Curriculum

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Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship 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.

    • As a company we want to develop new business activities, but we do not know where to start”. Or: “I want to start a business, but I do not have a great idea yet”. In this course you will learn how entrepreneurial organizations (e.g., Facebook, DSM, Google) and individuals (such as Richard Branson and Steve Jobs) are able to identify ideas for new ventures. After this course you will be able to identify and develop entrepreneurial opportunities either in a corporate setting or in your own business.

      The course is theory-based but will be largely practice-oriented: we will introduce and let students practice with a range of techniques for opportunity exploration. Techniques and sources of opportunity include design-thinking and creativity, means-driven and user-driven opportunities, and systematic search. We will discuss circumstances that increase your odds of finding valuable opportunities (e.g., personality traits, prior knowledge and skills); explain how opportunities can be translated into a business model and how significant stakeholders (e.g., financers, collaborators, customers) evaluate your entrepreneurial opportunity.

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

      Taught by Dr. I. Verheul and dr. G. Criaco 

    • Running a start-up requires operating under high uncertainty and navigating through often chaotic environments, where information may be scarce and unreliable. In this course, we will focus on the customer discovery process and address a set of skills that can help early-stage entrepreneurs with their opportunity pursuit. In particular, we will discuss the process of identifying one’s core business assumptions and engage in actively testing them by soliciting and analyzing potential customers’ feedback. In doing so, we will also discuss the role of personality
      in this context, as well as the characteristics of highly-effective teams and explore how these can impact the performance, motivation and culture of the venture. Using a set of experiential tools, we will also practice how to interview customers for maximum insight, how to effectively revise and update one’s business concept and how to generate commitment and traction for one’s idea. We will also focus on a range of influence tactics and negotiation techniques, which you can apply when testing for a product-market fit. The overall aim of the course is to provide practical knowledge and skills that future entrepreneurs can apply when developing, testing and validating their hypotheses about a business opportunity.

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

      Taught by Dr. M. Cholakova

    • Many students and alumni from RSM Erasmus University will – at some stage in their career – consider entrepreneurship as a serious opportunity. This course focuses on real-life challenges and problems during the (pre-) startup phase of new business creation and its growth. The overall objective is to improve the ability of course participants to define start-up and growth problems, to diagnose them, and to recommend solutions. This course builds on theoretical and empirical explanations to explore how entrepreneurs cope with developmental challenges. This will improve the competence of students to evaluate opportunities and start-up initiatives as well as increase their readiness to start and grow new businesses themselves.

      The case method utilized is a sound base to handle entrepreneurial startup & growth. Studying the process dimensions of entrepreneurship will challenge you to critically explore the differences between new business venturing efforts within established corporations and venturing efforts of start-ups. Moreover, guest lecturers are invited to challenge you in class: with their help we will transform the classroom into a clashroom.

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

      Taught by dr. Y. Liu.

    • In today’s dynamic and continuously changing business environment, entrepreneurship is an essential and indispensable element in the success of many organizations. Corporate entrepreneurship (or intrapreneurship) refers to activities involved in creating and exploiting new resource combinations in the context of existing corporations. Although many business books purport to teach top management how to create a culture that nurtures visionaries like Sergey Brin (Google) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), the ability to think and act entrepreneurially and engage in ongoing processes of creativity often fails because established organizations present hostile environments for entrepreneurial ideas. This core course focuses primarily on organizational and managerial efforts aimed at the identification, development and exploitation of entrepreneurial ideas, the management of new product or process developments, and on effective new venture management in the context of large corporations. Topics include ways how organizations can stimulate corporate entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial action, work contexts, exploration and exploitation.

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

      Taught by Dr. L. Glaser and S. Breet MSc. 

