Minor Relational Economics, Values & Leadership

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
MINFEW20
Duration
10 weeks

Content

We are moving from studying the economist inside the human being to studying the human being inside the economist.

This minor teaches the foundations of relational economics, an emerging field in economics in which relationships between human beings are of central interest. Relational economics explores interpersonal social connections. While traditional economics has generally viewed relationships as a way to reduce transaction costs in case of specific investments, recent scientific developments suggest to see the nature of relationships between humans from a more holistic perspective. Traditional economic tendencies (such as interpersonal cooperation and competition) and subjective ethical tendencies (such as altruistic reciprocity and intrinsic mutuality) are allowed to co-exist, with economists identifying how exactly humans create value through these complex interactive processes.

Among many other things, the minor demonstrates how today’s broadening of concepts like welfare and wellbeing are in agreement with early works on economics (as these were actually often highly relational in scope). As the course progresses, concepts that originate in psychology (in the case of values) and in organizational science (in the case of leadership) are introduced. The focus thus shifts gradually to the side of relational economics that specifically deals with theories on human values as well as theories on leadership.

As part of the applied economics department, the minor allows you to use relational economics as a viable lens to analyse and study governance, organizational behaviour and the psychology of human motivation. Through an interactive case method and project-oriented teaching style, you will acquire the basic analytical tools to relate to pressing contemporary issues of your choice.

Should you wish for additional information on the course, please contact the course coordinator with your questions by email.

Learning objectives

General learning objectives:

  • To know and be able to recall the discussed theoretical and empirical mechanisms that have been developed regarding the three concepts of values, leadership and relational economics.
  • To understand theoretical frameworks for modelling relationships in economics and how to apply these to real-life topics and problems.
  • To improve the academic skills of academic presenting, group work and assessment, writing and performing critical review and analysis and carrying out independent research projects.

Specific learning objectives (a selection):

  • You know why economists are increasingly interested in values and relationships.  
  • You understand that the trade-off between commitment and flexibility reflects a trade-off between cooperative relationships and competition.
  • You know and are able to recall the evolutionary (socio-)biological and philosophical grounds of values in human beings and groups.
  • You have a reasonable grasp of the social dynamics of interpersonal value priorities in various social contexts.
  • You understand and are able to explain the benefits and drawbacks of i.a. behavioural, cognitive and microeconomic theory and methodology concerning the study of leadership phenomena.

You can explain in what ways leadership behaviour can be used to establish, maintain and diminish personal and social commitment, form reciprocal relationships and promote cooperation and mutuality.

Special aspects

  • The minor is open to all students from all academic backgrounds and strives to maintain an academically diverse student class composition.
  • Non-economics students (interested in economics) are encouraged to register.
  • Physical attendance is mandatory (subject to change depending on COVID-19 regulations as of academic year 2021-2022). Being late counts as missing a class. Missing two classes without prior notice and a legitimate reason of absence counts as failing the course.
  • Timetable: no irregularities expected.

Overview modules

Module 1 Relational economics

  • CodeRelational economics
  • EC: 4
  • Content: Lecture 1: Economics as the study of cooperative relationships: an introduction.

    Can we explain how cooperative relationships create welfare by using the concepts of scarcity, diversity, reciprocity and morality, (ir)rational choice, and trust? What has the history of economic thought to share on the economics of social relationships?

    Lecture 2: The economics of relationships.

    Can we explain how relationships function using a framework based on rational choice and contract theory? How exactly do relationships foster trust and mutuality what drawbacks do they come with?

    Lecture 3: Social preferences and non-cooperative games.

    Through which mechanisms do social preferences and values aid or reduce cooperation, and do they evolve over time? How do preferences affect outcomes in non-cooperative games; when do they replace explicit contracts?

    Lecture 4: Normative roles of values.

    How should we best distinguish values from preferences? In what ways are values particularly useful, and when are they rather useless, both socially and economically? What are ‘relational goods’?

    Lecture 5: Relational leadership.

    What is leadership from an economics point of view? Why are values, virtues and other concepts such as trust and reciprocity central in the link between economics and leadership?

    Lecture 6: The governance of relationships.

    What are the 3 governance mechanisms for enhancing cooperation in non-cooperative games about, how do they interact and when can we apply them and when should we not?
  • Teaching methodInteractive lectures and seminars
  • Teaching materials: A varied selection of relevant academic papers is used for the course, which will be made available on Canvas. Excerpts and chapters from the textbook “Microeconomics: behaviour, institutions, and evolution” by Samuel Bowles (2009) are used during this module. Although a paper edition of the textbook is not required, (digitally) acquiring it is encouraged.
  • Contact hours: 4 to 6 hours per week (2 to 3 classes of 2 hours each)
  • Self study:  Approximately 26 hours per week.

Module 2 Values

  • Code: Values
  • EC: 4
  • Content: Lecture 1: Organisms and organizations in need of motivation

    Where do values originate? Which insights can evolutionary biology, ethology, social psychology, sociobiology and philosophy provide us with?

    Lecture 2: Values in research regarding personal and group performance

    What role do values play when it comes to personal and group performance? How have research and theorizing evolved on this subject and can we review the most popular approaches?

    Lecture 3: Core values and personality

    What can we learn from the personality psychology of personal value priorities and its relation to business and coaching? How does it relate to the individual and to the concept of authenticity?

    Lecture 4: Social values and activation

    How do values function in the context of various social settings? Are there ways to analyze how important values exactly ‘behave’ in teams? What do we know about value congruence and how values are shared?

    Lecture 5: Corporate values and strategic positioning

    What do we know about cases involving business ethics and corporate social responsibility and cases when values are used as a means to distinguish the enterprise from its competition? What function do sacred values, familial values and sincerity have in this respect?

    Lecture 6: Cultural values and transmission

    How does the study of culture relate to values? Are values a universal aspect of human life, independent of cultural variance?

  • Teaching method: Interactive lectures and seminars
  • Teaching materials: A varied selection of relevant academic papers is used for the course, which will be made available on Canvas. Excerpts and chapters from the textbook “The psychology of human values” by Gregory Maio (2016) are used during this module. Although a paper edition of this textbook is not required, (digitally) acquiring it is encouraged
  • Contact hours: 4 to 6 hours per week (2 to 3 classes of 2 hours each)
  • Self study: Approximately 26 hours per week.

Module 3 Leadership

  • Code: Leadership
  • EC: 4
  • Content: Lecture 1: How economics and values are used in leadership

    Are there any interesting things to learn about economics research on the topics of leadership?

    Lecture 2: A concise history of values in leadership studies

    What has been the past and what is the current position of values in the field of leadership studies?

    Lecture 3: On the values of leaders: priorities and personalities

    Could there be any values specific to being a ‘leader’? What can we learn from studying the self in relation to values and leadership? Is studying the concept of authenticity helpful in better understanding this link?

    Lecture 4: Leadership and values in group dynamics

    What are the functions of values in group processes that include leader- and followership dynamics? In which, if any, social contexts are values ‘used’ actively by group/team members, and how can we observe and measure this?

    Lecture 5: Values through leadership: strategy and culture

    How does leadership deal with values at the corporate level and with respect to internal cultures and subcultures? How does leadership handle the ethics of values (as part of the cultural identity of the organization)?

  • Teaching methodInteractive lectures and seminars
  • Teaching materials: A varied selection of relevant academic papers is used during the course, which will be made available on Canvas. Excerpts and chapters from the textbook “The nature of leadership” by John Antonakis & David Day (2017) are used during this module. Although a paper edition of this textbook is not required, (digitally) acquiring it is encouraged.
  • Contact hours: 4 to 6 hours per week (2 to 3 classes of 2 hours each)
  • Self study: Approximately 26 hours per week

