Curriculum

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Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Human Resource Management programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 EC). Master electives (18 EC) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 EC).

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.

 

    • Human Resource Management (HRM) is central to the functioning of organisations. It is through people that most organisations deliver value for stakeholders, but the relationship between people management and organisational performance is a complex one. What does the famous phrase “our people are our most valuable asset” really mean?

      In this course we will look at the complex processes though which HRM creates value – not only for shareholders, but for the whole range of stakeholders including workers. How can we manage people in a way to enhance both organisational performance and employee wellbeing, for example? How can we ensure that our people management practices align to the goals of the organisation?

      We examine these complex processes by putting research into practice. Your main group activity for this course is a live case study, working with a real organisation to analyse some key strategic HR-related problems and make evidence-based recommendations for how to address these. You will prepare for these through in-class lectures and interactive activities, online activities, and reading based on the latest academic research. You are encouraged to be critical and inquisitive, and by the end of the course our goal is that you will be able to turn research into practice to create value through HRM. 

      Course co-ordinator: Dr Rebecca Hewett

    • There is a growing realization that organizational success and the ability of organizations to gain a competitive advantage is critically contingent on effective management of people. This course aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the social, psychological, and organizational factors that shape individuals’ behaviour at work and allow for effective collaboration, covering topics such as motivation, decision making, team composition and effective collaboration, and power dynamics. Building on BA teaching in OB and HRM, in this course we will deepen this knowledge and place a particular emphasis on the link between theory and managerial practice. The resulting principles of people management are a valuable part of any future manager’s toolbox, but they are particularly critical for future HR professionals.

      The course proceeds in a highly interactive way, each class combining multiple different learning activities. Selected book chapters and academic articles provide essential background knowledge for class activities and must be completed prior to the start of each class. Lecture elements supplement information gained from the reading assignments and integrate course material. Experiential exercises and simulations deepen the insight on specific social and psychological phenomena. Case discussions train the application of course knowledge to solve managerial problems. During the course, students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and activities.

      Course co-ordinator: Dr Julija Mell

    • Most organizations today collect a wealth of data that could help improve employee performance. Still, only few succeed in using this data to improve business results. Human Resource (HR) Analytics could potentially fill this void.

      HR Analytics refers to the analytic approach to and statistical analysis of Human Resource (HR) data to the benefit of employee performance and the organization’s return of investment on human capital. It gained traction in recent years, as a movement that could let the HR profession evolve. It seeks to add value to organizations by leveraging analytical processes, a broad range of statistical techniques, and novel data sources. Moreover, where the returns of investment in HR have traditionally been considered opaque, HR Analytics could potentially reveal the bottom line in HR interventions and practices.

      In this course, you learn how HR data and HR Analytics can be used to improve business outcomes and make better HR decisions. Through a sequence of readings, lectures, cases, and experiential exercises, you learn what questions to ask, how to determine which methods to use, and how to publish HR Analytic findings or communicate ideas effectively. This should not only help those who seek to become HR professionals, but should help you stand out as a manager in general.

      Course co-ordinator: Dr Colin Lee

    • In this course we will focus on examining the impact of four key global mega trends on HR theory and practice: increasing digitisation of the workplace, changing workforce demographics, changing organisational forms, and the challenges to maintaining positive working lives. Each week you will focus on one key mega trend and your learning will be through a short introductory lecture, in-class activities (including presentations, case analyses, and debates), and online discussions through Canvas. This course is highly interactive, and your preparation for the online and in-class activities is based on completing the assigned readings prior to each class. Students who have completed this course are able to analyse and act upon key global mega trends that affect the management of people in working organizations; a critical skill for HR practitioners in the 21st century.

      Course teachers: Dr Anne Burmeister, Dr Colin Lee, and Dr Rebecca Hewett

  • When you care about what you do, you will enjoy your work more, create greater impact, and be more successful in being a force for positive change. But it can be difficult to identify what your passion is, where your competencies and skills will be useful, and which professional environment and culture are the best match for you. RSM Career Centre has therefore developed a course aiming to put you in the driver seat of your own career and to support you in identifying and preparing for your first career step after graduation. 
     
    Through several online modules, the “Your Future Career “ course will help you make crucial steps towards landing the best suitable internship or job. Your career development begins with personal reflection on interests and motivations, before moving on to developing knowledge of the job market, functions, companies and industries. Once you have targeted your role and sector, you will intensively work on preparing your internship or job applications.

    Review the course guide for more information.

  • The Professional Development Trajectory achieves two interconnected goals: to facilitate your personal development as a HR professional, and to equip you with the state-of-science methods to help others grow. Your personal development is achieved by sessions that are designed to help you a) become more aware of your values and life purpose b) clarify your strengths and weaknesses, and c) set and achieve the developmental goals that will lead you closer to your purpose.