       

    • The aim of this course is to offer the foundational considerations for starting your thesis project. Specifically, it focuses on a variety of topics around the first, theory-focused part of your thesis (rather than the empirical part)—including topic choice, research question formulation, framing, and hypothesis development. These topics will be addressed in a series of lectures, building on published work on doing research as well as the experiences and submissions of prior students.
      In addition to these subjects, a key aim of the course is to provide students with practical insights with respect to writing academic work, including but not limited to: identifying relevant literature, the issue of plagiarism, writing style, referencing style, reading academic papers, organizing your notes, and using the TOP system.  

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

      Taught by dr. P. Klopf​​​​​​​.

       

    • 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.
       

    • Technological change (e.g., the emergence of new digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things) leads to major organizational challenges for many firms. In recent years, the investments in industrial research and development (R&D) have increased in many sectors. To provide a beneficial organizational context for the exploration, assimilation, retention, and exploitation of new technological knowledge, firms need to consider specific organizational and management concepts, which are addressed in detail in this course.

      The students gain detailed knowledge about fundamental issues concerning strategies, organizational capabilities and organizational designs with respect to technological change. Among other aspects, the course addresses organizational issues related to technology forecasting, knowledge governance, R&D processes and structures, absorption of new external knowledge, strategic technology alliances, technology-based M&A activities, as well as leadership and HR management in R&D.

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

      Taught by dr. A. Distel.

    • If you want to know more about developing a business model for a startup and/or setting up your own venture, the Entrepreneurial Lab course is for you. Within an intense and hand-on experiential approach, the Entrepreneurial Lab course allows you exploring a business opportunity with your team and testing its potential value.

      This course provides advanced master students with a practical, yet rigorous understanding of the role, the analytics, and the process of business planning that leads to the successful creation of new ventures. Above all, students will be responsible to develop their own professional networks. As it’s a hands-on course, you will learn about business modelling, how to refine opportunities, analyse feasibility, financial planning, and organisational implementation. You will write a weekly blog and a business report and pitch your idea to a jury of experts. In previous years our students launched successful new businesses, including Senz Umbrellas, Symbid and Yoursurprise.com.

      Working with other MSc SE students as a team you will develop your own business; practical experience of the process means you gain a thorough understanding of the role played by planning in the successful creation of new ventures, and you’ll have personal experience of the analytical processes  that take place.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Dr. L. Berchicci.

    • Most students from RSM will be confronted with new business development at some stage in their careers. This course aims to serve as a pilot test for you, assessing your strength and weakness in entrepreneurial practices. To do so, this course will collaborate with multiple companies and provide tangible business projects for you, with the aim to address real business challenges related to new business development. As a result, you will face the full complexity of new business development. To assist you navigate the project, a reference contact from the company will actively work with you during the six weeks of the course.

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

      Taught by dr. Z. Wu.

    • In daily and business life, you can find yourself in situations where you want to get something done, but you do not have much to offer as an exchange. For example, you want to initiate a project or business, but you are lacking cash, knowledge and resources. You may have an idea for a great new product, but your superiors are only supportive when it takes a limited investment and no excessive risks. Or you want to expand your network with some highly-regarded people, potential employers or difficult to approach customers for your own business, but those people may not find you very interesting. These situations are in a basic sense similar to all ‘ventures’ where success depends on your ability to mobilize other people and to reduce risks. Entrepreneurial bootstrapping is the pursuit of success (or getting things done) with limited resources and with the help of others (or free outside help). In general, bootstrapping refers to a self-starting and self-sustaining process that is supposed to proceed without external help or input. The origins of the term seemingly go back to the 19th century American in the phrase ‘to pull oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps’, to mean carrying out an absurdly impossible task.

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

      Taught by Dr. W. Hulsink

    • The world has been increasingly viewing new ventures within a societal framework. Nearly every venture creates or destroys value for customers, suppliers, employees, and communities, in addition to shareholders. These individuals, which are commonly referred to as stakeholders, might be either actively involved with the work of new ventures, or passively engaged in gain or loss as a result of the venturing activities. Key stakeholders could make or break the success of new ventures. Developing skills to successfully governing stakeholder relationship is therefore vital to entrepreneurs. In this course, I will take a relational (in academic term: behavioral) lens to equip you with know-how regarding how to be “swim with sharks” (i.e., stakeholders) in your entrepreneurial journey.

