‘What millennials expect’ and ‘Russian reputations’ theses win awards

Special thesis awards have been presented at the recent graduation ceremony for 18 communication professionals in the Part-time Executive International MSc in Corporate Communication at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Marina Kaptein’s thesis, Motivating the #millennials. Followers today. Leaders tomorrow considers what HR support millennial workers expect from their organisations and won the Shell Stimulation Award for Excellence in Corporate Communication 2016. The Andreas Award for Innovation in Corporate Communication 2016 was won by Pavel Kim for his thesis Corporate Reputation in Russia 2000-2015 Evolution highlighting developments in reputation management in Russia since the new millennium.

The international group of 18 graduates of the MSc in Corporate Communication 2016 received their diplomas in a ceremony on Friday, 2 December at RSM. Academic director of the programme, Prof. Cees van Riel presented the diplomas to the graduates and congratulated each one individually.

Of the 18 graduates, 11 are Dutch; others are from Germany, Russia, Peru, Poland, USA, South Africa and Serbia.

The jury for the Shell Stimulation Award for Excellence in Corporate Communication 2016 commented that Marina Kaptein’s thesis Motivating the #millennials. Followers today. Leaders tomorrow about those people who reached young adulthood around the year 2000 draws together concepts and insights at a high academic level to formulate a set of informed hypotheses on their expectations, combining qualitative and quantitative research. The findings are of great academic and practical value, said the jury. Millennials expect and hope for the same work conditions and HRM support as older colleagues, and slightly more communication from direct supervisors or leaders. “In contrast to the academic and practitioner literature so far, you show that considering millennial as a distinct category with its own motivations and values is more myth than reality,” said the jury, and “your study meets the double hurdle of both academic rigour and practical relevance that is the hallmark of this award,” added Saskia Kapinga, Vice President External Relations for Royal Dutch Shell, the sponsor of the award.

Pavel Kim’s thesis, Corporate Reputation in Russia 2000-2015 Evolution won the Andreas Award for Innovation in Corporate Communication 2016. The theses addresses the increasing number of companies in Russia adopting the practice of reputation management and becoming more transparent towards society – and more accountable in external reporting – over the past 15 years. Kim’s interesting and convincing data has academic and practical relevance, said the jury, and his thesis is unique for its insights into reputation management in Russia. “Your thesis will hopefully evoke a debate in Russia about the added value of more transparency and accountability,” Prof. van Riel said, referring to the importance of the role of these companies to society in Russia and globally.

Pavel Kim’s thesis will show the relatively new reputation rankings in Russia in a more sophisticated and academically sound context, according to the jury. Kim’s thesis is available in both Russian and English making it accessible for a broader international audience, said former chairman of the board for the Corporate Communication Centre BV Andreas van de Beek, who presented the award.

New MSc Corporate Communication graduates are: Charlotte Andriesse (Andriesse Communications); Catrien van den Broek (Nationale Nederlanden); Judith Coster (KLM); Femina Dolfsma (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in the Dutch parliament’s House of Representatives); Francisca Gorgodian (KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG); Robert Heckert (Sanquin); Marina Kaptein (Azelis); Pavel Kim (Emerging Communications); Stefanie Komar (Shell); Blanca Méndez Chang (Oikocredit); Denis Naudin ten Cate (SpiritsNL); Marisa Rijpkema (Ingenico ePayments); Clemens Sassen (HuijskensBickerton); Werner Schoeman (Sustainalytics); Monique Schumans (Provincies Gelderland en Overijssel); Annet Snoek (formerly of Aramco Overseas Company); Debora Vollebregt (Centrum voor de Kunsten Beverwijk); Caroline Wroblewski (NN Investment Partners).

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 research-based business schools. 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. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

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


Alumni , Business-Society Management , Corporate Communication Centre , Companies , Homepage , Newsroom , Master , Organisation and personnel management