assignment and will not receive credit. Scores will be posted almost daily and therefore will change during the week as replies are posted and scored. The initial response to a Discussion is worth 3 points and the remaining 2 points of the total 5 are earned, depending on the quality and quantity of replies that you post. I read, grade, and post scores almost daily. Therefore, discussion grades can change during the week as you may add replies to other students’ postings.

Offensive, inflammatory wording and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Disagreement can be healthy, but only if it’s done tactfully and constructively. In a diverse population as these classes are, we cannot force our personal values and beliefs on others. Civility and sensitivity are expected in all our communications.

Dropbox Assignments

Dropbox Assignments are due by midnight on Sunday each week accept week eight when they are due Saturday midnight, however it is suggested that all assignments be in by noon on Saturday of week eight. A Dropbox assignment submitted after the day they are due will not receive more than 50% of the total points for the assignment. Late assignments of more than three days will receive 0% of the assignment points.


Quizzes are due by midnight on Sunday each week, except Week 8 when it is due by Saturday midnight. Each quiz is multiple-choice, will cover that week’s chapter(s) and may be accessed from the Quiz area. Quizzes must be completed in the week they are due. Make-up examinations are not allowed. DO NOT COPY THE EXAMS. Copying of the exams will constitute your one and only attempt to take the exam and result in an automatic grade of “0”. There are no study guides provided for the Quizzes.

Case Problems

Case Problems are due by midnight on Sunday, except in Week 8, when they are due on Saturday midnight. This is an opportunity for you to your newly-gained knowledge to solve real-world problems. For each Case Problem, you will read and analyze1-2 case studies. Then, you will write a formal recommendation (paper) to resolve the case. Your paper should show original thinking based on analysis of the Case Problem and the use of solutions and terminology found in our course studies. Pictures, charts and graphs are often an aid. You should use several reference sources, which should be listed. Additional “Case Analysis Guidelines” are provided in the assignment in the Dropbox area. These guidelines are intended to be a spring board for more extensive analysis and not a template whereby you fill in the blanks. Because of the number of potential points involved, you may want to review the optional Grading Review that will be posted in the Announcement page of week two and is available any time upon request.

Comprehensive Final

A comprehensive final will be due by Saturday midnight of Week 8.

Grade Appeals

Grade appeals from students will not be acknowledged or result in changes in grades if received after the closing of the Course on Saturday midnight of week eight.  Scores are posted weekly and cumulative to-date Course grades are posted weekly in the Grade Book.  Check them often to know where you stand.

Posted Scores

I post a score of "0" toward the end of the week to tell you that I haven't received your assignment and your cumulative grade reflects your course grade with that "0". If I receive your assignment before the deadline I replace the "0" with your final grade.

Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Union-management Relationships and the Evolution of Union-management Relationship
Read Chapters 1 and 2.
Personal Activity
In this first week become familiar with the "tools" of online distance education format. Peruse your textbook. Be familiar with the layout of Chapters, Parts, Labor Relations in Action Features, the Discussion Questions, and Case Problems. (This Personal Activity is not graded)
Virtual Tour
Tour A Short History of American Labor by doing a search of “American Labor Union history.”  Randomly browse the link to union history. You may want to choose other sites of interest to you by using a search title of your choosing. For videos, do an internet search for “Labor Relations History Videos” (Not graded)
Discussions Introduction
Introduce yourself in the "introductions" topic of our course’s Discussion area, which is our "virtual classroom.” Please give us more than your name. Include your work activities, hobbies, interest in Labor Relations, and any other information that can help us get to know you. Post your Introduction in the Discussion area. (Not graded)
Quiz 1
Each week a multiple-choice quiz will be available to you in the Quizzes area. They will consist of 20 questions total. This week the quiz will cover Chapters 1 and 2. Post your answers in the Quizzes area and it will be automatically processed. Your score will be posted automatically in the Grades area of D2L.
Week 2: Legal Influences Plus Union and Management as Key Participants
Read Chapters 3 and 4.
Personal Activity
Based on the class member introductions, contact other class members who share similar study interest with you for possible collaboration on future studies and/or analysis. (Not graded)
Virtual Tour
Go to the website for the National Labor Relations Board to see its current organization, rules and regulations, decisions, and manuals.  Click on this link to go to the website. National Labor Relations Board (Not graded)
Discussion 1
This first discussion is to formulate a brief paragraph arguing for or against the Right-To-Work philosophy. Fully defend your statement from arguments that could be made against your position. Post your responses in the Discussion area and reply to other students’ postings as you choose. For each discussions assignment the Instructor’s feedback will be posted on the Announcement page at the end of each week or the beginning of the following week.
Dropbox Assignment 1
Refer to the: “Contents in Brief” in the front of your text, and of the 14 topics (Chapters), tell me which 3 are of the most interest to you and which 3 hold the least interest.
Quiz 2
This week the quiz will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions from this week's chapters 3 and 4. Take the quiz in the Quizzes area and you will see your score posted in the Grades area.
Week 3: Why and How Unions Are Organized and Negotiating the Labor Agreement
Read Chapters 5 and 6.
Virtual Tour
Go to the website AFL-CIO Organizing Institute. Read the articles of your choice. Click on this link to access the website. AFL-CIO Organizing Institute (Not graded)
Discussion 2
In this week’s discussion we discuss the reasons why employees become members of unions and the means used by union organizers to meet these needs. Post your responses in the Discussion area.
Dropbox Assignment 2
Analyze Exhibit 5.10 in Chapter 5, which is an example of a handbill, and identify the main themes of this handbill and how they might differ from the union themes in the early days of union development. Return your thoughts to the Dropbox.
Quiz 3
This week the quiz will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 5 and 6.
Part 1 Case Problems
Read and analyze the Case Problems before preparing you paper plus answering the Case Questions. Use the Analysis Guidelines that are provided in the “Content” area under Week three. Your responses should reflect material studied in Chapters 1-5. Return your submission to the Dropbox.
Week 4: Review and Understand Economic and Administrative Issues
Read Chapters 7 and 8.
Discussions Room Class Activity
Now that we are half way through our schedule, you may have study suggestions for other students based on what has worked for you and/or suggestions for the Instructor. Post your suggestions in the Discussions area. (Not graded)
Virtual Tour
One element of workplace economics is fair treatment and job equity. An important part of that is “comparable worth.”  One review of this issue can be found at the following website: comparable worth (Not graded)
Discussion 3
In this assignment you are to look at “High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) Partnership Principles” in Chapter 8 on page 339. Here you will see 9 guidelines as goals to strive for to establish a partnering relationship. Rank each guideline from 1-5 based on what you think the probability for success is as a goal. Number 1 = the highest probability, 5 = the least, etc. Post your rankings in the Discussions area.
Quiz 4
This week the quiz will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 7 and 8.
Part 2 Case Problems
Read and prepare an analysis of the two assigned Case Problems plus answer the questions provided based on material studied in Chapters 6-8. Use the Analysis Guidelines found in the “Contents” area under Week three to develop your paper. Return your submission to the Dropbox.
Week 5: Resolving Negotiation Disputes Use of Economic Pressure and Contract Administration
Read Chapters 9 and 10.
Virtual Tour
Title 29 is the section of the U.S. Code that contains Federal law on labor. Go to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute and for the following terms: picketing, strikes, advanced workplace practices. Click on the following link to access the website: Cornell's Legal Information Institute (Not graded)
Discussion 4
In this discussion digest the following: “It appears that the balance in labor – management relations during labor disputes has shifted to management.” Assuming this statement is true, list factors to support this quote. Post your response in the Discussions area.
Dropbox Assignment 3
Using “Labor Relations in Action” “Tough Contract Administration Questions” page 438 in Chapter 10, vote yes or no on each question the way you think it should be (no wrong answers) and I’ll summarize the class results.
Quiz 5
The quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 9 and 10.
Week 6: Labor and Employment Arbitration with Elements and Changes in Employee Discipline
Read Chapters 11 and 12.
Virtual Tour
Work rules established by management must be clear and understandable and communicated effectively to employees. Check the sites for work rules by doing a search of “Workplace work rules” for examples. (Not graded)
Discussion 5
This week, profile a typical, not necessarily an actual member, of the National Academy of Arbitration and Arbitration Data. Make it look like a mini-job description. Use Exhibit 11.1 as a reference and supplement it with your own findings. Post your response in the Discussions area.
Quiz 6
The quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 11 and 12
Part 3 Case Problems
Read and analyze the 2 assigned Case Problems and prepare a paper based on the Analysis Guidelines found in the “Contents” area under Week three plus answer the questions provided based on material studied in Chapters 10-12. Return your paper to the Dropbox.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Labor Relations in the Public Sector, Multinational Corporations, and Other Countries
Read Chapters 13 and 14.
Virtual Tour
Visit the website for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.  You'll find public sector workplace issues, bargaining, policy, and legislation. Click on the following to access the website. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (Not graded)
Discussion 6
Often domestically based business in the U.S. blames lower compensation costs and lack of Unions in foreign countries as unfair economic advantages. Digest Exhibits 14.1, 14.4 and 14.5 in Chapter 14. Post your response in the Discussions area.
Dropbox Assignment 4
Although we share a common border with Canada, its Labor Relations system is affected by a number of variables, (some very obvious) that do not greatly affect the United States. Provide 4-5 short reasons that explain these variables. Return your answers to the Dropbox.
Quiz 7
The quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions from Chapters 13 and 14
Part 4 Case Problem
Read and analyze the one assigned Case Problem and prepare a paper based on the Analysis Guidelines found in the “Content” area under Week three plus answer the questions provided based on material studied in Chapters 13 – 14. This assignment has the potential of 10 points. Return your paper to the Dropbox.
Week 8: Labor Relations in Review
Of your choosing.
Personal Activity
This is the last week and a good time to review the entire subject matter in anticipation of the comprehensive Final Exam. Peruse the text and reflect on your work of the past 7 weeks. You can now "think" and can "talk" in Labor Relations terms. Be prepared to use your Labor Relations knowledge to respond with essay descriptions to topics (Chapters) within the four parts of our text.
Dropbox Assignment 5
A Dropbox assignment as suggested by a fellow student. Return your answers to the Dropbox.
Quiz 8
The quiz consists of 10 multiple-choice questions on course terminology.
Final Exam
It is to be completed and returned no later than Saturday midnight. The exam will require an essay response to general subtopics (chapters) within each of the four Parts that your text identifies. Your responses will be judged on quantity, quality and relevance to what we have studied. Format, grammar, spelling, sentence structure, terminology, etc. will all be considered when determining your exam grade. The total paper should be in the range of 7 double-spaced pages. Return your responses to the Dropbox.

Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Since Discussion assignments are intended to simulate classroom interactive discussion, discussions must be posted during the week they are due in order to receive credit.

Late assignments may be acceptable under certain circumstances with prior approval from the Instructor. These approved late assignments may incur a loss of points of up to 50% of the full value of the assignment because of missing the due date. Even with prior arrangements, assignments received three days past the due date will receive a “0” score.

There will not be any extension of due dates for week eight.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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