Curriculum

Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Organisational Change & Consulting programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 EC). Block 1 is the Consulting Block and Block 2 is the Change Block. 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.

 

    • 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

    • “Everything changes and nothing abides”
      (Heraclitus)

      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.

    • In this course you learn to study change professionally. Two issues are key in the process of studying change. First, you need to be able to translate a hunch about a relevant and interesting issue into a clear research question. So, when you see organizational change and change issues, how can professional and academic knowledge about change help you to clarify and specify the issues and also help you to highlight relevant dynamics and questions for research? Second, when you have a clear research question, how can you study it most effectively? When you study change in organizations, different research methods highlight different aspects of organization and change. So, what research method is best suited to study your research question? These eight weeks you will actively engage with these two questions. You will design and execute a study of a specific aspect of change in a concrete change situation.

      You will look for a change situation before the course starts. This is important because each of you will need to hand in a short description of a change context, the issue you propose to study, and your access to the change situation during the first week of the course (see course outline).

      In the beginning of the course, three complementary theoretical perspectives for studying change will be discussed. You will draw on these three perspectives and use the literature to clarify your research question, answering questions such as ‘what do you really want to study?’ and ‘how is this relevant?’ To come to an effective and relevant research question you will also need to start your field research and discuss it with people in the field. Furthermore, we will go more in-depth to different research methods and their possibilities. This prepares you for the third week, where you will further investigate how these research methods can contribute to studying your change situation. This results in a concise but complete research proposal for your team’s study.

      The second part of the course is dedicated to your field work. In the last week of the course all teams present the outcomes of their study and hand in their final written report.

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

      Taught by dr. Bas Koene​​​​​​​.

    • 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

    • 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.
       
      The course consists of several blended-learning online modules, which all have individual assessments and learning objectives. Through these modules you will:

      • explore your own personality, skills and competencies,
      • investigate industries, career paths and job opportunities
      • learn how to prepare a job application and an interview.

      To achieve this you will participate in several activities, including: creating a personal career plan, virtual job applications, online peer feedback interaction, mentoring, video interviewing and self-assessment.
       

    • 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.

    • In ancient times leadership education consisted mainly in training pupils in the trivium, the three liberal arts (out of seven) dedicated to grammar, logic and rhetoric. Thus leaders, whether in politics or business, were primarily trained to become excellent communicators. Communication skills, and rhetoric specifically, were not seen or treated as a ‘bag of tricks’. They were considered essential ingredients in the character formation of the leader and the exercise of good reason. For to be a good and virtuous leader, one first of all had to become a good and virtuous person.

      Today communication skills of leaders still are of crucial importance to their performance. The ability to motivate people, to maintain the reputation and public image of a company, to portray a credible organizational identity and strategic direction, to lead change or to navigate organizations through periods of crisis critically hinge on the persuasive talents of managers. Knowing your audience, framing your message creatively, and choosing the appropriate channels are decisive for effective communication. The language of management provides a plethora of examples of how issues are rhetorically framed to fit specific courses of action. Nowadays, however, as is evident in the use of social media and advertising, it is not only through words but also through the use of visual imagery that persuasive performance is determined.

      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.

    • 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​​​​​​​

    • 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, etcetera). 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. 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 an analysis of a country of one of their teammembers and a country of Latin-America. In a team the students will analyse these countries on the historical, cultural and economic background,

      The course focuses specifically on the Latin-American cultures. These countries know a turbulent, often violent history, with democratic yet unstable governments and a developing economy. In many cases, the Latin-American countries are still unfolding their own identity. In order to understand these cultures, we cannot judge them by applying cultural models, which are developed based on our western standards. Instead, we should do so by watching their movies, reading their books, seeing their art and, most importantly, by engaging in conversation.

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

      Taught by dr. M.J. Flory.

    • 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.

  • The RSM MSc in Organisational Change and Consulting 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).

    • 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 courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.