When you work in human resources, it is a good idea to keep your skills sharp and learn what you need to about working with people in a business environment. If you are interested in learning more about human resources, or if you just want to hone your skills as a human resources manager, here are 50 free open courseware classes about human resources.

Business Organizations and Human Resources Management

Business organizationLearn more about business organizations, and learn about human resources management.

  1. Training and Human Resources Development: UC Irvine offers a helpful course on human resources, and even allows you to tailor your training to your own needs.
  2. Individuals, Groups and Organizations: This MIT course helps you understand different dynamics in business environments.
  3. Human resources: recruitment and selection: The Open University offers a helpful look at human resources, and how to recruit for a business organization.
  4. Human Resources for Health: Helpful information and more from this resource that looks at human resources in health business organizations.
  5. Strategic HR Management: Get a handle on strategy for better managing human resources in business organizations.
  6. Organizational Processes: Learn the basics of business organization, and how it works.
  7. People and Organizations: Studies the evolution of current organizational cultures. Helpful for a number of HR professionals in a variety of fields.
  8. Managing Organizational Change: This Harvard lecture offers an interesting insight into how to lead through changes in organizations.
  9. Managing projects through people: Learn how to more effectively manage people and their projects.

Business Policy and Law

Business LawIn human resources, it is helpful to understand different aspects of business policy and law. Here are some courses that can help you learn more about that.

  1. Urban Labor Markets and Employment Policy: Learn about urban labor policy, and get some policy ideas.
  2. Labor Economics: Get a basic overview of the economics behind labor to understand how the system works.
  3. Industrial Organization and Public Policy: Learn how public policy works in terms of industrial organization and business practices.
  4. Power: Interpersonal, Organizational and Global Dimensions: Considers different aspects of power that can help as you work to set HR policy.
  5. Human rights and law: Understand the basic look at human rights, and law related to work.
  6. Company law in contect: The Open University provides a helpful look at the nature of business, and of business law.
  7. Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager: MIT offers this course as a way to help you understand the basic legal issues faced by companies.
  8. Theories of Public Policy: Tufts University includes interesting insights on public policy, which can be useful for the human resources manager.
  9. Frameworks of Urban Governance: A helpful look at how urban areas are governed, providing insights that can be used for corporate policy.


Wall StreetBusiness and company ethics are very important to the proper running of a company. Human resources workers need to understand these issues, since they address them regularly.

  1. Corporate Governance: This course from Connexions offers insight into how corporate governance works, and the ethics behind it.
  2. Business Ethics: Get insight into how business ethics work, and how to promote them.
  3. Creating an ethical organization: The Open University takes you through the steps you can take to promote ethical practices in the organizational environment.
  4. Literature, Ethics and Authority: MIT provides a look at how you can share ethical norms with those in your organization.
  5. The Case for Sustainable Businesses: Gresham College shares insights on the ethics of working toward sustainability.
  6. Ethical Practice: Professionalism, Social Responsibility, and the Purpose of the Corporation: Another MIT course, this one looks at the basics of ethical practice for business.
  7. Ethics: Western Governors University offers a basic look at ethics.
  8. Introduction to Business: This provides a basic overview, from Kaplan University, of what business is about and touches on ethics.


Managing PeopleLearn about how to handle people, and work with them, in these courses that can help you increase your effectiveness in human resources.

  1. Negotiation and Conflict Management: Consider different situations and strategies for overcoming conflict in business settings.
  2. Building and Leading Effective Teams: MIT looks at how you can create effective teams of employees.
  3. Making and using rules: Get an idea of how to develop rules and regulations for business settings.
  4. Managing relationships: Another offering from The Open University, this course is designed to help you learn how to more effectively work with others.
  5. Giving and Receiving Feedback: BBC Academy offers this helpful course on how you can better give feedback — and what to do with feedback that is provided to you.
  6. Leading Organizations: Get a handle on the importance of leadership, and how to inspire people.
  7. Leadership Development: Another course focused on helping you become a better leader.
  8. Strategic view of performance: Learn about how you can encourage better performance from business employees.


Considering Human BehaviorIt can be extremely helpful to understand a little bit about human behavior when you work in human resources. Here are some great courses on human behavior.

  1. Managerial Psychology: Learn theories of behavior, and how to apply them, from MIT.
  2. Emotional Intelligence: Connexions offers this course on understanding emotion and applying it to your interactions with others.
  3. Power Play: Learn about the dynamics of power and how it is used in this course from Gresham College.
  4. Does attractiveness rule the world?: Another offering from Gresham College, this course looks at the effect that attractiveness has on behavior.
  5. Entrepreneurial behaviour: The Open University offers a course on the traits and behaviors that mark entrepreneurs.
  6. Management Theory: The University of Tokyo offers a course that helps you learn about management, and how it relates to behavior.
  7. Appearance and Human Behavior: Learn about how human appearance can affect behavior from this course at Korea University.
  8. Political Behavior: This course from MIT offers an interesting look at political behavior. It has applications in business as well.
  9. Developmental Psychology: Get an overview of how human behavior develops from UC Berkeley.


CommunicationExpressing yourself is essential in human resources, and you need to be able to communicate concepts to others. These courses can help you brush up on your communication skills.

  1. Business Communications in the Age of Spin: Learn about how business communication works.
  2. How to Conduct a Meeting in an Intercultural Setting: Techniques for communicating effectively with an intercultural group.
  3. Communicating With Data: An overview of how data can help you make better decisions.
  4. Introduction to business cultures: Learn about different cultures of business, and how to communicate within them.
  5. Toolkit: Internal Communications: This helpful course at the Open Courseware Consortium offers a look at how to communicate more effectively on an internal basis.
  6. Communicating in Cyberspace: Learn how to communicate online, and how to be more effective in an online environment.
  7. Intro to Tech Communication: Learn about technical writing, and how to produce proper reports.

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