The mission of the Faculty of Economics and Business is:
- to prepare students for a leading position in the corporate or public sector or a research career through top rated research-driven degree programmes in the fields of business and economics;
- to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in these fields by conducting highly-ranked research;
- to interact with local and global partners in society and the corporate world in order to connect research and education with real-world issues and challenges.
We aspire to be recognised as one of the renowned European research-oriented schools for business and economics and to be a strong partner for our corporate and public sector stakeholders and the academic community.FEB's values and strengths
We are an international university-based faculty, located in the north of the Netherlands. We embrace the University of Groningen's values of passion and performance. We strive for excellence in a setting of academic freedom and professional integrity while emphasising socially and ethically responsible behaviour.
To accomplish our mission, we benefit from the following strengths:
- our research driven educational programmes, ranging from bachelor to PhD level, receive top ratings in national and international student surveys;
- our research is world class according to influential global rankings;
- our impact on society is strong through our highly employable graduates and accessible centres of applied research;
- our active student body, passionate faculty, and global partner network contribute to an outstanding learning experience and an excellent preparation for the labour market;
- the University of Groningen, a top 100-institution according to the major world rankings, is an attractive employer located in a vibrant university town.
Responding to the ever-changing market and new developments is essential for the survival of today's organizations. In the past, change management was a subject only addressed incidentally: once a business had gone through a process of change, it was time for a period of consolidation. Nowadays, change is a crucial and permanent topic for organizations. This creates a need for change experts. They know how to design and how to manage change processes that simultaneously take place in areas such as business processes, information technology, strategy, leadership style and human resource management. In the MSc Business Administration - specialization Change Management, you will gain an understanding of the processes behind change and the impact that changes may have on an organization and its members. You will learn what role change managers can play. More specifically, you will get an insight in different strategies that have been developed, including intervention tools that are helpful for enacting those strategies. You will also acquire the communicative and social skills needed to manage change programmes at individual, group and organization levels.
In this course the emphasis lies on doing organizational change, on the changing process itself consisting of the agents, their assumptions and strategies, their interventions in the organizational system and their interactions with the actors involved. To this end you will be asked to observe, describe, analyze, plan and review change processes. The course follows an action-oriented approach: case-based learning by the group, and experiential learning during a simulation.You will work from a planned change perspective; will learn to balance WHAT and HOW issues in diagnosing change situations; and will build arguments for choosing relevant interventions at different levels. The course aims to facilitate and contribute to the development of your toolbox, in terms of possible roles and interventions. It also invites you to critically appraise the role of change agents and of their interventions in creating and sustaining conditions for change. While the course's emphasis lies on planned change management, you will be asked to reflect on its limitations and may play with or explore its boundaries.
Business processes represent the “vehicle” through which an organization delivers its products and/or services in accordance with customers’ expectations. Business process management involves the (re)configuration of activities within an organization towards achieving the corporate strategy. Business process architecture and its performance are thus subjected to constant evaluation and scrutiny. The (re)design of business process architecture, through the enhancement of supporting ICT and human infrastructures, therefore reflects a core competency for an organization to maintain sustainable competitive advantages in the marketplace.
In today's competitive business world, companies introduce many change projects to stay abreast of competition. These projects range from bringing in new technologies to total quality management initiatives, business process reengineering, and reorganization. Such projects typically aim at improving efficiency, innovativeness or effectiveness of working and therefore gaining competitive advantage for the companies in local or global markets. However, many of such projects fail to deliver optimum results. In this course, we focus on the two key change actors (change agent and change recipient), and their interactions, to explain success or failure of change projects. You will learn about these three elements (change recipients, change agents and their interaction) from the relevant theories as well as from practice (how companies do this in real life). To learn from the practice, you will conduct your own research in a company by interviewing a change agent and a few related change recipients, conducting a survey and then analyzing your findings with your research team. This course will provide you with the experience in doing your own research in the field of change management through conducting interviews, preparing data for analysis, executing qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and reporting your findings.
