Universiteit van Amsterdam
Comparative Labour and Organisation Studies
The Amsterdam programme in Comparative Labour and Organisation Studies covers the sociological and interdisciplinary understanding of employment relations, the organisation of work processes and the position of labour in the wider society.
The programme has two distinctive features: first, the strong focus on comparative analysis of issues concerning labour and organization and second, the special emphasis on processes of integration and convergence in world markets of both employment relations and organizational policies. The programme builds on the increasingly global interplay between questions of economic costs, risks and benefits, questions of corporate policy, management, and organisation, and the social and legal regulation of labour process and business.
How work is organised varies a great deal throughout the world. Persistent differences occur between Europe, the United States, and Asia. Within regions one finds substantial variation in the development of the welfare state, the role of employers associations and trade unions and the way in which companies are organized and function. Wage and employment conditions, the forms of organization, organizational behaviour, HRM, job design, the impact of information and communication technologies, the opportunities for developing and learning on the job, are by no means a given. To get an adequate understanding both a rigorous comparative approach is needed and future analysts should be acquainted with the appropriate methodologies.
Given such differences, there are also clear signs of convergence and integration, as national and regional systems become part of world markets. The programme provides the student with advanced knowledge of such processes and their analyses. As a part of this, issues of European economic and social policy making are explored. Both the global context as well as the internal processes in Europe will be dealt with from the start of the process of market creation (?Europe 1992?) and the start of the European Monetary Union (EMU) onto the issue of enlargement to Eastern Europe, the Balkan and Turkey.
Students in the programme get knowledge of institutional and behavioural patterns and variations, and internationalisation and integration processes in labour markets, organisations and industrial relations. They gain experience in the use of modern techniques of social and economic research and statistics used in the field of labour and organization studies and social policy research. They develop the ability to integrate theories and concepts from different disciplines in a multi-disciplinary, comparative and analytical approach of research and policy problems. They train in the ability to conduct and evaluate research, and to participate professionally in multi-disciplinary and international research and policy-analysis teams, both in academic and non-academic settings.
The master programme is organised by the ISHSS in close cooperation with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS). All students in the programme are expected to actively participate in current debates and meetings.
The Master's programme in Comparative Labour and Organisation Studies presupposes that students have sufficient knowledge and training in one of the four contributing disciplines (sociology, economics, psychology and law) and are familiar, via introductory-level and specialisation courses in their BA study, with the ground rules, concepts and methods of these disciplines in the field of labour and organisation. The Master?s Programme requires completion of 60 EC, but students may have a higher individual study load based on their academic background.
The electives are clustered under four headings: A. Europe integration, B. Comparative analysis, C. Globalisation and migration, D. Social policy in urban areas, and E. Other electives. The student is expected to choose one elective course from these. Currently, the following courses are offered.
A. Electives on Europe integration
- Past, Present and Future of European Integration
- European Integration, Eastern Europe and Russia
B. Electives on comparative analysis
- Course on Negotiation and Labour Conflict
C. Electives on globalisation and migration
- The European Union and Asia: Interactions and Comparisons in a Globalising Context
- Immigrant Ethnic Diversity and Integration in Urban Areas
- World Cities: Economic Transformation and Ethnic Diversity
D. Electives on social policy
- Labour and Social Policy in Urban Areas
- Social Policy in European Welfare States and European Social Policy
E. Other electives
- Markets, Sciences and the Dynamics of Technological Innovations
- Public International Law
- Political Theatre, Power Realities, Accountability and Media
- The Organisation of Corporate and Marketing Communication in Contemporary Organisations
In the spring of each academic year an international seminar about policy-analysis with respect to labour and organisation studies will be organized by AIAS. Students are expected to take part in this as it marks the start of the period of writing one?s master thesis. The thesis develops a theoretical statement, which is based on original empirical research. Two department members supervise the student?s thesis work.
The MSc in Comparative Labour and Organisation Studies presupposes that students have sufficient knowledge and training in the ground rules, concepts and methods in the field of labour and organisation studies. They may have acquired this through undergraduate studies in sociology, economics, psychology or another relevant academic field. Students with insufficient knowledge of sociology may be required to do some additional courses or a preparatory programme. Students should also be sufficiently familiar, via introductory-level and specialization courses in their bachelor study, with research methodology and statistics.
Minimum entry requirements
- Bachelor's degree in sociology, economics, psychology or another relevant academic field
- GPA equivalent to 7.0 (Dutch system)
- English language proficiency (Toefl score of at least 570/230 (for non-native speakers of English)
The Master's programme in Comparative Labour and Organisation Studies prepares students for a position as (policy) researcher or advisor in international organisations, companies, European and national government bodies, NGOs, independent journalism, research institutions and postgraduate research. The best students in the programme are invited to complete their study with a proposal for a PhD at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.