Managing Social and Human Capital

Managing Social and Human Capital course

4 weeks long, with about 8 hours worth of total material—offered by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

About this free HR course

People are the most valuable asset of any business, but they are also the most unpredictable and the most difficult asset to manage. And although managing people well is critical to the health of any organization, most managers don't get the training they need to make good management decisions. Now, award-winning authors and renowned management Professors Mike Useem and Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School have designed this course to introduce you to the critical elements of managing people.

Based on their popular course at Wharton, this course will teach you:

  • How to motivate individual performance and design reward systems
  • How to design jobs and organize work for high performance
  • How to make good and timely management decisions
  • How to design and change your organization’s architecture.

By the end of this course, you'll have developed the skills you need to start motivating, organizing, and rewarding people in your organization to thrive as a business and as a social organization.

Enroll for free on Coursera ($79/mo after)


Michael Useem from the Wharton School

Michael Useem is a Professor of Management and the Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His university teaching includes MBA and executive-MBA courses on management and leadership, and he offers programs on leadership and governance for managers in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He works on leadership development with many companies and organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He is the author of The Leader’s Checklist; The Leadership Moment; Executive Defense, Investor Capitalism, Leading Up, and The Go Point. He is also co-author and co-editor of Learning from Catastrophes; co-author of The India Way and Leadership Dispatches; co-author of Go Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy (Wharton Digital Press), and co-author of the forthcoming Catastrophic Risk: How Corporate America Copes with Disruption (Oxford University Press).

Peter Cappelli from the Wharton School

Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employment Policy from 2003-2005, and since 2007 is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ministry of Manpower for Singapore. He has degrees in industrial relations from Cornell University and in labor economics from Oxford where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He was a staff member on the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency from 1988-90, Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, and a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Post-Secondary Improvement at Stanford University.

Enroll for free on Coursera ($79/mo after)


  • Motivation and Reward
    • In this module, you'll learn how motivation affects an individual's performance and how to use that motivation to drive performance. You'll explore how incentive systems are designed and how psychological concepts such as behavior modification, imitation, conformity, and compliance influence and shape these systems. You’ll also examine the current process of hiring employees using technology, tracking systems, and outsourcing. And you’ll learn how you can provide valuable feedback to your employees and make performance appraisals productive. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to apply what you've learned to best motivate, hire, and evaluate your employees.
  • Tasks, Jobs, and Systems of Work
    • This module teaches you the difference between a task and a job. You'll learn how jobs are historically designed, and you'll explore some of the drawbacks related to past work systems. You'll also learn how job design has been influenced by engineering and psychology. Finally, you'll look at real-world examples from GM and Toyota to compare their respective approaches. By the end of this module, you'll understand how jobs and work systems have evolved to improve employee performance and productivity.
  • Making Good and Timely Management Decisions
    • In this module, you'll learn how to make good and timely management decisions. Through several real-world examples, you'll see how leaders create and build a decision-making mindset. You'll also learn how leaders can make costly decisions that affect their team or their entire company negatively. By the end of this module, you will be able to apply key concepts to making good and timely management decisions and build a higher-performing team.
  • Designing and Changing the Organization's Architecture
    • This module was created to describe the influence of an organization's architecture on management and its team's performance. You'll explore how inequity fosters disparity among employees and can inhibit a company's success. You'll also look at two real-world examples of leaders who tackled problems within their organizational structures to effect change. By the end of this module, you will be able to identify key steps in which you can lead change within your organization.

Enroll for free on Coursera ($79/mo after)

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