    The course also unpacks the science behind the sessions. By introducing theories of developmental psychology, we explore three fundamental questions: how individuals obtain knowledge, how employees develop their skills, and how followers grow into leaders. By learning and experiencing the science of personal development, you will be empowered to be a better trainer, coach, and mentor yourself.

    This trajectory culminates in a closing session where you take stock of your own learning throughout the one year. Together with your classmates, you ready yourself for a life-long journey of personal development of yourself as well as others who will work with you.

    Course co-ordinator: Jingtao Zhu, MSc

    • This course will provide insights into the complex topic of diversity in organizations and will examine how diversity can effectively be managed in organizations. At the end of the course, students understand the core diversity theories and empirical research insights, can critically evaluate the effects of diversity across individual, team, and organizational levels, and apply their learnings to real-world diversity challenges by identifying how human resource management (HRM) can contribute to the effective management of diversity in organizations. To reach these goals, the course engages students through a combination of lectures, case studies, debates, exercises, discussions, and a guest lecture by a diversity management practitioner.    

      Taught by dr. A. Burmeister.

    • The course objective is to introduce participants to processes of organisational development and change, with a particular focus on the role of HR Management in interaction with line management and consultants as professional facilitators of these processes. As such we address organizational diagnosis and basic consultancy skills. The course involves weekly interactive lecture/workshops with discussions of the required readings, presentation of team-assignments, cases and exercises. Individual and team preparation for the meetings is required through weekly assignments.

      The course aims to enhance your insight in processes of organisational development and change and your ability to professionally diagnose and deal with issues of change. We will address 1) natural processes of organizational development and their management challenges (as organizations grow older, larger and more complex); 2) organizational design supporting effective development and continuous improvement; and 3) the role of professional change agents (i.e. managers, consultants) in supporting development and change. In the weekly meetings required readings are discussed and student teams present short assignments directly related to the topic of the specific meeting, aimed at understanding and gaining personal ownership of the presented insights. Examples of topics are: the development of organisations and how they can get stuck (addressing processes of sense making and (de)institutionalization), organization design and organisational learning, power and politics, roles for HRM and others as facilitators of the process of development, strategies for change, and management of conflict and resistance.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. C. Lee.

    • Leaders play a key role in gaining a competitive advantage from the expertise, talent, and creative potential of employees. They are in the position to motivate employees to excellent performance and mobilise employees for the organisation’s mission and vision. At the same time, however, they may also be a primary source of conflict and demotivation. Understanding what makes for high performance leadership as well as where leadership can go wrong, therefore, is of critical importance to successful organisational functioning. Through a sequence of readings, lectures, cases, and experiential exercises, this course will introduce you to state-of-the-art leadership theories. It aims to provide you with a clear guide to the theory and practice of leading people effectively. Topics that will be dealt with include: leader-follower relationships, the role of identity in leadership effectiveness, and leadership challenges in view of contemporary workplace trends (e.g., demographic change, digitization, flat organizational structures, knowledge work).

      You will prepare for each class by completing assigned readings and preparing a case analysis with your assigned group. The readings will give you theoretical grounding for each session’s discussion and will provide important information for you to use in your group’s case analysis. To succeed in this course, you must prepare for each session and should arrive ready to participate and think actively and critically.

      Course co-ordinator: Dr Tina Davidson

       

    • Ask any business leader to mention the most important drivers for his/her success and you’ll find that “my ability to hire the best people in my teams” is one of them.

      With the above in mind these 4 observations are striking: (a) in business schools, there is zero to none academic training in “hiring people”, (b) almost no companies train their managers profoundly on this skill, (c) Tasks around “hiring people”, like job interviews, make up for a large part of a business leader’s day to day agenda, especially in more senior career stages, and (d) the academic state-of-the art knowledge on what is good practice has multiple extreme gaps with what happens in everyday business life. For instance, many organisations still base selection decisions on invalid and unreliable selection methods, thus making a bad-informed hiring decision.

      In this course we will take two perspectives and related learning goals. First, you as a hiring manager: boosting your ability to make effective hiring decisions yourself. Second, you as a business leader: enhancing your ability to contribute strategically to the talent-acquisition goals of others in an organization.

      In order to achieve these goals, this course will provide insights in the fundamentals of the talent acquisition process, how to effectively acquire/match talent to business needs and modern-day talent acquisition/recruitment/selection methods. The course engages students through a combination of lectures, practical case studies, debates, exercises and discussions.    

      Course Coordinator: Dr Bart Dietz

    • Cross-cultural competence is about professional ability to make sense of actions and complexities, which require comparison of values, norms and actions (verbal, material, symbolic, etc.). Future managers must be able to perform a multidimensional analysis of an emergent mix of interactive, communicative and organizing processes – in order to make sense of them, in order to help others understand them, in order to perform efficiently and effectively.

