Research of Communication Strategies ranging from the impact of gamification to NGO’s in post-communist countries

Seventeen communication professionals graduated from the Part-time Executive International Master of Science in Corporate Communication at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) on 21 November 2014. The graduates work at a variety of organisations including the Bank for International Settlements, KPN, European Parliament, Philips, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and Weber-Stephen Deutschland GmbH.

Professor Cees van Riel – Professor of Corporate Communication at RSM and Founding Managing Director of the Corporate Communication Centre – presented the graduates with certificates during a festive ceremony. At the same event, awards went to the authors of two graduation theses:

The Andreas Award for Innovation in Corporate Communication 2014 was handed to Esther Oostrom, Manager Brand & (Social) Media at Aegon, for her thesis Gamification, The Engagement Game on the impact of gamification on customer engagement and brand strength.

Esther Oostrom’s thesis is remarkable in many ways: the innovative subject (gamification), embedded in a thorough and very special literature study, used in two excellent empirical studies resulting in a model that shows which game-element can influence three important psychological drivers of customer engagement being experience, involvement and meaning.

The Shell Stimulation Award for Excellence in Corporate Communication 2014 went to Anna Saghabalyan, Public Relations Manager at Geoteam CJSC – Lydian International Ltd., for her thesis The impact of environmental NGOs/CSOs on the business; Environment in post-communist countries.

This thesis provides a critical view on environmental CSOs/NGOs and their ability to bring policy change in order to contribute to societal development, and to create shared value with society in post-communist countries. The Jury motivates the choice for this thesis as follows: “Saghabalyan’s thesis describes challenges that Western corporations face in post-communist countries as a result of the differences between NGOs in their countries versus those the developed world. The thesis also offers an interesting perspective on how inefficient NGO funding is in these countries on behalf of western donors, and tries to show the limited impact these organisations actually have on environmental management.”

MSc Corporate Communication graduation ceremony 2014The Part-time Executive International Master of Science in Corporate Communication (MCC) at RSM is designed for corporate communication professionals seeking competence and expertise in areas of external and internal organisational communication, where mastery is essential for managerial success. RSM’s MCC programme combines the latest academic research with best practices from the world of business. It is taught in a flexible format that is easily combined with a career. The MCC programme is comprised of four parts, the entire cycle of which is delivered across a 1.5-year period.

Since November 2008, the NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation) has accredited the programme as an official Master of Science (MSc) programme. The MCC is organised by the Corporate Communication Centre, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in September 2014.

For more information on this programme please contact Programme Manager Susanna Marco, +31 10 408 2851 or by email:

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is ranked among Europe’s top 10 business schools for education and among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam - a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

Alumni , Corporate Communication Centre , Companies , Homepage , In the spotlight , International , Newsroom , Master