The program combines fundamental academic knowledge (thinking and reasoning) and experiential knowledge (skills) to prepare students to go beyond applying known solutions to known problems.
The learning pillars of the program are research-based knowledge grounded in rich empirical examples, a focus on critical and in-depth analysis, and communication of results. The program combines the depth of a research master with the rich practical examples and casework-intensity of a more practical master. The program courses therefore each lay a solid research foundation in the form of articles and books by both classic and contemporary great thinkers. On top of that, each course provides insights into the workings of a number of international organizations (ranging from Starbucks and Apple to The Red Cross) and empirical phenomena (from CSR and outsourcing trends to business development in East Africa). Students then use their research-based foundation to draw connections, define problems and analyze through for example casework and projects. Each course also practices the students’ communication skills in one or more areas, through the writing of argumentative essays, oral presentations, feedback-sessions, debates and café seminars.
The program seeks to simulate the future work environment of the students, and hence learning processes are centered in teamwork, leadership and organization, and set in an environment where the study tempo and expectations are high and the diversity of people great. The cultural mix enables us to use the class itself as a teaching tool, where the development of cross-cultural competences becomes a positive side effect of for example team projects.
From day one, we actively work with team processes where taken-for-granted ideas are challenged and the students’ abilities are stretched, step-by-step. Our SMIO students are typically highly committed and hard-working, used to assuming responsibility, and working under pressure in a multicultural environment where a variety of perspectives have to be turned into workable solutions. Challenging assignments and tight deadlines hone the students’ bonds and SMIO students therefore generally get to know each other well, forming an international network for the future.
Upon successful completion of the program, students will have acquired analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and a solid strategic foundation. They will also be seasoned team workers with an international outlook, who are used to embracing complexity.