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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.


    • 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.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by J. Alkema, MSc​​​​​​​

    • 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. People Analytics could potentially fill this void.

      People Analytics constitutes the analytic approach to and statistical analysis of Human Resource (HR) and workforce data to the benefit of employee performance and the organization’s return of investment on human capital. The phenomenon gained traction in recent years, as a movement that could evolve the way we make decisions concerning people-management. 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 on human capital have traditionally been considered opaque, People Analytics could potentially reveal the bottom line of HR practices, interventions, and investments.

      In this course, you learn how Human Resource Information Systems and People Analytics can be used to improve business outcomes and make better management 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 the findings or communicate ideas effectively. This should not only help those who seek to become an HR professional or change consultant, but should also help you stand out as a manager in general.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr Colin Lee​​​​​​​ and Tobias Becker

    • 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? What is the role of HR professionals and the HR function in 21st century organisations?

      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 workshop 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.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by Dr Rebecca Hewett​​​​​​​

    • “Everything changes and nothing abides”

      The main objective of this course is to gain insight into change theories and actual change situations, considering not only the organization itself, but also the social, cultural and political environment in which changes occur. In this course you will learn that there are multiple perspectives on how you can approach, plan and analyze organizational change. To change something however, the urgency of change and the complexity of an organization, its dynamics and the context of change, need to be taken into account. Change processes vary with respect to their scale, their pace, their time horizon, their depth, their visibility and many other factors. Without properly appreciating such change aspects, change agents can misconstrue which decisions or actions are suitable to take, and people or organizations are prone to slide back into old habits.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. J. Essers, dr. M. Kaandorp, dr. S. Griesling and prof. G. Hendrikse.

  • 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 professional in your chosen field, 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.

    Review the course guide for more details.

    Taught by Jingtao Zhu, MSc

    • The list of skills necessary for working in any organisational environment is long. In this course, we will use the method of process consultation to pay attention to how people can advise.  This will result in increased 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 can also provide lectures.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.J. Flory.

    • Management Consulting is for many business students a challenging, yet rewarding profession. Rivalry within the industry is intense and client demands and expectations are high. Are you up for the challenge of becoming a successful management consultant? And what would you have to learn still, to kick-start a possible career in this competitive industry?

      Consultants are important agents of organisational change, applying and transferring knowledge about business problems to advice and - increasingly - to assist managers to deal with such problems. Many business students will act as or deal with consultants sometime in their professional life. The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the consulting practice, the consulting industry and to develop your cognitive skills. This is done by explaining concepts and through close interaction and collaboration with professional consultants.

      During class, you will get to take responsibility for designing effective lectures in co-creation with your professor, professional consultants or specialist from the field as well as your fellow students. You will interact with experienced professionals, and guide a learning-process in which you and your fellow students learn the essentials that may help pursue a career in consulting. Amongst other things, in this class we discuss the need and role of management consultants, how management consultants deliver their services and how consultancies organize ethical and sustainable services for their clients.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. MJ Flory

    • Leaders are key players in organizational functioning because they critically affect the people they work with—both inside and outside of their organization. Leaders are in a unique position to mobilise employees to excel and contribute to 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 any aspiring leader; and in particular for HR professionals who may come to take the lead of the HR organization, as well as facilitate the process of leadership in their organization.

      In this course, we address one key question: “what makes an effective leader?” from a range of different theoretical perspectives (e.g., social identity, visionary leadership) and cast in the context of contemporary workplace trends (e.g., demographic change, digitization). Through a sequence of readings, lectures, cases, and experiential exercises, students learn to understand and apply state-of-the-art leadership theories, analyse and evaluate the determinants of leadership successes and failures, as well as apply these learnings to make recommendations for real-world leadership challenges.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by Dr Tina Davidson


    • In this course we will focus on examining the impact of three key global mega trends on HR theory and practice: increasing digitisation of the workplace, changing workforce demographics, and new ways of organizing in knowledge-intensive industries. Each week you will focus on one key mega trend and your learning will be through short introductory lectures, 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. 

      In Week 1, we will be looking at the effects of digitization on human resource management. Questions that will be explored include (a) the relationship between digitization and phenomena such as Big data, data science, and people-/HR-analytics, (b) the bright side and the dark side of digitization, and (c) the potential of digitization versus the present reality. The last of these you will be exploring yourselves as well, by engaging in a short study of the current use of HR Tech. 

      In Week 2, we will focus on demographic change and the implications for the management of employees’ work experience. We will engage in some “myths busting” around aging, generations, and age diversity at work. You will select a challenge related to management of aging and age-diverse workforces, and (a) analyse the challenge using data, (b) present a company example facing the challenge, and (c) design an evidence-based HR practice addressing the challenge. 

      In Week 3, we will examine the new ways of organizing adopted by professionals in knowledge-intensive industries, with a focus on freelancers in the IT and creative sector. We will analyze the advantages and challenges of atomized freelancing, collectively organized freelancing, and traditional employment. You will select a challenge specifically related to managing highly skilled professionals or to collective organizing for freelancers, and present your ideas on how to address this challenge. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Course teachers: Dr Anne Burmeister, Dr Colin Lee, and Dr Anastasia Sergeeva​​​​​​​

    • This course offers students the opportunity to conduct an internship on a topic of their own interest. An internship can help students to apply their theoretical knowledge as well as develop their professional attitude including skills such as organizing, planning, analyzing data and professionals collaboration with coworkers.


      This course offers internships via two possible tracks; a practice-based and a research-based track. Students are themselves responsible for finding a practice-based internship, while we can place students interested in a research-based internship on an ongoing project of faculty. This can include a project that is offered by staff working on issues in human resources management, organizational change, organization theory and/or organizational behavior.

      The duration of the internship is at least equivalent to 5-6 weeks full-time work, but can also be spread over a longer period of time or be conducted on a part-time basis. The research-based internship will most likely be part-time and the timeframe is determined in consultation with the staff. The planning of the practice-based internship depends on the organization involved. 

      Course starts in Block 3 with one plenary session and ends in Block 5 with a final presentation session.


    • 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 operation and 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. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Burmeister.

    • Professional service firms can be considered the most central change agent of our day and age: a new management theory is applied and spread by consultants, the physical environment is developed by engineers, controlling business is delegated to accountants and when all this does not succeed we rely on the help of lawyers. This indicates that professionals are ubiquitous in business life and justifies deeper research in the management of Professional Service Firms (PSFs). In this course we will consider PSFs for the ‘classical’, officially accredited professionals such as lawyers and accountants, and the less ‘official’ professionals such as IT experts, consultants and creative professionals. We will classify them all as knowledge-intensive organizations. The course will focus on two broad questions: (1) how are such knowledge-intensive organizations structured, governed, and managed internally? (2) how do such organizations interact with high velocity environment in which they operate? The last point represents an external view and hints at organizational change and learning. In this course we will first introduce defining features of PSFs. Further, we will discuss definitions of knowledge – with a special emphasis on a social-constructivist view - and how knowledge matters for PSFs. Subsequently, we will examine forms of governance typical for PSFs; discuss how organizational members manage tension between economic and professional goals; unpack how PSFs interact with their clients. We will conclude by adopting change perspective to understand how professionals as thought leaders keep up with the institutionalized standards of professional excellence and push these standards forward.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. I Bogenrieder

    • Incentives are what drive modern organizations, and employees tend to respond strongly to them. Well-designed incentives encourage employees to use their abilities and knowledge in the firm’s interests. They serve also an important role in recruitment in order to attract the right people to join and stay with the enterprise. Organizations have to address therefore their internal dynamics and external market environment simultaneously in order to create value.

      Organizations are not only in markets, but also an alternative to markets. They tend to have characteristics that set them apart from markets, such as employees supplying a subset of their liberties to management, specific human capital, long term relationships, and various possibilities to do more (make better decisions) than any single individual. These features raise issues regarding the determinants of well-functioning organizations, such as ‘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, vested interests in payment schemes; hiring decisions; …). They will be characterized as motivation problems (employees’ and organization’s interests differ), alignment challenges (lack of coordination across departments), and bounded cognition problems (lack of the necessary information to do so). Successful organizations address them in order to develop and implement policies to create value.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. G. Hendrikse.

    • Parties in an exchange have to come to an agreement in order to create value. However, the negotiation process may fail to establish a mutually favorable outcome. This course highlights the determinants of a successful negotiation and its alternatives. It is done by developing a unifying framework, which allows to address

      • Multi-person interactions;
      • Asymmetric information;
      • Communication and beliefs;
      • Renegotiation and Coordination;
      • Bargaining power;
      • Facilitating practices.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof.dr. G. Hendrikse​​​​​​​

    • In this course we introduce participants to the process of organizational 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. The course involves six 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 preparatory assignments. The course aims to enhance participants' insight in processes of organizational change and development, and examines both formal and informal aspects of organizational functioning. 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: experiencing change, developing organizations, the role of the change agent, power and politics, resistance to change, change dynamics, institutional change, organizational learning, management and employee attitudes, strategies for change and change design. We study these phenomena and investigate the possible change management roles for HRM and other actors in the process of change (diagnosing the situation, recognizing development tendencies, designing and facilitating effective and responsible processes of development and change).

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. B.A.S. Koene

    • 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.    

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Course Coordinator: Dr Bart Dietz

    • This course prepares students for the thesis trajectory that starts in January. The course consists of plenary sessions that are a combination of lecture and workshop. The first two lectures regard general topics about research, research questions and literature review. After these two joint sessions, students select either a qualitative or a quantitative research track for which three/four sessions will follow. In these tracks students are taught a more specialized understanding of either qualitative or quantitative research.

      Assessment will have a mixed form and depending on the societal situation teaching will be done online or in a blended form.

      Review the course guide for additional information.

      Taught by 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.