Human Capital, Mobility and Diversity in Firms

STR445 Human Capital, Mobility and Diversity in Firms

Autumn 2020

  • Topics

    The course provides business and economics students with a deeper empirical understanding of (a) the operation of labour markets and the input factor labour to firms’ production and (b) gender differences in labour markets and gender diversity in firms, and the discussion and solution to cases in management and strategy.

    The course consists of three parts. Part I starts with a general introduction to labour markets, the input factor labour and firm production.  Part II covers topical issues related to gender diversity and firm outcomes.  Part III covers topics on diversity management.


    Part I: Firms and Labour markets

    1. Labour Supply and Labour Demand

    2. Human Capital and Mobility

    3. Labour Supply and the Household


    Part II: Gender diversity and firm outcomes

    1. Discriminatory behaviour

    2. Work and Family

    3. Segregation, mobility and careers

    4. Networks, mentors and role models

    5. Corporate governance


    Part III: Diversity Management

    1. Firm performance

    2. Management style

  • Learning outcome

    Students will obtain skills that are necessary, for example, to make strategic human capital decisions, such as recruitment, retention and training, and diversity management decisions. For example, students will learn how to improve decision making in recruitment and retention through e.g. debiasing strategies.


    By the end of this course the student

    • has conceptual and empirical knowledge of how labor markets operate in relation to society and the firms
    • has broad knowledge of the relevant regulations such as anti-discrimination laws, family policies, gender quotas
    • will be able to discuss gender differences in labour markets and in firms
    • has knowledge of empirical evidence on important questions related to the input factor labour and gender diversity; this includes international statistics as well as evidence from evaluation studies


    By the end of this course the student

    • can apply academic knowledge and relevant results of research to practical problems, such as recruitment, team building, unconscious bias, and make well-founded choices.
    • can reflect upon his/her own academic practice and adjust it during the dialogues with co-students in groups and in group discussion and discussion of case studies
    • can identify, evaluate and refer to information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a manner that sheds light on the problem

    General competence

    By the end of this course the student

    • can read empirical evidence that includes descriptive statistics and simple regression analysis output
    • has insight into relevant professional issues of gender diversity and gender differences in the workplace
    • can communicate important subject matters such as models, problems and solutions, both in writing and orally
    • can exchange opinions and experiences with others with a background in the field, thereby contributing to the development of good practice

  • Teaching

    The course consists of lectures including one guest lecture, case based discussions, group discussions and two written assignments.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Two group based assignments graded approved/not approved. The assignments contain situational questions and short cases that students are asked to solve in groups.

  • Assessment

    4 hours written school exam. The exam can be answered in English or Norwegian.

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Blau, Francine D. and Anne E. Winkler (2018): The economics of women, men and work, eighth edition, Oxford University Press.

    -Selected articles and cases.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2020.

Please note: Due to the present corona situation, please expect parts of this course description to be changed before the autumn semester starts. Particularly, but not exclusively, this relates to teaching methods, mandatory requirements and assessment.

Course responsible

Professor Astrid Kunze, Department of Economics.

Associate Professor Siri Isaksson, Department of Economics.