Master’s programme in Managing People, Knowledge and Change

MSc in Business and Economics, major in Business Administration | 1 year | 60 credits

Course content

The programme consists of several parts, each comprising distinct courses (in total 60 ECTS). Each part is presented below.

Autumn semester (September - October)

During the first period students will attend two core courses that introduce basic models and perspectives that will be of relevance throughout the programme.

The objective of the course is to enhance and deepen the students’ knowledge and understanding of knowledge-intensive firms and knowledge work in general. With a specific focus on the topic of knowledge, the course focuses on managing and leading knowledge-intensive organizations and also addresses the significance of the knowledge workers.

Knowledge workers are discussed in comparison with “traditional” professions, which, in different dimensions, give additional insight to the distinctiveness of the knowledge worker. The empirical emphasis is on the business sector, but a range of different occupations and organizations are addressed: management consultancy, high tech, accounting, and health care.

Course code: BUSN40 | Download syllabus

The objective of the course is to provide students with advanced theoretical and practical knowledge on understanding how and why organisations change, organizationally as well as strategically. It deals in particular with techniques for intervention in organisations for managers and consultants alike. Practical knowledge is supplemented by reflections on development and change from various research perspectives. Empirical investigations include entrepreneurial firms, global business and public-sector organisations including health care.

Course code: BUSN41 | Download syllabus

Autumn semester (November - January)

The second period introduces elective courses, where you choose two out of three available courses that run parallel during the second half of the semester.

This course examines the complex relationship between business and society, focusing on the social responsibilities of contemporary corporations. The course presents and investigates a variety of various theoretical perspectives, such as ethical theories and CSR, as well as real-life case studies (e.g. McDonald’s).

The course addresses questions such as:

  • What is the purpose of business?
  • Is CSR good for business?
  • How can CSR be managed in practice?
  • What is the responsibility of the consumer?

Empirically, the course addresses a number of different organizations within the global business sector as well as within the public sector.

Course code: BUSN43 | Download syllabus

The course is divided into four interrelated parts, which relate to the questions of how creativity and innovation could be stimulated and further developed in an organization; what role external stakeholders of the company play; and why innovation and creativity have become so important and what possible positive but also negative effects it can have. To that end, part one of the course presents and discusses various different conceptions of creativity and innovation.

Part two explores examples and various challenges of managing creativity and innovation. In that context, stimulating creativity on an individual and team level will be investigated as well as organizational efforts to structure and commercialize the innovation process.

The third part looks at the broader economic, cultural and societal context of creativity and innovation.

With regard to a critical evaluation of innovation and creativity, the concluding part four of the course reflects on the effects of disruptive innovation and discusses ethical considerations.

Course code: BUSN48 | Download syllabus

The objective of this course is to facilitate the understanding of the significance of HR issues in contemporary business life.

The course focuses on a range of questions such as:

  • What are the strategies for human resources management?
  • Which strategies are appropriate in which types of organizations?
  • What is the significance of viewing people as “resources”?
  • How and with what consequences are people managed strategically in organizations?
  • How is strategic human resources management related to issues of gender and diversity in organizations?
  • Are models of human resources management sufficiently people-oriented?

The course is based on cases drawn from both the private and public sectors and aims at facilitating the integration of theory and practice.

Course code: BUSN44 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (January - March)

This period focuses on research methodology and advanced organisation theory.

The objectives of this course are exploring and sharing discoveries! Learn about yourself and others as a team of experienced teachers guide you through the philosophical landscapes and practical applications of qualitative research. Develop the language, knowledge and skills to articulate how various paradigms shape how you see the world around you. In addition, learn how to conduct interviews, make organizational observations, analyse empirical materials and become a more reflexive and ‘interesting’ writer. Along the way, expect to challenge your conventions, engage your curiosity and develop your scholarly voice. 

Course code: BUSN46 | Download syllabus

The course concerns leadership – especially managers’ efforts at exercising it – in organizational contexts. This means that leadership is set in a variety of contexts in order to facilitate for understanding how leadership both influences and is influenced by broader organizational, societal and cultural conditions.

The course examines how societal, industry and organizational contexts frame and influence  leadership. Elements such as strategy, structures, personnel, competence, and culture are central in order to understand leadership. For example, organizational culture in terms of ideas and norms informs how leadership should be exercised. The course also discusses the significance of the relational character of leadership as well as the importance of communication.

As the course emphasizes the relational character, it becomes highly important to understand the follower's response when targeted for leadership efforts. It is not only important what the managers do, but also how followers relate to that. The course emphasizes how followers are co-creators of leadership relations. The course also examines how leadership may productively be understood as a distinct form of coordination, with a focus on meaning, morals and emotions. Following that, the voluntary aspect of leadership relations is strongly emphasized.

The course also discusses some varieties of leadership, discussed by drawing upon metaphorical thinking, such as the leader as a pedagogue, a party-host or a prophet. In addition to that, the course also emphasize alternatives to leadership as means of accomplishing coordination in organizations. These alternatives - such as management or teamwork – are discussed as alternatives partly in order to facilitate a distinctive understanding of leadership as powerful form of coordination.

A central theme at the course revolves around managerial work and expectations of managers to exercise leadership. Following that, the course also emphasizes the more stressful aspects of managerial work and how managers work with their identity in order to secure some coherence and stability at work. A key theme is that it is important to understand how managers interpret and understand the idea of being a leader exercising leadership.

Course code: BUSN47 | Download syllabus

Spring semester (April - June)

The last study period will focus entirely on the degree project. We expect students to formulate a clear and researchable research question at the beginning of this final period. The topic will be selected from a list of broad themes specified by the available supervisors.

The main objective of this course is to develop students’ ability to conduct an independent scientific study that includes developing relevant research questions, and to design and conduct a study that addresses the questions based upon appropriate methodological considerations and relevant theories. The course facilitates independent work in smaller groups where students design and conduct their own study. This includes searching for literature on the appropriate theoretical area as well as on research methodology, and collecting relevant empirical data through field studies and documentary research. 

Course code: BUSN49 | Download syllabus

Please note

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.

Case studies and guest speakers

The teaching methods used focus on the critical analysis of the course content with the use of real case studies wherever possible.  International guest lecturers and speakers from business, government, NGOs and research regularly feature as part of the curriculum to further connect studies to the professional world.