Curriculum

Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Business Information Management programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 ECTS). Master electives (18 ECTS) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. It is also possible to replace one elective with an internship or business project. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 ECTS).

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

    • Information technology (IT) is revolutionizing the way people and firms transact business. This process is only being accelerated with the development of social media and the availability of big data, which has enormous impact on our activities and the way organizations work and compete. This rapid movement towards the new information economy is being led by both established firms such as Wal-Mart, General Electric, and new entrepreneurial firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, and Dropbox. As a master student of business information management, you need a thorough understanding of the latest technology trends, how firms embrace disruptive technologies, and what new business models emerge that allows firms to compete and lead in the information economy. This course will devote to the study of the strategic use of information, and provide you with the understanding of the role of information, the closely related role of information technology, major developments of e-commerce, and their implications on economics, marketing, and operational issues. This course will focus on problems unique to information-intensive businesses that you will soon encounter as a consultant, analyst, technologist, or entrepreneur. The course is a combination of lectures and a high degree of case analysis and discussions. In the class, you will work with real world examples ranging across different industries. The course will cover six themes: information strategy, business model and digital transformation, business-to-consumer e-commerce, electronic markets and auctions, information goods, and platform mediated networks.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. T. Li.

    • This course and the accompanying reading materials aim to provide you with the knowledge and skills required for building information systems that drive business success. You will learn about the process of building modern information systems and about the requirements engineering, analysis, and design activities of software engineering. You will learn to identify stakeholders and requirements, to define the structure of an information system, to evaluate competing solutions for a business problem, and you will start to “speak business and IT”. You will gain an insight into how important these activities are in creating information systems that are truly aligned with business needs. Throughout the course, you will also learn about selected topics in IT strategy and IT software project management. In your team project, you will develop the idea, the business justification, and the requirements for a novel business application.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Y. Ghiassi-Farrokhfal.

    • This course will consist of lectures and workshops on the basics of writing a good thesis and performing the key methodologies used in master theses within the field of Business Information Management.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by drs. P.W. Aertsen.

    • In Business Architecture & Transformation we aim to explain the role of digital and leadership capabilities within organizations and how to assess these capabilities. We will present you with the concept of operating models and demonstrate on real life examples which operating model fits which kind of company. We will explain the difference between digital operations and digital strategy. Further, we will look into how investments in IT can be assessed. Value from IT does not necessarily come from within the firm but might be driven by digital partnerships and outsourcing of IT functions, which we will also look into during this course. We will point out the importance of IT governance to achieve strategic alignment between IT and business. Finally, we will talk about what really makes a true management leader in IT.

      While you have looked into how to strategically use information and how to design business applications in the first block of your core courses we try to give you a perspective on how you can manage IT projects on a higher level. We look into the business and management perspective of transformation processes and how strategic decisions on a CIO-level should be made.

      Review the course guide for more details.

       Taught by dr. J.R. Sweeney.

    • The exponential growth in data generation and storage creates new business opportunities but also leads to major technical and managerial challenges. New tools, methods, and organisational changes are necessary to take advantage of the growing amount of data, popularly known as Big Data. This course will introduce students to what characterises "Big Data" (e.g., volume, variety and velocity) and to their main challenges. The course will cover the fundamentals of Data Science, including data preparation, modelling, evaluation, and deployment. Specifically, students will learn how to identify data problems and opportunities, and how to structure, design and deploy data-driven solutions that provide value to the business. Students will have hands-on experience solving practical cases using Big Data tools and technologies available in the market.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. R Crisostomo Pereira Belo and dr.ir. O.R. Koppius.

    • The costs of computing power and telecommunications have been dramatically reduced and, in this information intensive economy, products and services have been extensively digitized. Consumers are becoming more and more knowledgeable and demanding and contact firms in many different situations. These consumers require the formation of tailored value creation systems to better match their needs. As a result, business and marketing strategies have shifted from the traditional product-centric to a more customer-centric approach. The emerging challenge for firms is how to best support and activate consumers and also learn about their product needs. Increasingly firms and consumers work closely together in the value creation process across all stages of the value chain. In the information search stage, firms (e.g. Amazon, iTunes) attempt to maximize the accuracy of their recommendations by also incorporating consumer insights (product reviews). Firms such as Dell and Nike allow their customers to customize products to their own taste, whereas firms such as Threadless or Kickstarter rely on customers to generate ideas for new products. Platforms such as Airbnb or Etsy use customers’ spare resources (e.g. rooms, products) in order to create a community of sellers and buyers. Finally, firms like Wikipedia or Facebook heavily depend on consumer input to create value for other consumers. To be successful, these new business models often use non-conventional business models and digital commerce strategies to interact with consumers.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. D. Tsekouras.