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

      Taught by dr. Z. Wu.

    • Family firms are ubiquitous across space, time and industries. Family businesses do not only represent small, private companies. Founders or founding families are important controlling owners of large corporations listed on stock exchanges around the world. Famous examples of family businesses are IKEA, Harley Davidson and Heineken. As such, family businesses represent a very important force for the economic and social development anywhere in the world. Family control, however, raises unique challenges as well as value-creating opportunities for family businesses and their different stakeholders, such as customers, financiers, suppliers, partners, employees, board members and owners.

      This course introduces students to the widespread, yet complex, phenomenon of family business. It touches upon several important themes, such as strategy development, succession, governance, conflicts, business continuation, and more. The aim of this course is to introduce concepts and practical learning situations which will help the students to make sense of family businesses and to assist them in better understanding and dealing with the unique challenges and opportunities faced by different family business stakeholders.

      The course is specially designed for those who are interested in working in family businesses (e.g., as managers and/or owners) or with family businesses (e.g., as advisors or consultants), and for those coming from a family business background. Whatever their future role will be, students will find it useful to understand the uniqueness of these organizations. During the course, the students will develop their own perspective on family business. After the course, the students should be able to apply in practice appropriate models and theories presented during the course, as well as critically examine models and theories regarding family business development.

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

      Taught by dr. G. Criaco and M. Leusder MSc.

    • The Research Methodology course guides you through the thesis research process and gives you the tools you need to write a high-quality master thesis. You will attend plenary introductory lectures, workshops sessions on specific research methods and meetings with your thesis supervisor. Depending on your preference, you may develop your thesis using either qualitative methods, such as interviews, observations and personal fieldwork, or quantitative methods such as surveys and secondary data.

      The challenges of qualitative research such as case studies are widely underestimated. While it is obvious that quantitative research cannot be conducted without mastering relevant statistical or mathematical techniques, many researchers engage in qualitative research without having the requisite knowledge and skills. This course seeks to endow prospective researchers with the insights needed to adequately perform one type of qualitative research: case studies.

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

      This course is taught by dr. FH Wijen & Wenjie Liu MSc.

    • In this course students will learn how to do empirical research. The course touches upon the fundamentals of research design and quantitative research, in addition to more advanced statistical tools. In addition to the lectures, a set of video tutorials provide deeper insights into the specifics of using statistical software and running various models therein. The course is attended jointly by students from two programmes: Strategic Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.

      This course seeks to provide students with the practical tools and theoretical vocabulary required to understand conduct, and critically evaluate quantitative empirical research. During the course, students are exposed to the key types of models, their assumptions, common data collection approaches, and statistical software needed to become a successful, independent researcher.

      The following key questions are addressed in the course: First, what research design is the best fit with my research question? Second, how do I measure the concepts underpinning my research question? Third, what data do I need to collect to address this question, and what tools should I use to collect this data? Fourth, what statistical models are best suited to analyse these data? And, finally, how do I report the results of my analyses in a rigorous and statistically sound manner? This course offers answers to these questions, which are of critical importance to anyone conducting quantitative research.

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

      This course is taught by dr. RFJ Haans & dr. ME Flowers

    • For your master thesis, you will develop and apply scholarly knowledge with a focus on making a practical impact. You can organise your thesis process in such a way that you test your business idea and expand your network, for example by carefully choosing who you interview. Depending on your preference, you can make a rigorous academic contribution, develop a case study, or give advice to existing organisations to become better at business development.

      In this course students will learn how to do empirical research. The course touches upon the fundamentals of research design and quantitative research, in addition to more advanced statistical tools. In addition to the lectures, a set of video tutorials provide deeper insights into the specifics of using statistical software and running various models therein. The course is attended jointly by students from two programmes: Strategic Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management.

       

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.