Module 4 Individual research paper

  • CodeIndividual research paper
  • EC: 3 
  • ContentThis module includes writing a research paper on a topic related to the course. You write on a topic that has been of keen interest to you, based on your personal reflections log and the team project. The writing process is supported by instruction on how to write a research paper that is relevant, rigorous as well as to the point. To achieve this, there are two instances organized to help you structure your thoughts on the subject and outline of the paper. Halfway the course students hand in a paper outline (min. 1250 words). Towards the end, students have the possibility to consult the course instructor for additional help in the writing process.
    The paper is written on an individual basis and will be checked for plagiarism. Papers are primarily reviewed based on their academic merit. Every student opting for the 15 EC minor is required to follow the fourth module.
  • Teaching methodIndividual guidance and concluding lecture
  • Teaching materials: A varied selection of relevant academic papers is used for the course, which will be made available on Canvas. Excerpts and chapters from the textbook “Constructing research questions: doing interesting research” by Mats Alvesson and Jörgen Sandberg (2013) are used during this module. Although a paper edition of this textbook is not required, (digitally) acquiring it is encouraged.
  • Contact hours: 2 to 4 hours (1 to 2 classes of 2 hours each)
  • Self study: Approximately 28 hours per week

Overview content per week

Timetable Minor Relational Economics, Values & Leadership (provisional)

Week

Module, class number and topic

1

0.1: Introduction to the course

0.2: Basics of relational economics, values and leadership.

1.1: Economics as the study of cooperative relationships: an introduction.

2

1.2: The economics of relationships.

1.3: Social preferences and non-cooperative games.

1.4: Normative roles of values.

3

1.5: Relational leadership.

1.6 The governance of relationships.

4

2.1: Organisms and organizations in need of motivation

2.2: Values in research regarding personal and group performance

2.3: Core values and personality

5

2.4: Social values and activation

2.5: Corporate values and strategic positioning

6

2.6: Cultural values and transmission

3.1: How economics and values are used in leadership

7

3.2: A concise history of values in leadership studies

3.3: On the values of leaders: priorities and personalities

3.4: Leadership and values in group dynamics

8

3.5: Values through leadership: strategy and culture

4.1: Presentations, reflection and synthesis

9 **

No class: consultation and preparation final paper.

10 **

4.2: Concluding lecture, wrap-up.

** Note: the individual writing of a final paper in module 4 is only for students who are in need of a minor that constitutes 15 ECTS. Students are exempted from this examination requirement in the case of a 12 ECTS minor.

Examination

Method of examination

  • Summaries of and personal reflections on literature;
  • Multiple-choice exam;
  • Presentation on output of research challenge;
  • Written paper outline (15 EC minor only);
  • Written individual final paper (15 EC minor only);
  • Classroom participation.

Composition final grade

15 EC:

  1. 25/100: summaries of the literature and reflections on what you personally learned from it (25%)
  2. 40/100: multiple-choice exam on a selection of the course literature (15%)
  3. 65/100: (team) presentation of output of the individual or collective research challenge (25%)
  4. 90/100: written individual final paper (20% final paper, 5% mid-term outline)
  5. 100/100: individual classroom participation throughout the course (10%).

12 EC:

  1. 35/100: summaries of the literature and reflections on what you personally learned from it (35%)
  2. 55/100: multiple-choice exam on a selection of the course literature (20%)
  3. 90/100: (team) presentation of output of the individual or collective research challenge (35%)
  4. 100/100: individual classroom participation throughout the course (10%).

Feedback

  • Grade and written feedback on summaries of the literature
  • Written feedback on personal reflections
  • Grade on multiple-choice exam
  • Grade and oral feedback on presentation and project outcome
  • Grade and written feedback on final paper (15 EC minor)
  • Oral feedback on mid-term paper outline (15 EC minor)
  • Open consultation final paper.
  • Grade on classroom participation (oral feedback at individual request).

Contact person

Prof. dr. A.L. (Lans) Bovenberg (head lecturer)

bovenberg@ese.eur.nl

010-4081334

Room: N4-01

https://www.eur.nl/people/lans-bovenberg

Dr. L.K. (Bas) van Os (supporting lecturer)

vanos@eibe.eur.nl

A.J. (Sander) van Casteren, MSc (educational support)

vancasteren@eibe.eur.nl

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
MINFEW20
Duration
10 weeks
Organisation
Erasmus School of Economics
Study points (EC)
15
Instruction language
English