The HR-MBA: Five Popular Elective Options

  • Responding to Conflict
  • Foundations of Finance
  • Communications in Change Management
  • Team-Building
  • Facilitating Upward Feedback

Among the many school-related decisions they will make, human resources MBA students need to decide which electives to take along their educational journey. There are truly many options here with each school carrying its very own unique and sometimes similar elective options. Across the spectrum, here are five, popular choices among this particular group of degree-pursuers right now.

Resource: Top 10 Best HR MBA Programs

1. Responding to Conflict

Small and large, many types of conflicts can arise in the business world. How those conflicts are handled can have a resounding effect on the individual worker, the entire organization, and even the broader world around them. Responding to Conflict is a popular elective that tackles this very subject. Here, students are exposed to a wide array of possible scenarios and given direction on how to handle each with the most beneficial outcomes possible.

2. Foundations of Finance

While financial concerns touch human resource departments differently depending on the organization, money matters are the cornerstone to business operations. For this reason, human resources MBA grads are typically well-suited to know some basic finance information. Foundations of Finance is subsequently a popular choice for this student demographic. In this course, students learn finance basics such as multi-level budgeting, valuations, basic finance ethics concerns, payroll basics, general finance terminology, and more.

3. Communications in Change Management

Change management is the management and administration of wide-scale change in an organization. A recent Forbes piece on the matter highlights some of the minutia of making a sweeping change successful: top-down initiative, universal involvement in the workforce, and effective accountability/reinforcement systems. But how does all this occur successfully? A lot of communications must flow and work effectively for such systemic adaptations to truly work out. The Communications in Change Management elective course lays the groundwork for effective communications in times of change.

4. Team-Building

Team-Building is typically offered by way of either a school’s communications department or its business management department and is a great introduction to becoming an effective team-builder. Students learn the different qualities of teams, the various psychological effects on the team concept, and even the potential results of the different types of teams, both effective and ineffective. This is naturally a popular choice for HR grads as human resources is itself all about maintaining the best team possible – the organization’s workforce.

5. Facilitating Upward Feedback

Upward feedback is a critical communications skill in which the reviewer or assessor provides feedback that best facilitates improvements. Anyone can quickly generate feedback, but feedback that truly prompts the very most direct, best improvement or change is the kind that today’s competitive organizations really value. What makes upward feedback even more tricky, however, is the fact that it is given to superiors by their subordinate workers. How does one best handle this? Facilitating Upward Feedback helps students to know how to give feedback up the hierarchy chain instead of solely downward.

There are many options for human resources MBA students today with regard to elective choices, minor choices, and a number of other ways to customize the college experience. These five elective options are among some of the most popular in this area of academics right now. While these course titles may not match exactly, detailed information on the various electives available to a human resources MBA student is available from the program of interest.