    • Networks shape many aspects of how people and organizations interact, take decisions, and ultimately perform. With the advent of Social Media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) and with the increasing digitization of all forms of communication and business processes, Network Data Analysis has become a valued asset to better understand how different agents interact and how to best take advantage of the network structure to increase overall system performance. This course will cover the fundamentals of data analysis and network science, the methods, theories, and the procedures for data collection and analysis in very large networks. Covered topics include information diffusion, organizational design, viral marketing, social media and others.

      This course provides the basics of network data analytics, including fundamental network- and node-level metrics, as well as more advanced analysis methods, with attention to the application areas where these can and have been used. Students will engage in in-class projects in which they collect and analyze network data using the tools and methods covered in class. Students will apply these methods to specific networks, such as social media networks (e.g., Twitter), co-worker networks, organization networks, and product networks.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. R Crisostomo Pereira Belo.

    • This course aims to strengthen your abilities as future managers with one of the most important yet mostly missing skills for managers: the art of programming. Managers with programming experience are able to be involved in the decision-making process of their developers. They can also --at high level-- understand whether or not each developer is performing well. In this course, we will focus on one of the most widely used programming languages: Java. This course also lays the foundation for learning other important programming languages. You should not expect to be developers in few weeks. You should rather treat this course as an intense programming tutorial for absolute beginners. It is assumed that the registered students have no previous knowledge of programming. After taking this course, you will learn how to excel in Java even further or to start learning a new programming language from scratch. Java is greatly structured to be an easy-to-learn, yet a powerful programming language.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Y Ghiassi-Farrokhfal.

    • With over 3.3 billion individuals having access to the Internet, organizations have been looking for ways in which they can tap into the skills and knowledge of this online crowd. Through crowdsourcing, organizations no longer need to employ every individual who works for them. Online platforms such as Uber, Helpling, Airbnb essentially offer the same services as traditional firms, but do so by leveraging an online workforce. How do such crowd-based business models affect the functioning of such organizations? How does it affect the people who work for such organizations? And what about the meaning of work and employment in society? In this course we will explore the business and societal implications of the move towards crowd-based business models.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M. Boons.

    • The Economist calls it a ‘platformization’ of our modern economy: 70% of all ‘unicorn’ firms operate the platform business model, and the combined market cap of all publicly traded platform companies now exceeds $3 trillion. Platform companies such as Google, Amazon, and Nintendo differ from traditional firms in that the value of a platform (e.g. video game consoles) to one customer group (e.g. game developers) depends on the participation from another customer group (e.g. gamers), and vice versa. Platform owners that successfully solve this ‘Chicken and Egg’ problem enjoy strong network externalities and structurally outperform their rivals. This course unveils why certain technology platforms win the standards race while others fail. The course also covers competition between providers of complementary goods, the firms that compete within the confines of platform markets such as sellers on Amazon or app developers on Apple’s iOS. The course covers many real-world cases including: video game consoles, the sharing economy (e.g. Airbnb, Kickstarter), ‘killer apps’ on mobile phones, and some canonical examples from modern history including videocassette recorders (VCR) and the QWERTY keyboard.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. G.J. Rietveld.

    • Advances in IT have transformed the market microstructure of many industries. Financial services, commercial services, entertainment, media and news industry, the hi-tech & telecommunications sectors, manufacturing, retailing, energy and transportation will all experience significant structural change. We investigate how these developments influence the business practices, profitability of corporations and digital policy. In each case of industry, we will analyze the linkages between market structure, resulting digital policy options that are open to firms and government and how information technology can be deployed in support of these strategies and policy regimes.
       
      The course will emphasize the use of economic frameworks to raise and answer questions and to analyze options open to businesses. Discussions and analyses will be about formulating frameworks that bring out the limitations of the traditional responses of businesses when faced with changes and uncertainties about the market.  Students will acquire hands-on-experience with analytical methods in analyzing business and industry structure, optimal policy and strategy.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J.H. Oh.

    • Firms need to innovate to stay competitive. While successful innovations promise large returns, many projects fail. In this course, we will start with traditional forms of innovation management and how to address the most common challenges to successful innovation projects. In the second part of the course, we will look at recent digital developments and how they affect innovation activities. In particular, we will look at open innovation, innovation analytics, and technology-enabled innovation (such as the cloud).