Healthcare systems have distinct characteristics because of high clinical, flow and professional variability. Students will learn how healthcare systems cope with these kinds of variability.
The performance of healthcare systems can be measured by different aspects: patient centeredness, patient safety, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, equity. Approaches, methods and techniques to improve performance on these aspects will be discussed in this course. The focus is on secondary care, in particular the phase of diagnostics tests and the perioperative process within hospitals.
So far, research on healthcare operations has been dominated mainly by unit (departmental) approaches. This course will provide an overview of these approaches on a strategic, tactical and operational level. A few approaches (e.g. appointment scheduling; sharing resources; quality improvement) will be discussed in-depth. Moreover, we will explore how chain and network approaches may help in delivering integrated care.
In the lectures research on healthcare operations from scientific journals will be discussed. Topics of the lectures are: complexity and sources of variability; performance indicators for quality improvement and patient safety; process integration in acute care; integration of planning and control in elective care; capacity planning and the role of shared resources; lean and quantitative tools. In the tutorials students elaborate on two real-life problems, one on analysing and designing clinical pathways and one on logistics decision making.
This course offers an overview of the strategic context and content of managerial innovations in health care. Organisational, technological, and human resource innovations will be covered.
The analytic focus is on these innovations' (potential) contributions to and implications for health care management and performance. Guided by an 'open systems'-change and an innovation framework, students will evaluate the intended contributions of specific innovations to strategic key debates in health care and analyse their implications for health care organisation and performance.
They will analyse how specific innovations can be aligned with organizational aspect systems, what managerial transformation it requires, and explore implementation issues involved.
The course Inventory Management provides knowledge and develops skills to design and analyse inventory management practises and to apply models in order to improve company performance. Spread sheet modelling skills are essential. Topics that will be discussed are Demand forecasting; Lead time demand distribution, Service levels, and Non-stationary Inventory control.
The IT Governance course is a condensed state-of-the-art management of information technology course for business and economics students without specialized IT background. The course provides overview of contemporary IT governance and management frameworks. The course focuses on the interrelation between business strategy and IT governance. In other words, how IT should be organized in modern industrial organizations. The course is intended for business and economics students with limited background in information technology and intend to improve their IT managerial and consulting skills. Through this course, students will be trained to analyze IT governance literature and resolve practical IT management challenges in an interdisciplinary approach.
The course provides insights into the 'state of the art' in the field of management accounting. The course aims to contribute to the students’ understanding of the relationships between management accounting information, the organisational context, and managerial decision making and control.
The objective is to be able to understand the various ways in which management accounting and control systems can support or undermine decision making and control within organisations. These decisions may relate to various topics like how to improve manufacturing efficiency and how to make decisions on the use and renewal of technology. The focus of the control part will be on the measurement and evaluation of the performances of organisational entities and their managers. Here both behavioural and technical aspects related to performance management will be taken into account.
The course also includes the issue of value creation through innovation and how management accounting and control concepts can be used in a dynamic and innovative organisational setting. Furthermore, the course will include change management issues concerning control systems. Students will develop both theoretical and practical knowledge, because the course includes both theoretical papers and practical case assignments.
The main topics to be dealt with are:
• the context of accounting systems: how do they construct them and use them (sometimes to their own advantage)
• costing systems and change in organisations theory and analysis: Activity Based Costing, traditional methods of cost allocation, how the choice of these costing methods have developed and influenced decision making in organisations
• financial control systems: use of budgets and incentive systems in a dynamic environment: budgeting, beyond budgeting, budget participation
• performance management: performance measurement and evaluation, Balanced Scorecard (BSC), financial performance indicators (Return on Investment and Residual Income), implementation of new performance evaluation systems
• control and ethics: the role of auditors and the ethical behavior of board of directors and managers.
