The Master in Management track of the MSc in Business Administration is a 60 EC programme and has a duration of 12 months.
It is common knowledge that some firms perform better than others, yet the causes of performance differences across firms are less obvious. Strategic management aims to provide explanations to this question by illuminating how firms can organize their internal resources and capabilities so as to align them with the environment to achieve competitive advantage, enabling them to outperform their competitors. This course introduces the key concepts, tools, and principles of strategic management and illustrates their real-life applications. Specifically, the course focuses on information, analyses, and organizational processes managers can use to devise strategies, position their businesses, and pursue competitive advantage. On top of this, the course also discusses the dynamics of disruptive innovation on the industry and organization level: How to craft an innovation strategy that fosters disruptive innovation?
The course takes a general management perspective, viewing the firm as a whole, and examining how a firm`s internal resources and capabilities in different functional areas can be coherently organized using various organizational structures, and complemented with external relationships, to seize opportunities and neutralize threats in the competitive environment. It also addresses main challenges in managing organizational processes to respond to constantly changing competitive landscapes due to developments like globalization, deregulation, rapid technological change and changing customer preferences. Specifically, the course analyses how firms can explore new ways of value creation while innovating.
This course provides students with insights into how and why managers formulate and implement strategy as well as how they realize an innovation strategy by delving into relevant theories and concepts. By combining theories and real world business situations in key areas of strategy, students are exposed to critical managerial lessons. In addition to theories on strategic management and innovation, concrete tools and techniques are presented. These tools and techniques can help identify and realize appropriate strategic innovations. A team project - in which students as a team work on strategic innovation issues of a real company - parallels the lectures in this course. The group project allows students to put the newly acquired skills into practice immediately.
- Strategy formulation and implementation
- Analysing the industry environment (external analysis)
- Analysing firm resources and capabilities (internal analysis)
- Cooperative strategies
- Disruptive innovation on the industry level: how do new industries emerge as a result of innovation
- Innovation strategy and its implications for the organization
- Managing ambidexterity: exploitation and exploration
- Individual written exam
- Team assignment including a presentation
The course is worth 4 EC.
Instructor: Dr Korcan Kavusan
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the marketing domain. Key questions that will be addressed during this course are: “What is marketing and the marketing concept?” and “How do companies develop a competitive advantage according to the marketing concept?” and “How is marketing affected by the use of social media?” Each session will consist of a blend of lecturing and (case) discussions. Students are expected to come well-prepared to classes and actively participate in the discussions.
During the lectures, concepts, frameworks, and theories will be presented and discussed, using practical examples to illustrate the ideas and highlight implementation issues as they are relevant for managers.
During the case discussions, you will be expected to analyse realistic problem situations in the form of business cases. While developing solutions, you will make use of core concepts in marketing and you will learn to apply them to a concrete case. As in actual practice, cases are characterized by a limited time frame for making decisions, incomplete information, and no clear "best" answer. The case method is essential to developing the kind of problem-solving and communication skills highly valued in the managerial practice. The ability to generalize from the specific case situations discussed in class to new situations that you may encounter is one of the foundations of management education.
During case discussions, a poorly prepared class invariably leads to an unrewarding experience for all involved. Thus, the long-term benefits from this course will be proportional to the extent that you make this course your project. This means that you are expected to come to class prepared and to actively participate. Specifically, you are expected to contribute to an informed exchange about the topic of the class and to have well-developed points of view about the cases and other reading material.
- Individual exam with open questions
- Team assignment
- Class participation
This course is worth 4 EC.
Instructor: Professor Gerrit van Bruggen
The course presents an overview of basic quantitative research methods and techniques that are frequently used in management and provides a context for developing skills in the practical application of these methods. Quantitative methods deal with the formulation of research hypotheses, setting up causal relationships schemes, quantitative data collection, and statistical methods to perform univariate (hypothesis testing and estimation), bivariate (ANOVA, t-test, correlation and contingency tables) and multivariate (regression) analyses.
