Issues Management & Public Affairs

Issues Management & Public Affairs

A new date is coming soon

There is more recorded evidence about business conduct in the public domain than ever before. An increase in symbolic competition on top of pure economic competition has forced organisations to keep an eye on how society views them. For many organisations, achieving their objectives therefore is as dependent on their nonmarket policies as it is on making sound business decisions in a competitive context. Nonmarket policies help organisations to pursue their strategic goals through political, social and cultural leverage. This 3-day masteclass introduces you to two closely related disciplines: issues management and public affairs.

Issues Management

The term ‘issues management’ refers simultaneously to a perspective on the business-society interface and to a set of concrete management tools. As a perspective, issues management stresses that firms’ long-term societal license to operate critically depends on the way in which it manages the areas of societal contention in which it is drawn due to its business model and strategy implementation. Issues management is by definition a multidisciplinary perspective, as issues tend to impact numerous stakeholders simultaneously, and cannot be managed unless all corporate disciplines cooperate in coordinated fashion. As a set of tools, issues management involves:

(a) tools for environmental scanning and tracing nascent issues;

(b) tools for positioning the corporation’s vis-à-vis issues, stakeholders, and their interests; 

(c) tools for managing issues, such as communication strategies and platform building.

Public Affairs

The term ‘public affairs’ refers to departments and routines corporations use to integrate their market and nonmarket environmental management techniques, with a particular emphasis on influencing the public policy process. Within modern companies, public affairs departments are the ones dealing with the political and regulatory issues firms might be confronted with in the context of their business operations. As these policies create both threats and opportunities for firms, it is critical to incorporate this ‘nonmarket’ component into firms’ market strategy.

Core objective
The core objective of this masterclass is to stimulate your learning about these two closely related disciplines. The instructors will share practical insights about countering and responding to societal issues, as well as navigating the public policy process. Adding to that, a mixture of case studies and interactive discussions will help you gain a working knowledge of issues management and public affairs.

  • This three-day programme is open for professionals with an interest in:

    • Corporate communication
    • Reputation management
    • Corporate affairs
    • Media relations
    • PR

    It is recommended to have 3 or more years of work experience.

  • Prof. Pursey Heugens

    Pursey Heugens is a professor of organisation theory, development, and change at the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship (RSM).
    His research interests include comparative corporate governance, business ethics, and bureaucracy, institutional, and demographic theories of organisation. Professor Heugens has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He currently serves on the editorial boards of six scholarly journals. His research has been published in academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, and the Journal of Management Studies.

    Prof. Jean-Philippe Bonardi

    Jean-Philippe Bonardi is Full Professor and currently the Dean of HEC Lausanne (the faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland). He earned his PhD and a Master from HEC School of Management (Paris, France), as well as a Master in Economics from the University of Aix-en-Provence, and was previously an Associate Professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business of the University of Western Ontario (Canada). He also held visiting appointments at the University of California Berkeley, Tulane University (USA) and the University of New South Wales (Australia).

  • Dates
    A new date is coming soon.
    09:30 - 17:00

    The course fee: € 2.650,-, includes tuition, course material and refreshments.

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    Cancellation policy
    To receive a full refund, a written notice of cancellation must be send to within a term of thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the written confirmation of the registration, unless the start date of the course programme is within the term.

    Accordingly, the cancellation fee is calculated as follows:

    • 25% of the programme fee if the cancellation notice is received 30 days or more before the start date;
    • 75% of the programme fee if the cancellation notice is received between 29 and 15 days before the start date;
    • 100% of the programme fee if the cancellation notice is received 14 days or less before the start date;
    • 100% of the programme fee if the cancellation notice is received after the programme has started.

    For more details, please view here the complete General Terms and Conditions.

    The participant can be substituted by someone from the same organisation on the same course without extra costs.

  • You can apply with our online application form:

Interested in an executive master degree?

This course can also be taken as part of RSM's part-time Executive Master in Corporate Communication, a flexible and accredited master programme for communications professionals. Find out more: