After completing this course master students are expected to be able to:
- Engage, Investigate and Evaluate (act) a solution for a social innovation challenge;
- Critically reflect on the utility of social exchange theory, intellectual capital theory and climate theories to explain the relationship between human resource management and individual/organizational innovation;
- Explain the latest developments in what ways HRM initiatives can stimulate individual/organizational innovation
- Develop solutions in what ways organizations can implement social innovations;
- Reflect on important lessons learned at the societal, organizational and individual level which are relevant for social innovation challenges;
- Discuss the practical and theoretical implications of your social innovation challenge to provide advice and recommendations for an implementation plan.
Students are also expected to continue training their skills to formulate rigorous and relevant problems and research questions; interview business representatives; collaborate and effectively involve relevant stakeholders; work collaboratively and interdisciplinary; demonstrate the potential impact
Innovation is the cornerstone of many economies and societies. Furthermore, being innovative is crucial for businesses to gain a competitive advantage in the contemporary economy. Therefore, firms are all looking for the holy grail of innovation by searching for means to create new products and services before competitors even thought of it. Since employees are the ones who create new ideas and translate them into innovative products/services, both researchers and practitioners agree that employees are at the root of a firm's innovation success. As such, they are seeking for (new) human resource management initiatives that foster innovation at different levels in organizations. One example is Google's famous "20 percent projects" that allow employees to spend 20% of their time on projects of their own interests. This way, Google taps into the knowledge, skills, and abilities of its employees and facilitates the development of new ideas. Given the important role of employees in innovation processes, it is a necessity for HR and line managers to know how to stimulate innovative employee behaviors and how to manage people in organizations with the use of HRM practices.|
In this course, we invite students to engage in the quest to better understand how firms can make their workforces more innovative. To do so, students will work on a real-life social innovation challenge that is presented to them in the beginning of the course. Through engaging with and involving the relevant stakeholders they are asked to investigate what the practical and theoretical problems are and how to solve the challenge. Students need to engage, investigate and evaluate the design or research towards possible solutions that can help the real-life clients involved. They do so by collaborating with students from different disciplines and background, with real-life stakeholders, with experts in the field, with their tutor and with the provided and needed theoretical knowledge and evidence.
Applying three different management theories to the challenge provided, students will understand how HRM policies, systems and practices can be used to implement innovative ideas and how various organizational actors need to engage in the implementation of social innovations. Based on peer feedback from different sources and perspectives, students will advance in their learning process and will be able to develop better solutions and recommendations for theory and practice.