Leading People, Teams, and Organisations for Excellence

People are not just the greatest but also the most complicated asset of any organisation. Discover how to encourage people to thrive and deliver excellence in organisations.  

Name of the minor

Leading People, Teams, and Organisations for Excellence





Coordinating institution

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM); Department of Organisation and Personnel Management

Other programs that contribute to the minor:

not applicable


See admission matrix



Organisations are complex environments, and are only successful if the people within them can thrive and perform to their best. Leaders and managers play a critical role in helping individuals to reach their potential and this involves knowledge about how people deliver excellence, and the skills to help them to get there. Through this course, we help you to understand the theory behind leading and managing for excellence, to develop the practical skills of highly effective managers and leaders, and to reflect on critical experiences which will help you to develop as a leader for the future. The course is structured around three themes. In the first theme, we examine effective leadership, focusing on the theory behind leadership and the skills needed to lead individuals. In the second theme, we turn our focus to teams, which are a key building block of modern workplaces. Successful teams are critical for business success, but how can we help teams to function at their best? In our final theme, we look at the structures and processes in place within organisations which help, or hinder, individual and team performance. These are critical to get the best people into the organisation and to help them to excel. Do you want to be a successful leader of the future? Then this is the course for you!

Entry Requirements

This minor is specifically targeted at non-RSM students. RSM students cannot follow this minor. No previous knowledge on business administration is necessary.

Learning Objectives:

The central purpose of this course is to give students insights into critical questions with regard to leadership and people management within organisations. Specifically, after taking this course, students should be able to
  • Understand relevant topics, theories, and research on leading and managing people in organisations.
  • Be able to apply these theories and research findings to analyse and address practical challenges related to leading and managing people in organisations.
  • More confidently and successfully handle personal challenges related to leading and managing others.


The minor consists of three interrelated themes. These themes answer the core question of this course (How to encourage people to thrive and deliver excellence in organisations?) from three different angles. The first theme focuses on how leaders can motivate, direct, and influence the behaviour of their followers. The second theme mainly applies this question to the area of (sometimes self-managed) teams. And the third puts the role of HR-practices and systems centre stage to explore how we can build organisations in which employees thrive and perform. Each module combines a foundation of relevant scientific theories and research findings with a strong practical focus. This practical focus entails linking the theory to relevant cases as well as practicing and experiencing some of the concepts we discuss yourself so that you can develop your own skills, and your future organisation.


Theme 1: Leading others

Leaders play a key role when it comes to getting the best out of people to achieve optimal performance. At the same time leaders can also be the source of demotivation and conflict.
An understanding of how leadership can help people to get the best out of themselves and where it can go wrong is essential for effective organisational functioning. This theme covers content from theory, research and practice of leadership effectiveness in order to get a better understanding of the leadership process. At the same time, it builds on important concepts and basic principles of organisational and human behaviour which we will discuss during this theme.

Theme 2: Building successful teams

Many organisations increasingly turn to teams to carry out some of their most vital tasks. This is often based on the great promise that teams offer in terms of achieving more than the sum of the members’ individual contributions. Yet the reality does not often match this great potential. In this theme, we explore a number of core issues affecting teams (e.g., composition, team processes, conflict, bad apples, hierarchies) and the challenges they present to leaders and members alike. The goals of this theme are to provide you with an in-depth understanding of how teams function (and why they sometimes don’t) and to enable you to handle the common challenges teams face more effectively as a team member and leader.

Theme 3:  Building thriving organisations

The leadership and management of people in organisations requires systems and structures, which are enacted by managers across the organisation. In this module, we examine the impact of different HR practices to consider issues such as; how we get the right people into the right jobs at the right time; how we keep them there; how work can be designed to encourage individuals to thrive and flourish; and what to do when things do wrong. We will use relevant theory to think about how managers can do this effectively and will use case examples and practical tasks (e.g. role play) to reflect on the practical implications of managing people.

Teaching Methods:

This course consists of interactive sessions (combining lectures with practical exercises and case discussions), assignments, and presentations.

Literature & Materials:

The reading for this course consist of a combination of textbook and handbook chapters, review articles, and illustrative research articles from top-tier management and psychology journals.

Contact hours:

2 sessions of 3 hours each per week.


Self-study hours:

366 hours in total

Maximum number of participants:


Minimum number of participants:



Method of examination:

In line with the three learning goals, there are three core ways in which you will be evaluated in this course.
  • Knowledge Acquisition: To test your understanding and knowledge of the important concepts we will discuss in class, there will be an individual written test for each theme.
  • Ability to apply theory and research findings to practice: Your ability to use this knowledge to analyse and solve practical problems will be tested through case assignments and case presentations. These will be largely done in groups.
  • Personal skills development: Throughout this course, you will be asked to develop, implement, and reflect upon a personal development plan to work on one of the core skills we explore in this course. Since this is about your personal development, this is an individual work product.

Composition of final grade:

The final grade will be composed of 70% individual components and 30% group components. 

Feedback method:

Students will be provided with feedback throughout this course; during course activities, after presentations, and at various points during their group and individual projects. Furthermore, students will be informed of the results after each written test and have the opportunity to review their answers and ask questions.

Contact information

Contact persons:

Dr. Rebecca (Bex) Hewett
hewett@rsm.nl  Tel.: (010) 408 8640
Room: T 10-48 (Mandeville Building) Dr. Inga Hoever
ihoever@rsm.nl  Tel.: (010) 408 2736
Room: T 10-37 (Mandeville Building)