Modern organizations are highly affected by the implementation and change of technologies. The outcome of a technology-enabled organizational change program is the product of the interaction between organizational goals and practices and the design of the technology to meet them. Development and implementation processes contain their own tacit and explicit practices which must often be adapted to incorporate the internal and external context of the adopting organizations. This compulsory course of the MSc BA Change Management program focuses on a treatment of this issue and discusses how technology development and implementation can be strategic, appropriate, flexible, and support human activity. After an introduction, the course is divided into the following four interrelated themes: (Theme A) Organization: understanding socio-technical ensembles; (Theme B) Change Process: adoption, adaptation, and appropriation; (Theme C) Restraining Forces: managing stakeholders; and (Theme D) Enabling Forces: managing adoption of technology.
The purpose of the master's thesis in Business Administration is that the graduate demonstrates his or her ability to do research independently within the chosen specialization. Each semester, students can choose a preferred research theme from available research topics. In general, teachers supervise a group of students working on the same theme or topic. Each supervisor defines a broad theme for the master's thesis projects he/ she is willing to supervise in a specific semester.
This course aims to prepare students for their graduation project. It focuses on methodological and professional skills preparation. For the methodological, or research part (ca 3.5 ECTS) students first have to gain some basic knowledge about the topic. In the first three weeks of the course the basic literature is presented, there is the possibility to ask questions about it in a response lecture and there will be a MC test about the literature. In weeks 4-7 students are introduced in one of their favoured research approaches. The approach is more in depth introduced, it is explained how to develop a research proposal following the favoured approach, an existing Master's thesis is judged by the students and there is a workshop on data analysis. At the end of week 9 a research proposal must be delivered. Presence in the methodological lectures and tutorials is optional.
For the professional skills training (ca 1.5 ECTS), students set individual learning goals on the basis of an assessment of their current interactional and communication skills. In profile-specific groups of 12-15 students, we will work on these competencies by practicing, observing and reflecting on individual experiences during the master thesis period and with a view to the professional field. Real-life cases will be used to explore options in interactional skills. Varying per profile, competencies include listening and feedback skills, effective interactional skills, dealing with ambiguities and resistance, self-reflection, consultancy skills, empathy, persuasive skills, personal leadership. The course will be completed by group coaching.
Technology increasingly plays a principle role as the enabler or inhibitor for organizations to pursue profitable business strategies. Managing various types of technology is paramount importance to contemporary firms. The objective of this course for students is to understand the nuanced and critical impact of technology (with a focus on modern information technology) on organizations’ sustainable competitive advantage. The alignment between modern technologies and innovation strategies is the focal point of this course. Through this course, students will learn how to identify and analyze specific problems related to technology-strategy alignment, in order to develop sustainable competitive advantage via business innovation. There are no simple, right answers. Students are trained on how to resolve the strategic problems in a creative technology-based approach.
Almost all companies face an increased complexity in their supply chains caused by global competition, more demanding customers, worldwide outsourcing and sustainability requirements. This course introduces students to strategic and global aspects of manufacturing and supply chain management. The course offers an overview of contemporary theoretical findings in the field through a book and lectures, complemented with research papers, which are assessed in a literature examination. Specifically, the course focuses on buyer-supplier relationships, the use of ICT in those relations, the role of outsourcing, and the importance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in shaping supply chains. Students have to complete several practical oriented cases and are trained in using and evaluating literature through writing reviews of relevant scientific papers. The final part of the course is a group based project that aims at playing a supply chain game and theoretically interpreting and evaluating the results.
In this course, fundamentals of organizational change will be presented. Change is essential for organizations to survive. Anticipating and reacting on changes outside the organization, has consequences for organizational processes, structure and culture, management style, and employees. This implies that organizing is changing and changing is organizing. One could also speak of ‘competence for change’: an organization nowadays has to have the competencies to change. The course has as a goal to get students acquainted with the field of change management. The subject will be studied with an emphasis on theoretical en methodological approaches and issues. Viewpoints and theories on change management, change strategies, change agents, intervention tools and designing and implementing change will be addressed. Students will have an active role in the course. They discuss themes and issues during tutorials and, in a small team, prepare and chair part of a tutorial on a specific theme. This specific theme will also be the subject of an extensive literature research that will result in a research paper. By doing all this, students will get an insight into their own role and effectiveness.