      The course is case-based, which means that students are required to prepare cases before classes and participate in classroom discussions. Such classroom discussion will form a substantial part of the learning experience. Using examples of companies, the cases illustrate key takeaways from the lectures and they will give students a practical understanding of managing digital innovation that goes beyond the classroom.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Philipp Cornelius.

    • Effective use of digital technologies that is consistent with the intended business benefits plays a critical role in realizing the potential value that IT offers for business innovation. Unfortunately, effective use of IT is fraught with risks and challenges. Over 60% of technology implementations in business contexts fail to deliver their anticipated business benefits. Consequently, a firm’s ability to identify potential value-adding IT-enabled strategic and operational innovations and design the processes and/or products/services to embody these potential innovations has become a source of competitive differentiation. The pervasiveness of digitization within business enterprises, and their strategic and operational dependency upon IT, places the PRIMARY responsibility for managing IT-enabled business innovation with business executives, not just with IT professionals. The overall objective of this course is to help you develop an informed understanding about effectively managing the identification, deployment, adoption and use of appropriate IT resources to enable business process innovation that increase a firm’s operation or competitive position.

      Review the course guide for more details. 

      Taught by Y. Kuper MSc.

    • The module will offer a broad perspective of various issues relating to the outsourcing and offshoring of strategic IT and business services in a global context. In this regard the key objectives of this module are (i) to assess the role that sourcing plays in shaping business and IT strategy in a global context, (ii) how to make sourcing decisions and engage in outsourcing/offshoring initiatives, and (iii) how to manage outsourcing and offshoring to achieve superior performance. The module will examine in depth both sides of the equation: client and service provider perspectives, and will discuss the role of intermediaries.

      From a client viewpoint we will discuss various decisions and strategies relating to outsourcing and offshoring, among them which activities and systems to outsource and which to retain in house? which country to select? how to select a service provider? what capabilities to develop in house to successfully manage the outsourcing relationship?

      From a service provider viewpoint, we will examine strategies to leverage knowledge from individual relationships (projects) and develop them into organisational capabilities necessary to innovate and move up the value chain. Furthermore, we will focus on the core capabilities that suppliers need to develop and how clients can be made aware of “good” suppliers.

      We will review and challenge best practices and methodologies in outsourcing of IT and business services using examples from most recent research. Furthermore, we will discuss changes and future trends in the outsourcing marketplace reflecting on (i) recent events and economic trends in wealthy, emerging and developing nations and (ii) threats and benefits for clients and vendors. For example, we will discuss most recent trends such as (i) backsourcing (that is bringing back in-house services previously outsourced to a third party), (ii) how to achieve innovation in outsourcing, and (iii) emerging sourcing models such as crowdsourcing and cloud services.

    • With the explosion of Big Data from social media and technologies, such as RFID, GPS, and sensor-data, organizations are increasingly confronted with the need to develop analytics capabilities to take advantage of their data. This gives many great opportunities to work on the cutting edge of science and business.

      In order to design a practical Business Analytics application, we will explain throughout the course how to use the programming language and software environment R to collect, analyze, and visualize relevant data, be they publicly available data (social media or otherwise) or internal data from a company.

      Review the course guide for more detail.

      Taught by dr. J. van Dalen and dr. Z. Cao.

    • Businesses today have to cope with an increasing rate of change and adaptation. One of the key Business Information Management disciplines to support this cycle is the discipline of "architecting" an enterprise by means of Enterprise Architectures (EA). EA is as a set of practices consisting of high-level views and norms that guide the coherent and consistent design and implementation of organisational structures, processes, information provisioning and technology within an organization. If carried out properly, EA leverages Information Technology to help innovate the enterprise. This course is highly relevant to those of you who are looking to increase their skills in advising organisations to effectively move from strategy to execution.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr.ir. R.M. van Wessel.

    • In this course, you will learn how to design technologies that bring people joy, rather than frustration. You'll learn how to conduct fieldwork with people to help you get design ideas or to evaluate the developed solutions. You'll learn principles of perception and cognition that inform effective interaction design. You'll learn several techniques for rapidly prototyping and evaluating multiple interface alternatives -- and why rapid prototyping and comparative evaluation are essential to excellent interaction design. How to make paper prototypes and low-fidelity mock-ups that are interactive -- and how to use these designs to get feedback from other stakeholders like your teammates, clients, and users. You'll learn principles of visual design so that you can effectively organize and present information with your interfaces. And you'll learn how to perform and analyse controlled experiments online. In many cases, we'll use Web design as the anchoring domain. A lot of the examples will come from the Web, and we'll talk just a bit about Web technologies in particular. When we do so, it will be to support the main goal of this course, which is helping you build human-centered design skills, so that you have the principles and methods to create excellent interfaces with any technology.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. K. Koroleva.

