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 Organisations (PSF). In this course we will consider professional organisations for the ‘classical’, officially accredited professionals such as lawyers and accountants and the less ‘official’ professionals such as IT experts, consultants and creative professionals in the field of marketing. We will classify them all as knowledge-intensive organisations. The course will focus on two broad questions: (1) how are such knowledge-intensive organisations structured, governed, and managed internally? And (2) how do such organisations manage to stay in touch and on top of – and actively intervene in – the 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. We will discuss definitions on knowledge – with a special emphasis on a social-constructivist view - and how knowledge matters for PSFs. Subsequently, we will deal with forms of governance in a PSF leading sometimes to a tension between economic and professional goals. Subsequently the special role of clients in control is discussed. We will proceed with a change perspective how professionals (as thought leaders) change themselves and keep up-to-standard. Learning processes and knowledge development by professionals is key in this.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. I Bogenrieder

    • The main objective of this second course is to deepen insights into actual change situations – taking into account not only the organization itself, but also the social, political and cultural context in which changes occur. Change can here relate to strategic changes, which tend to be planned), but also to unplanned changes, which need to be managed.

      We will do this by reading (about) and using post-modern and social constructionist change theory, methods and concepts. Building on and extending previously acquired knowledge on organisational development and change, the course helps students: 1) to acquire the relevant conceptual and methodological foundation and 2) to develop the social, political and personal sensitivity crucial for a role as change agent (manager or consultant).

      How do we do that? In a first trajectory a varied range of perspectives is offered that will highlight paradigmatic patterns of thought involved in the way change is conceptualized in organisations and society at large. This includes considerations of multi-level processes and the complexity of social behaviours in change. The second trajectory treats the theories, concepts, and methods that offer students a frame of reference for the diagnosis and handling of differences in change situations. This includes the consideration of multiple perspectives, agendas, expectations and politics, as well as the (explicit or implicit) impact of disparate social and organizational contexts. The third trajectory is used to engage students in situations where they may experience change and actually work with the concepts, methods and instruments offered throughout the course. Cases, documentaries, TV and film fragments invite students to search for their own relational practice, to experience and diagnose a specific change situation directly, and to analyse and understand the meaning and contexts of the particular situation. Related to a practical case chosen during the course, methods of perception, reflection, intake, diagnostics and intervention are practised and explained.

      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 some 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 four weeks you will actively engage with these two questions. With a team of 5 students you will design and execute a study of a specific aspect of change in a concrete change situation.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Instructor to be announced.

    • The purpose of this course is to introduce you to consulting as a practice and to develop your cognitive skills. The course aims to develop students' cognitive skills by explaining concepts, making students experience the consulting process and practice some consulting skills.

      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.

    • Arguably one of the most important actions performed by people in organizations is making decisions. Decision making takes place at many different levels of the organization and can have enormous implications for organizational functioning and performance. This course provides an in-depth view of several theoretical perspectives on decision making, at an individual and as well as at a group-level. In many business situations it is not possible to solve a decision making problem purely analytically. Therefore an initial part of the course is devoted to understanding the nature, causes, and implications of human decision making limitations. Second, because decision making often takes place in a social context, a part of the course is devoted to social decision-making and deals with how individuals coordinate their decisions in a social environment and how social influences affect decision making by individuals. Furthermore, decisions are often delegated to groups, because groups are supposed to possess more relevant resources like knowledge and perspectives. In reality, however, it is often the case that joint decision-making is suboptimal and actually obstructive. We will discuss the reasons why groups often do not live up to their potential, and how group decision making could be improved. Finally, while decision making is not always solely a cooperative activity, we will also take a look at less cooperative decision making, which is negotiation.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. S. Isaakyan.

    • 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

    • 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.

    •  In modern organizations, employees are continuously expected to learn and improve themselves. One of the core aspects employees are expected to develop in order to advance in a company are their leadership skills. The aim of this course is to establish a solid foundation of the key principles of leadership development based in the state of the science. The focus will be on both developing your own leadership potential and your ability to develop other’s leadership.

      Together we will explore different approaches to leadership development such as 360 degree feedback,coaching, mentoring, and learning from experience. The basis of the course will be an understanding of leadership development based in the scientific literature. You are expected to actively participate during the lectures both in discussions and through in-class exercises. In addition to active in-class participation, you are expected to complete a number of assignments outside of the classroom, both individually and in small groups.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by P. Vongswasdi.

    • 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.

  • 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).

    • The aim of this course is to develop students’ critical understanding of how to conduct and present research in an organizational setting. Specifically, by the end of this course, students will be familiar with the philosophy that underpins the choice of research design, will gain knowledge about the main methodologies used in HRM and OB research, and will be able to provide a convincing justification for their selected methodology.  To advance the goal of developing the skills necessary to carry out and present independent research work, the course will focus on both lectures and writing exercises.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by M. van der Giessen MSc.

    • This course prepares students for the thesis trajectory that starts in January 2020. The course consists of six plenary sessions that are a combination of lecture and workshop. 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 analyzing data. To pass this course students will have to hand in two individual assignments and obtain a sufficient result on both of them.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M. 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.