Zico Martin_alumnus Organization Studies

Program and courses Organizing for Global Social Challenges track

Become an expert in sustainable development in an international context by addressing global societal challenges, such as poverty, migration, climate change, or humanitarian interventions after a natural disaster from the viewpoint of organizations. You will focus on evidence based intervention, collaboration in teams and organizations, inter-organizational relationships, and organizational dynamics.

Program structure

This one-year Master's program consists of 60 credits (ECTS):

  • The two courses Social Changes and Sustainable Development and Hybrid Organizations are specific GMSI specialization courses. The other courses belong to the Master Organization Studies.  The Master’s Thesis is focused on one or more Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations).  

This program starts at the end of August.

Program content

Block 1 (Sept-Oct)
  • Evidence Based Intervention 
    Learn how organizational change and evidence-based actions are crucial to mold organizations to the needs of a complex, multi-factor, multi-stakeholder environments, characterized by high dynamism and sudden shocks.
  • Social Changes and Sustainable Development
    Get an overview of the most urgent global challenges for sustainable development, such as poverty and inequality, migration, climate change and environmental degradation. Learn how these challenges foster social change. Discuss the role organizations can play in tackling global sustainable development issues, particularly through sustainable business models and by leveraging digital platforms, and the challenges and shortcomings such organizational interventions may entail.
  • Complexity within Organizations
    Whilst working in small teams you analyze complex problems in real contemporary cases and propose and present interventions. You will look at team effecitveness, virtual teams, dynamic systems, multiteam systems, and complexity of gender.
Block 2 (Nov-Dec)
  • Interorganizational Relationships
    Learn that inter-organizational relations hold a crucial role, in various forms. Collaborations between local entrepreneurs and established firms to penetrate poor markets are considered crucial, as well as public-private partnership to channel development aids in difficult areas.
  • Organizational Dynamics
    Study dynamic processes involving causes and consequences in and around organizations through serious gaming, for which you will host an intervention. You will also design and conduct two interventions in organizations and report on it to the client organization you are studying. 
  • Master’s Seminar Organization Studies
    Master’s seminars prepare you for your Master’s thesis, which will focus on a GMSI-related topic.
Block 3 (Feb-March)
  • Hybrid Organizations 
    Consider various organizational models and initiatives that may strengthen policy actions in tackling social issues and improving sociodemographic indicators. You are introduced to different types of ‘hybrid organizations’, especially social entrepreneurship, the challenges they confront, such as those related to measuring social impact and international scaling, as well as the actions they undertake to overcome them.
  • Master's Thesis 
Block 4 (April-May)
  • Master's Thesis 
  • You have the opportunity to go on exchange or do an internship. If you are interested in these options, you can organize this yourself, in cooperation with the Department of Organization Studies. 
Master's Thesis

Master's Thesis 

  • For your Master’s thesis, you investigate societal and organizational interventions that have been designed and/or implemented to address global social challenges/one or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Opportunities will be provided for projects in emerging countries, hosted by partner universities or accompanied by internships with international organizations (governmental, non-governmental or private businesses).
  • In the second block, you will take Master's seminars, during which you will develop important skills such as data analysis.
  • You will write your Master's thesis within the Department of Organization Studies. 

Thesis examples

  • Shaping sustainable business through Living Labs: Collaboration and knowledge sharing practices influencing firm representatives’ sustainability perceptions. 
  • Collaborative learning for the emerging social circular economy: An institutional and organizational learning approach to enable institutional change in the fashion industry. 
  • Combatting modern slavery: Cross-sectoral partnership diversity as predictor of effectiveness. 
  • How do festival organizations combine multiple institutional logics when implementing sustainable practices? 
  • Tensions in a cross-sectoral partnership for the base of the pyramid: A case study in Brazil. 
  • Network governance for sustainable city development: a comparison of two European capitals (Warsaw and Vienna) 
Internship or international project
  • The program organizes community-building activities, such as the GMSI guest lecture series.  
  • In the fourth block, you will have the opportunity to do a project in an emerging country, hosted by partner universities or accompanied by internships with international organizations. If you are interested in this, you can organize this yourself, in cooperation with the Department of Organization Studies. 

You will find a detailed description of the courses and required literature in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions


Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.


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A short overview of the Organizing for Global Social Challenges track

  • different perspective on sustainable development: the Organizing for Global Social Challenges track considers the role of organizations in addressing global societal challenges.
  • Learn how to develop organizational interventions, run projects and compose teams of experts that address global societal challenges
  • Community-building activities throughout the program will ensure cohesion in the programs cohort. Become part of an innovative program which brings together academics and students from all over the world in a small-scale and interactive learning environment.
  • Get an international perspective on sustainable development through the program's international focus, and by studying with 50% international students.
  • You get a mix of (online) lectures, seminars, group assignments, oral presentations, case studies, field trips, guest lectures, workshops and research papers.

Interested in the Organizing for Global Social Challenges MSc track ?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application