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Magazine: Friday, 14 June 2024

Here’s an exploration into the evolving nature of people management practices, and the profound implications these changes hold for organisations. The seven articles curated in this issue collectively paint a vivid picture of the shifts that people and organisations face. We bring together a collection of experts – scholars and practitioners who are at the forefront of shaping our understanding of the future of work and organisations – to explore what the future of people management might look like.

This issue comes at an important time. The Covid-19 pandemic has raised new questions about how we design work and organisations; the rapid rise of Generative AI provides exciting opportunities and difficult challenges for management practice; and the traditional foundations of HR are being 

reshaped by technological advancements, societal shifts, and a growing emphasis on the human experience within organisations. The seven articles offer a multifaceted exploration of these potentially transformative trends, providing a panoramic view of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

In this special issue of RSM Discovery, our organisation and people management faculty and senior executives shine a light on three themes. In our first theme, we explore the exciting future of digitised organisations. On the flip side, our second theme addresses the very human side of work. In the final theme, we consider how teams and organisations are changing in a way that distributes teams, knowledge, and authority. 

So Don't Panic! and enjoy reading. 

We very much hope this exploration inspires you to navigate the complexities of people management with insight, resilience, and a commitment to shaping a future where organisations thrive amidst change, and individuals flourish in their work.

Guest editors-in-chief

Dr. R.L. (Bex) Hewett
Associate Professor
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Bex Hewett
prof.dr. S.R. (Steffen) Giessner
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Steffen Giessner

Read the magazine

Exploring the potential of GenAI: six lessons from IKEA

Dijana Aleksic and Alexander Galt discuss how Generative AI is creating opportunities at IKEA.

Digitised organisations

In the future, will your job choose you?

Colin Lee and Piers Steel highlight how data analytics might shape the future of talent acquisition.

Digitised organisations

Digitising change management: new opportunities and risks

Rouven Kanitz asks whether you should digitise your change management process in light of these newly available tools.

Digitised organisations

Micro-interactions for a sense of inclusion in the workplace

Rowan Moelijker and Anne Burmeister’s research on the role of micro-inclusions at work prompts us to reflect on the subtle yet powerful interactions that define our daily experiences in the workplace.

Human side of work

The value of something made by humans in the age of AI

In his article, Jochem Kroezen highlights why we should recognise and preserve the intrinsic value of work crafted by human hands even more in a digitised world.

Human side of work

The challenges of managing distributed teams

Sut I Wong and Steffen Giessner reflect on the challenges of distributed teams and highlight how organisations can harness the benefits of remote working.


Self-managing organisations: the way forward?

Finally, Bex Hewett and Rosien van Toor discuss the growing interest in self-managing organisations and discuss what implications this might have for people’s experiences at work.


These three themes reflect the evolving nature of people management practices. As leaders, managers, people and culture experts, and employees, you are not just witnesses but also active participants in this transformative journey. Remember, "Don't Panic" as you navigate these changes.

The articles in this issue of RSM Discovery serve as guideposts, highlighting a landscape where human connection, ethical considerations, digital innovation, and adaptability converge. You might even say they offer the ultimate answer to understanding our complex world of HR management

(though not necessarily the number 42).

We very much hope this exploration inspires you to navigate the complexities of HR management with insight, resilience, and a commitment to shaping a future where organisations thrive amidst change, and individuals flourish in their work. After all, it's a big, froody universe out there, and you’re well equipped with your towel of knowledge.

Bex Hewett & Steffen Giessner

RSM Discovery

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