Quantitative research covers the collection and analyses of quantitative data. The lectures will address the theoretical background of measurement and analysis techniques, but also aid hands-on experience with development of surveys and application of statistical techniques to process data and support inference. The various topics are presented: models, hypotheses and measurement theory; (univariate) estimation and hypothesis testing; bivariate analysis; and multivariate (regression) analysis. The distinction into univariate, bivariate and multivariate methods refers to the number of quantities involved in the analyses. Univariate methods are methods to analyse and represent the outcomes of individual variables. Bivariate methods consist of methods to analyse and represent the systematic pattern of joint outcomes of two variables, such as contingency tables, t-tests, correlation coefficients and analysis of variance. In this context, attention will be paid to phenomena, like spurious correlation, common causes and intervening variables, which can lead to highly misleading inferences if not appropriately handled. Multivariate methods are used to examine the dependencies between more than two variables at the same time. In this course, only regression analysis will be discussed.
Throughout the course, attention is paid to methodological topics, such as implications of the measurement scales of available variables, the difference between statistical dependence and (assumed) causality, the possibly disturbing influence of neglected intervening variables or common causes on previously observed associations, and the difference between simple and multivariate explanatory models. Practical research skills are developed within the context of a research project related to a topic in sustainability that comprises most elements of the empirical cycle, from hypothesis generation to data collection, analysis and reflection. Throughout the course, we make use of the software package R. Thanks to social media and other digitization efforts, textual sources are increasingly available on the Internet and providing a rich information source. This last part of the course will touch upon elementary analytics notions in this domain.
Students are required to successfully complete a prep course by the second week of September 2019.
- Individual written exam
- Weekly homework (in changing teams of 2)
- Group assignment
- Intermediary feedback will be provided
This course is worth 6 EC and runs through block 1 and 2.
Instructor: Dr Jan van Dalen
This course consists of two important domains in psychology as they are relevant for business:
- human decision-making
- behaviour in teams
The course is taught as a mixture of interactive lectures, in-class exercises, and workshops that allow students to explore key topics in organizational behaviour, e.g., essential concepts in judgement and decision-making, bias in decision-making, strengths and pitfalls in persuasion, cooperation and conflict, cognition and information processing, and diversity in teams.
Regarding human decision-making we will discuss the assumption of rational decision-making versus biases by normatively irrelevant factors. We will show that other people influence our choices. The course will give you an understanding of the psychology of judgment and decision-making, with the ultimate, overarching goal of making you a better decision-maker. How can you overcome your biases and improve your choices? How can you make sure that you and your collaborators finish your project on time? These are important challenges for anyone’s career, independent of your specific professional goals. Understanding these questions will help you improve your (personal) insights in the process of decision-making.
Regarding behaviour in teams, the course addresses the challenges associated with coordinating the efforts and expertise of different team members who are working towards a common team goal. Furthermore, we will explore different strategies that help teams overcome challenges and pitfalls in team collaboration. Special attention is given to diversity in teams and the impact it can have on team dynamics.
Complementing the lectures, the course includes a number of practical exercises and discussions of real-life cases that will allow you to engage with the course content on a more experiential basis and highlight how the theoretical concepts and models relate to management practice.
- Discuss essential concepts in judgment and decision-making
- Use insights from psychology to persuade and resist persuasion
- Understand essential concepts in team dynamics
- Apply theoretical concepts on real-world situations
- Written individual exam
- Team assignment
- Practical exercises
This course is worth 4 EC.
The course Financial Management runs across two blocks. We start in block 2, where mainly topics related to accounting are discussed. Accounting is referred to as the language of business, because it is widely used to reflect all types of business activities. This course provides insights in core concepts in accounting. We discuss the various ways in which financial and non-financial information can be compiled, and how this information is communicated to decision makers. In general, we distinguish between financial accounting and management accounting.
Financial accounting deals with the primary financial statements – balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement – and is designed primarily to assist external stakeholders, such as investors and creditors, in deciding where or whether to invest their money. What information financial statements present, how it is linked and how to interpret this information is discussed.
Management accounting emphasizes the use of accounting information for internal planning and control purposes. Any organization’s long-term competitive success is critically dependent on (1) the quality of accounting information about its products, services, processes, suppliers, and customers, (2) taking rational decisions based on accounting information, and (3) motivating its employees and controlling its performance consistent with that information. Important topics include cost accounting, cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, responsibility accounting, relevant costing and decision-making.
In block 3 topics in finance are discussed. Finance deals with topics that are particularly relevant for business decision-making in areas as whether or not to invest in a project, how to finance an investment, and how to deal with uncertainty. Finance is associated with decision-making related to external stakeholders.