    • Business processes are vital to organizations as they integrate human, technical, physical, and informational resources together during daily operations to generate value. While some companies have mastered the art and science of continuously improving business processes, others fail in keeping up with the ever-changing business environment. Advancements in computing capabilities (i.e. mobile computing, cloud computing, and Internet of Things), the introduction of disruptive business models, and changes in labor economics are just a few of the factors driving an ongoing need for organizations to reassess and redesign their existing processes – or even to come up with entirely new processes altogether.

      This course equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to systematically model, analyze, and improve business processes. In the beginning you will learn foundational concepts of Business Process Management (BPM) and the BPM lifecycle. You will then work with software to model a wide variety of business processes. Examples range from established processes found in traditional companies to emerging processes found in disruptive companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Netflix, and Uber. During the intermediate phase of the course, students will learn how to apply qualitative and quantitative techniques in order to improve existing processes – this means not only ‘doing things right’ but also ‘doing the right thing’. Later in the course, you will learn how to visualize and analyze system event logs through the use of process mining software. Throughout the course, you will demonstrate mastery of requisite topics and techniques by completing an individual case study and two project-based group assignments.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J.R. Sweeney.

    • In the course we explore how social media impacts and is impacted by people and organizations in which it is embedded and which opportunities and challenges it creates. Social media alters the flow of information and allows to reconsider formal organizational structures, decision making and power relationships. For example, consumers become producers of information, products and services (e.g. crowdsourcing) and companies might benefit from opening up their platforms to third-party developers (e.g. Facebook, Google, etc.).

      In response, organizations need to adjust their strategies and business models, to meet new customer demands and the increasing competition on the market. In order to integrate social media into an existing business, for example, organizations need to define new ways of communication with their customers as well as the ways to measure the return on investment. Alternatively, in order to expand into an online business, organizations need to define their unique value proposition as well as develop a novel business model. Additionally, companies need to address the facing competition from the social sharing systems which can fundamentally alter the existing market structures.

      We will address these issues in a set of interactive lectures. There will be weekly case studies and/or assignments as well as in-class student presentations. Students will work on a real-life social media project where they have to develop, implement and measure a social media strategy for an organization or project.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr K. Koroleva.

    • IT project management is the process of planning, organizing and delineating responsibility for the completion of an organizations' specific information technology goals. IT projects a part of day-to-day reality for many managers and to-become managers. The majority of Business School students will start their career with one or more project management responsibilities and most change and innovation project are IT related. Within the digital evolution IT project management and auditing skills are a ‘must-be’ for each business professional.

      IT project management includes overseeing projects for software development, hardware installations, network upgrades, cloud computing and virtualization rollouts, business analytics and data management projects and implementing IT services (techtarget.com). In addition to the normal problems that can cause a project to fail, factors that can negatively affect the success of an IT project include advances in technology during the project's execution, infrastructure changes that impact security and data management and unknown dependent relationships among hardware, software, network infrastructure and data. IT projects may also succumb to the first-time, first-use penalty which represents the total risk an organization assumes when implementing a new technology for the first time. Because the technology hasn’t been implemented or used before in the organization, there are likely to be complications that will affect the project’s likelihood of success.

      Managing IT projects is a people business on the edge of IT and business responsibilities with often conflicting alignment issues. Many projects fail not from technology issues, but mere on the absence of a mutual domain knowledge and lack of mutual respect between disciplines. This course will focus on alignment and governance issues with IT project management.

      Other topics for the course are Best Practices, The Triple Constraints, Sunk Costs and Black Swans, Risk and Portfolio Management, Agile Development and IT Project Auditing.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by drs. A.P. Simons.

    • The main aim of this course is to acquaint business school students with the principles of design thinking. Design thinking is a form of innovation, which does not result from technological breakthroughs, but rather rests on human-centered exploration, observation and interaction. In the design thinking process the designer helps the user understand his/her needs, and design products/services that closely match them, resulting in products/services that bring people joy rather than frustration. In this way, for example, the Japanese company Shimano revolutionized the biking experience for adults in the US.

