Public Management

Thesis supervision by guru resulted in a grant

June 30, 2015 | 2 min read

During the TIAS Master of Management in Education, Arold Versluys discovered that the initiative in which he was participating was special. He wrote a thesis on the subject and the resulting project received a grant.

Image: © Nationale Beeldbank

“I started the TIAS Master of Management in Education in 2013. I wanted a theoretical basis of what I was doing in practice. I was 53 years old when I started the program. It had been a long time since I sat on school benches. It struck me that there is a lot of scientific information, in both English and Dutch, also on vocational education in the broadest sense of the word."

Seeing connections through literature

"By reading the literature I started to see connections and I now understand better why things did or did not work in practice. An example: one of the three papers I wrote was about teams that are responsible for their own results. We had put those teams to work and each team developed at a different speed. By studying the theory I gained insight into why: one reason was that not all teams took the opportunity to consult regularly. Unfortunately, I was not able to change that because I got a different position within the organization."

What was the most important insight you gained?

"During the training, I was already involved with Foodlab, an initiative to connect VMBO and MBO pupils studying for jobs in the hotel and catering industry with the business world. One of the lectures made me realize that I was trying to build an organizational network. I did not know the meaning and content of the term "organizational network," but I realized that it was exactly what I was doing. That is why I wrote my thesis on this initiative. We were taught by the guru in the field of organizational networks, Patrick Kenis. He later supervised me when I wrote my thesis, which was very a valuable experience."

Thesis helped secure time and budget

What did you gain from writing your thesis?

"It has helped put things in perspective, particularly in the work for my employer, Scalda. It helped secure time and budget And it helped create the awareness within the organization that you need a project manager to set up the initiative. A grant was requested for the initiative from the regional investment fund MBO (Rimbo), which was eventually awarded. 
Writing the thesis is a big job. But because it is very practical and, therefore, close to your own practical field, it takes off. This ensures that it can be done."

What did you gain from the program?

"After the program I got a different role within Scalda. By writing the thesis and setting up the organizational network, I attracted attention.
The program also focuses on governance. I was already aware of the importance of vertical governance, but I had never thought about horizontal governance. I do, of course, know what it is, but I also know now how it works and how to use it. An insight that I can use in my new role."

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Are you a professional in the education sector? Would you also like to test your practical experience against theoretical knowledge? Meet the challenges in your educational organization with innovative academic knowledge of the Executive Master of Management in Education (MME).

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