This part of the course deals with the modern fundamentals of finance and describes how investment opportunities are valued in financial markets. The most important concepts in this course are the net present value, capital budgeting, the risk-return relationship, the efficient market hypothesis, and capital structure. We will use these concepts for addressing two central questions throughout this course:
- How should a financial manager of a firm take investments decisions?
- How should the investments be financed?
- Two individual written exams with open and multiple choice questions related to the two parts of the course; for the final grade the ‘final grades’ of the two blocks are combined equally
- Weekly team assignments (in changing teams of two), especially for Accounting
This course is worth 6 EC and runs in block 2 and 3.
Your Future Career’ runs across block 1-5 and consists of various (digital) questionnaires, exercises, lectures, and other formats to prepare you for the labour market and your future career. As this preparation is not a straightforward, easy process we invite you first to start with an internal journey and learn more about yourself – in terms of personal drivers, interests and values and then find a fit with the external side – the industries.
The diverse tools as used in this course will include not only job search and acquisition techniques, but also the tools for personal career development that provide the best insight into tactical decision-making; identifying and choosing from options with the goal of optimal career fulfilment now and in the future.
Using both a theoretical and practical approach, the goal of the lectures, workshops, exercises digital tools and between-class assignments is to produce competitive job candidates who enter the market well prepared to make informed career decisions.
The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of and the means to practice the fundamental principles underlying proactive career management. The immediate application is most evident during the post-graduation job search, but the foundational skills learned are applicable during all dynamic phases of a career.
By the end of the course, students will:
- Understand the characteristics of a behavioural interview and the recruitment and application process
- Analyse strengths and weaknesses, personality values and skills relevant for a role
- Identify career preparation gaps and create action points to fill the gaps
- Create their personal career narrative
- Develop a relationship with one or more mentors
- Manage career preparation proactively
- Reflect and navigate through ethical dilemma’s
Various individual assignments have to be handed in during this course. As developing a career prospect is an individual trajectory the assignments are all assessed as pass/fail.
This course is worth 1 EC.
The course Entrepreneurial Challenge is an intensive module. You will explore and experience what it entails to start a new and ambitious company. You will come to understand that not only existing businesses, but also new businesses require management. As you are enrolled in the Master in Management program, it is important to understand that without businesses there is nothing to manage, and without entrepreneurs there would be (and will be) no businesses. Furthermore, many RSM graduates will – at some stage in their career – consider entrepreneurship as a serious career opportunity.
In line with RSM’s mission statement we will focus on social entrepreneurship, supporting one of the SDG’s which will be introduced elaborately. The course contains a concise introduction to the domain of social entrepreneurship theory and research. To apply the key concepts and tools in a real-life setting, teams will develop and revise their own start-up opportunities and explore viable business models in the field of social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is about turning unmet needs and unsolved problems into viable economic activity. The essence of entrepreneurship has been described as ‘the pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources currently controlled.’ Entrepreneurship starts with the discovery of promising opportunities. Understanding the origins of such opportunities is key for start-up entrepreneurs and existing companies alike to develop business models that will effectively create and capture value from the identified opportunities. Entrepreneurship is not just a process, but also a mindset. In this module you develop that mindset by exploring the first stages of the process: the identification and evaluation of opportunities and the search for viable business models.
The course requires that all students actively participate in the classes. In addition, we expect the students to spend additional time per day on class preparation by reading the literature and doing project work. This course is a crash course into the (theoretical) foundations of entrepreneurship and a pressure cooker module for developing a business case and presenting it in front of a jury; both of them require your full dedication.
Sessions and attendance
The sessions in this module will differ in nature, ranging from student presentations, to workshops, to feedback sessions. During these meetings, a proactive and constructive atmosphere will be stimulated: a collaborative, open approach is needed to help each other and to learn from each other. The instructor in this course will serve primarily as a coach, rather than as a teacher. His main concern is to guide the group and the teams through the necessary thought and work processes.
Attendance of all university sessions is compulsory
- Team assignment with individual feedback integrated in the team assignment
The course is worth 2 EC.