      There are two components in the course: theoretical and practical, which are intertwined with each other. In the theoretical part of the course we will learn what the new concept of user experience means, what distinguishes a good design from a bad one, how to design for emotion and cognition, develop an information architecture of a solution, as well as basic visual design principles. In the practical part we will go through all the stages of the design thinking process to develop a product/service in groups: emphasizing the current situation, ideating, wireframing, prototyping and testing. Please note that the final stage in this project is the prototype and not the final solution. In general, the emphasis in the course is on the behavioral, rather than technical aspects.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. K. Koroleva.

    • In the network economy, platform businesses and their ecosystems are increasingly a cornerstone of the strategies of firms to gain a (sustainable) competitive advantage. Networks play a distinctive role in business decisions and strategy, oftentimes posing unique and significant problems. Networks -comprising physical, electronic, or virtual linkages - are fundamental to IT, online services, communication, and entertainment industries, as well as traditional sectors such as health care, banking, services, transportation and energy. Platform ecosystem can be defined as ‘the collection of the platform and its modules (apps) specific to it (Amrit Tiwana 2014)’. Especially, well known examples of software-based platforms such as the App Store platform of Apple, the Android Apps platform, or the BlackBerry Apps World are receiving a lot of attention both from the academic and business communities. In this course we will explore the architectural and governance issues of these platform ecosystems and other factors that could explain how platform ecosystems can contribute to a firm’s competitive advantage and why some platform ecosystems are flourishing and others fail in the network economy.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J.H. Oh.

    • In this new digital age, media & entertainment (M&E) firms must increasingly turn their attention to the technological developments that shape their business strategy and competitive position. Digital distribution, cloud computing, social media, and mobile technologies are transforming the way businesses operate in the industry. At the same time, managers must be alert to the external forces that shape their technological innovations. The increasing complexity for M&E firms to compete in this dynamic environment offers opportunities, but it also comes with significant risks. In this course, students will develop a deep understanding of the strategic issues surrounding digital innovation in the M&E industry, and how they shape managerial decisions. In addition, it examines ways in which managers and executives can employ leading practices to compete.

      The course is a combination of lectures and a high degree of case analysis and discussions. In the class, you will work with real world examples in the M&E industry. The course will cover the five pillars of the media & entertainment industry: digital, legal, distribution, marketing & advertising, and content creation.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Y. Kuper MSc.

    • Business analytics is becoming a key driver of competitive advantage. Only firms that can harness their data and develop strong analytic capabilities across all their business functions are able to survive in fast-moving modern markets. In this course, we will revisit advanced analytical tools from previous lectures and apply them to real-world business problems from marketing, operations, and accounting/finance.

      The course is case-based, which means that students are required to prepare cases before classes and participate in classroom discussions. Such classroom discussion will form a substantial part of the learning experience. Using examples of companies, the cases illustrate key takeaways from the lectures and they will give students a practical understanding of business analytics that goes beyond the classroom.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Philipp Cornelius.

    • BIM students have the opportunity to combine the writing of their thesis with an internship with a company and replacing an elective course with this internship. The internship must be directly related to the thesis and students can only take this course after formal approval by the thesis coordinator. The company-based research project will be assessed separately from the thesis (on a pass/fail basis) by the thesis coordinator in consultation with the thesis coach and a company supervisor. There is no Blackboard or SIN-Online channel for this course. All information and requirements can be found on the BIM Thesis Trajectory Blackboard.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by drs. P.W. Aertsen.

  • The MSc BIM program offers its most talented and motivated students a challenging extracurricular course – Honours Programme. Participation is by invitation only. For more information please click here.

    • The master thesis is your opportunity to show your potential as a next generation manager. During this period, you will interact with internationally-recognized companies and well-known researchers in the field of Business Information Management.

      The writing of your master thesis – the report of your scientific study – is the most important part of the Business Information Management programme. During the year you will participate in a structured master thesis trajectory. You will start in September, during the core courses, to familiarize yourself with the research being done at our department and the relevant academic literature and topics available. Staff involved in this MSc will present their current research projects, and you will be invited to link your master thesis to one of these projects. Before Christmas you will decide on a final topic and be assigned a coach who is an expert in the subject area chosen. Early January a research methodology course will bring you up to date with best practice in research and provide you with the foundation that you will need to complete your thesis successfully. Before spring you will deliver your final research proposal after which you will implement your research question and finalize your thesis before the summer. Staff and researchers will provide assistance by coaching you through the entire master thesis process.

      The following themes are examples of possible BIM Master Thesis topics:

      • The Impact of IT on Business
      • Online Human Behavior
      • Big Data and Analytics
      • Social Media and Digital Commerce
      • Green IT and Energy Business

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.