      Cross-cultural competence allows us to understand what individuals mean by words and acts. Dialogical turn in hyper-connected societies of mobile individuals requires a more coaching and servant leadership based type of managers. Students will exercise their methodological skills in deconstructing and changing complex adaptive systems by rhetoric, design and contextual shifts. They will learn how to survive “jettisoning dualities, hierarchies, and especially levels”. Hofstede’s theoretical frame of national cultural dimensions and its modified GLOBE research project version will be studied, unzipped and applied. Students have to learn how to perform a quick cultural scan of organisations and compare the results across national, organisational and professional fault lines. We shall also ask students to hone their skills in cross-cultural analysis by submitting a comprehensive team assignment, which will include a case study, an empirical research and formatted media communication releases.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.J. Flory.

    • Information coming soon!

    • The list of skills necessary for working in any organisational environment is long. In this course, we will pay attention to how people can advise. This will result in communication, advisory and coaching skills

      This course focuses on how students communicate and react to other people in different contexts. The course is designed to enable the students to build and develop their advisory skills and to increase knowledge of the concepts behind them, so as to widen the choice of possible actions in a given situation and to develop the understanding of the strengths and weakness of their advisory skills. By the end of the course we will have provided the students with an opportunity to learn about and practice by understanding and diagnosing contexts and give advice. Guests, consultants, trainers and managers will also provide lectures.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.J. Flory.

    • Enterprises are quite different from markets. First, unlike transactions involving consumer goods and services, exchanges inside enterprises cannot be disembodied from the individuals supplying them. Second, individuals in enterprises supply not only their time but also their effort, their cooperation, and a subset of their liberties to management. Third, long-term relationships are apt to develop between the parties in an enterprise. Fourth, the worker embodies specific skills or attributes that make him or her a more valuable employee to the current employer than to another company. For these reasons, enterprises tend to have characteristics that set them apart from the markets for commodities and for physical and financial assets.

      These features raise issues regarding the determinants of well-functioning enterprises, such as many aspects of ‘Who decides?’ (the allocation of authority, formal versus real authority, access; relational contracts; ratification and monitoring in decision control, and initiation and implementation in decision management; task design; conflict resolution; enforcement mechanisms; talent allocation across hierarchical positions; incompatible languages and communication failures; rigid cultures, …) and ‘Benefits and Costs’ (short-termism, hard versus soft information, and vested interests in payment schemes; hiring decisions; …).

      This course illuminates the nature of these issues, and their solutions. They are characterized as incentive problems (agents do not want to act in the organization’s interests), alignment challenges (agents not coordinating across departments), or bounded rationality problems (agents do not have the necessary information to do so). Successful enterprises develop and implement policies to create value, or organizations fail due to not adequately motivating and coordinating individuals toward joint goals.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. G. Hendrikse.

    • This course will explore several terrains of rhetorical competence, from the classical canons of rhetoric and the use of tropes through to the latest developments in visual rhetoric. The course will take both an analytical perspective, helping students to recognize rhetorical techniques of persuasion, and provide a training ground to develop skills in compiling convincing communicative strategies and expressions.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J.P.J.M. Essers.

    • Graduating from university often implies mastering a lot of theoretical knowledge, but this theory needs to be put into practice. This course offers students the opportunity to conduct an internship on a topic of their own interest to develop skills such as organizing, planning, and analyzing data working on real-life projects. This course offers two internship tracks; a practice based or research-based. With respect to the practice-based internships students are themselves responsible for finding an internship of their interest with an external company (with the help of RSM’s relevant support services). The duration of the internship is at least equivalent to 5-6 full time weeks, but can also be spread over a longer period of time and be conducted on a part-time basis. For the research-based internship students can join a project that is offered by staff working on issues in human resources management, organizational change and/or organizational behavior. The research-based internship is part-time and the timeframe is determined in consultation with the staff. 

      In order to be eligible for ECTS the student need to present their contract or appointment with the company in case of practice-based internship and write a report on the learning goals, conducted activities and outcomes of the internship. Therefore, the course is examined by two deliverables; the internship contract or appointment and an internship report. You are guided through the process by a faculty member who will act as your internship coach.

      Course coordinator: Dr Mariëtte Kaandorp

       

    • Understanding how to conduct proper research forms the core an academic master. This course on research methodology prepares students for a qualitative or quantitative thesis trajectory that starts in January of the academic year. The course consists of a number of plenary sessions that are a combination of lecture and workshop. The aim of this course is to understand the internal logic and consistency of a good research project, captured by the notion of methodological fit. This means that there needs to be a connection between the formulated research question, the selected research design and how data is analysed. The topics that will be covered regard the discussion of what qualifies as good research, the development of a research question, the use of concepts, choice for a particular research approach, methods of data collection and the actual analysis of data.

      To pass this course students will have to hand in two individual assignments and obtain a sufficient result on both of them.

      Course coordinator: Dr Mariëtte Kaandorp

       

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 MSc courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements. If you are interested in learning more about human resource management and leadership, please refer to our Open Programmes section.