Instructor: Dr Ferdinand Jaspers
The research clinic prepares the student for writing the thesis proposal. The clinic will provide insights into types of research questions and their requirements. It will provide an overview of research strategies and the appropriateness of these related to various types of research questions. Furthermore, various forms of data collection and analysis techniques – related to the research strategy – are discussed. As students follow a ‘master in management’ students will learn how to discuss and think about the managerial relevance of their research question.
To properly discuss and learn about types of data collection and data analysis the research clinic is organized in various tracks running in parallel for different groups of students depending on their choice of a thesis topic and the exact research question. Students will participate in one of the following tracks:
- Track for students who want to write their thesis in Finance
- Track for students who want to conduct a quantitative analysis
- Track for students who want to conduct a qualitative analysis
These tracks provide hands-on exercises to help students to collect their data adequately and conduct their analysis in the thesis autonomously. The thesis proposal is conditional for the thesis.
- Being able to define a relevant research question in the current business context
- Formulate a research plan
- Provide a relevant and coherent overview of the most relevant literature
- Understand the managerial importance of the research question
- Thesis Proposal which is assessed as pass/fail
The course is worth 1 EC.
The course provides students with an overview of one of the most challenging areas in business: operations and supply chain management (O&SCM) and rational decision-making as a condition for this. The course focuses on the systematic planning, design, and operation of business processes which deliver goods and services. Managing the manufacturing and service processes is an increasingly complex and challenging task not only due to the fact that they span across the entire organization, but also due to business trends such as globalization, outsourcing, product proliferation, and fast development of IT that challenge the fitness of O&SCM.
Therefore and as a preparation to deeply understand the considerations when establishing a supply chain ‘management science’ is part of this course. Management science in general is the underlying knowledge for planning a rational decision model in supply chain. In management science students will learn to make sense out of various sources of data, organize the inputs of experts and colleagues, and use state-of-the-art business software to provide analytical support to reasoning as it is applied in supply chain. To equip students to be more effective in these tasks is the overall objective of this course. The emphasis is not on the quantitative aspects, but on the qualitative insights that come from using models to aid managerial thinking and decision making in supply chain.
The unifying theme of the course is how managers can improve the efficiency of processes, operating systems, and supply chains, and by the end of the course important levers for managing business processes will be identified. The course helps students understand and analyse O&SCM issues, and provides them with the language, concepts and insights necessary for dealing with various practical problems.
The subjects discussed cover almost all value-added and supporting activities of the organization including forecasting, inventory management, and supply chain coordination contract.
The course comprises of lectures (3 hours each), games, excel modelling and case teaching. Participants should be familiar with basic mathematical concepts and the basics of spreadsheet modeling in Excel. For those who are not familiar with this, we suggest to go through chapter 2 “Introduction to Spreadsheet Modeling” of the book. Further resources will be given before the start of the course, and an excel workshop will be organized. We expect that the participants prepare their classes and actively participate in the case study discussions.
- Individual written exam
- Team assignments consisting of:
- Three smaller team assignments
- Participation in a simulation
This course is worth 6 EC.
To bring business closer to your academic education and enhance your understanding of the business world in practice the consultancy project is part of the program. In the consultancy project you are challenged to analyse a real-life problem coming from a business-client and understand the specific needs in and of a client organization. In a group of approximately 6 students you will be asked to help a client solving a problem by developing new and sustainable recommendations. This process takes place in a project-like work setting in intensive contact with the client. You are expected to understand the clients’ needs, scope and narrow down the problem into a researchable question, develop and use a suitable theoretical framework, collect data and explore potential solutions and make recommendations. The projects often take place within a context with various stakeholders. Hence, dealing with a variety of different stakeholder is part of the project.
Next to problem-solving skills necessary in this project team cooperation and leadership in and of a team are relevant aspects in this project. To reflect on the team process and improve on your team behaviour various challenge and reflection moments are built into this 4 month process. The project team is invited to assess their members’ behaviour and critically reflect on possible improvements.
- Analytical skills: Dealing with a high amount of information in a short time in an (formerly) unknown domain and gain/maintain an overview
- Analytical skills: Being able to define, scope, analyse and structure an (formerly) unknown and ill-defined problem
- Problem-solving skills: Develop consistent, relevant and sustainable recommendations for the client based on high professional standards and understand that there is no right or wrong
- Managerial skills: Think independently and behave autonomously: working on problems – not following instructions
- Managerial skills: manage and satisfy the various requirements from stakeholders
- Managerial skills: Make use of the cross-cultural and disciplinary diversity in a team
- Leadership skills: experience and reflect on your impact on a team process and think about improvements
- Getting socialized into the business world
At the end of the four-month period you will present your findings to the client organization.
