Culture, Organization and Management (COM) at VU Amsterdam is like no other. It offers a unique perspective by drawing close to organisational practice. We teach you to look behind the scenes and focusing on both individual’s lived experience and the wider social context. No other university in the world offers such an ethnographic perspective on organisation and management, coupled with practical field research, grounded analysis and critical advice.
This is a truly multi-disciplinary programme, combining insights from different social science disciplines, like psychology, anthropology and sociology. This interdisciplinary approach helps you understand organizational problems and management issues. There are no pre-set models that will allow you to make sense of an issue – you’ll need to come up with your own solutions based on the situation, the data, and the people involved. For example, a student can carry out field work and write a thesis on employee theft in companies. In order to tackle the issue, they receive not only facts and figures, but learn to get closer to their employees to understand why they are stealing in the first place.
What’s more, this is an international programme, covering global issues that affect people transnationally, as well as local issues at the level of individual groups and organisations. One of our students for excample looked at the cultural differences between the Dutch and the Japanese in a multi-national organisation. In order to solve the communication issues being experienced, she suggested to include the power structures in play and the politics within the organisation and culture.
Whatever the issue, our approach has a few things in common: multiple perspectives on complex problems, a critical attitude that looks both internally and externally, a self-reflexive mindset that’s sensitive to cultural bias, and an effective and engaged style of communication. Teaching students to develop a practice-based understanding of complex issues ‘from within’ and to provide distanced analysis and critical advice, the knowledge and insights gained throughout the COM programme provide graduates with new career opportunities in both public and private sectors.
The start date of this programme is September 1st.