MGMT 0004: Work, Power, and Inequality
Workers and employers clearly have interests in common: unless the firm is economically viable, owners will lose their investments and workers will lose their jobs. However, other interests diverge. What share of firm revenues should go to workers versus investors? How much control should managers have over the organization of work and the treatment of disadvantaged workers? What level of commitment should the firm owe to its workers and workers owe to their employer? MGMT 004 examines the balance of power in the workplace and explores responses to perceived abuses of employer power.
Via discussion of cases from immigrant shirtwaist sewers’ strike of 1909 to the 2021 union declaration by engineers Google, MGMT-004 examines how political institutions (including labor laws), social movements (like #MeToo), and firm-level strategies (such as race and gender inclusion initiatives) shape workforce structures and inequalities. To assess how national institutions influence productivity, profitability, fairness, and stability, we compare the United States with other countries.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Understand the role and interests of unions, labor markets, and political institutions within the workforce.
- Identify the impact of social movements, political institutions, and business strategies upon workforce structures and inequalities.
- Comparatively assess how U.S. institutions and workforce structures differ from those of other countries.
About the Wharton Pre-Baccalaureate Program
The Wharton Pre-Baccalaureate Program is an academically-intensive opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors to enroll in Wharton online courses. Participants will learn from Wharton instructors, earn a Wharton transcript, and accrue college credit for each course completed. With six sessions to choose from and built-in academic support, students are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of Wharton’s business education curriculum with maximum flexibility and the guidance and resources to succeed.
This course is delivered via live lectures, online discussions, peer work, and readings. To be successful, you must actively engage with ideas presented in the course, and with those posed by your classmates.
Assessment is based upon active course participation, quizzes, written assignments, a group presentation, and a group paper.
- Labor markets and institutions
- Social movements
- Work in the Gig economy
- Race, gender, and work
- Globalization and cross-border supply chains
Students must complete the assigned readings (and view videos/ listen to podcasts) before class. Readings can be accessed on Canvas, where you will find links to Harvard Business School cases for purchase and links to articles, library URLs (for journal articles), and PDFs. On Canvas, you will also find a list of study questions for each session to help guide your preparation for class.
Synchronous classes offer the opportunity to explore questions about the course and materials beyond the lectures through live interactions with your course instructor and your classmates. This class emphasizes discussion, and students are required to participate synchronously during scheduled class meetings. Live class sessions will meet twice weekly.
Course Materials Fee
Course attendance and participation are expected on a regular basis.
In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:
All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time).
Instructor: Sara Jane McCaffrey
Sara Jane McCaffrey is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Sara Jane’s research interests include workforce skills, responses to globalization, the development of ethical markets, and corporate responsibility. Her publications include articles in Business & Politics, Business & Society, and Socio-Economic Review. In 2019, she received a Wharton Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding performance.
Sara Jane holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
INCLUDED IN ALL SUMMER ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)
Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM) is a creative, extracurricular community open to summer students as a way to connect to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their programs. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking.
*The GYM is included in all online summer programs, except Understanding Your Money.