The company coach will assess the results (incl. the presentation) for 20%; the academic coach will assess the report (incl. the presentation) for 80%.
Various papers regarding the team process and team leadership have to be delivered individually during the project.
This course is worth 6 EC and runs from blocks 3 through 4.
Instructor: Dr Irma Bogenrieder and diverse others
This course discusses the corporate governance challenges of various kinds of private enterprise organization, as well as the measures and practices that can be used to meet these challenges. After introducing a general framework, we will look at the corporate governance challenges of publicly listed firms, family firms, (professional) partnerships, State owned enterprises, and non-profit organizations, such as philanthropies, for example. Although we focus mainly on the role and interests of owners in these firms, we will also discuss how corporate governance affects the interests of other stakeholders, such as employees, customers, creditors or society at large.
Corporate governance is about the ownership, decision-making and accountability practices through which modern enterprise organizations develop and deploy their resources in order to create value and secure a sustainable future while taking into account the business context at large. Within publicly listed firms, for example, executives make the bulk of everyday business decisions, while highly dispersed and therefore mostly uninvolved shareholders and other stakeholders face their economic consequences.
A striking fact about modern economic organization, however, is that there are not only publicly listed firms, but many different forms of enterprise organization, such as: (professional) partnerships, state-owned enterprises, cooperatives, family firms, and non-profit organizations such as philanthropies. Each of these organizational forms faces its own distinctive corporate governance challenges and will need to develop equally specific practices to meet these challenges.
In this course, we will survey and discuss various forms of enterprise organization in order to unveil the specific corporate governance challenges that they face. As modern capitalism is predicated on the private ownership of the means of production, we focus (but not exclusively) on the role of owners of these organizations but we will also take into account the role of societal stakeholders.
- Understand what corporate governance is and how it matters in business
- Understand the role of ownership in firms and how it matters in corporate governance more specifically
- Think strategically about different ways to meet the specific corporate governance challenges that come with different types of ownership of the firm
- Think strategically about different ways in which firms can shape and manage their relationship with their stakeholders
- Think strategically about different ways in which firms can develop and maintain their institutional license to operate
- Ultimately to think strategically about how to align the ownership and governance practices of a firm with its core activities, critical resources and resource dependencies, its current and future business model, and its societal license to operate
- Individual, weekly quizzes
- Team assignment
- Class participation
This course is worth 4 EC.
Instructor: Professor Hans van Oosterhout
The Master thesis including the thesis proposal constitutes the heart of the master programme MScBA - Master in Management. The Master thesis requires students to conduct independent, individual research in one of the functional domains (‘profiles’) in business administration and relate and link their insights with managerial insights and relevance. The thesis is perceived as a proof of their academic level of thinking, especially a proof of analytical craftsmanship combined with problem-solving and critical reflection. During the thesis trajectory MiM students study a field in business administration in more depth. The thesis provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of an area of interest, train their capabilities in analysis and problem solving, improve their skills in practical scientific business and management research, and develop a personal profile.
By choosing a research topic in a profile students express their special interest and affinity towards a future employer. The thesis trajectory is considered as the main opportunity to bring in a focus in the program and express one’s affinity towards managerial challenges in a field in business administration. The topics as offered for a thesis cover the main domains in business administration, e.g. marketing, strategy, finance, supply chain etc. MiM students are always required to consider and discuss elaborately the relevance and implications for management. The title of the thesis will be mentioned on the grade list. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a title wisely to indicate one’s interests. The thesis is written under the supervision of a coach and a co-reader. Before working on the thesis a research proposal (or: thesis proposal) has to be crafted.
- Define a relevant research question in the current business context
- Execute the proposed research plan and being able to make adjustments if circumstances change
- Review relevant literature in a coherent and consistent way
- Collect, process and interpret data
- Evaluate the findings and relate them to business and management
- Understand the managerial implications of the findings and its contribution to managerial problem-solving
- Conduct the research autonomously and ethically
The thesis counts for 16 EC.
Instructors: Individual & Dr Irma Bogenrieder (plenary)