BEC-54806 Theories for Business Decisions


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JH Trienekens
dr. ir. MPM Meuwissen
dr. WJJ Bijman
dr. ir. FJHM Verhees
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. JH Trienekens
dr. ir. FJHM Verhees
dr. WJJ Bijman
dr. ir. MPM Meuwissen
Examiner(s)dr. WJJ Bijman
dr. ir. FJHM Verhees
dr. ir. MPM Meuwissen
prof. dr. JH Trienekens

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BEC-22806 Accounting; BEC-52306 Financial Business Management or BEC-51806 Agricultural Business Economics; MST-32306 Strategic Change Management and Innovation; ORL-30306 Decision Science 2 and MST-24806 Supply Chain Management


This is an advanced course which is part of the WASS graduate programme aimed at students in the MSc programmes MME, MID and MDR, and typically aimed for highly motivated students who appreciate theoretical abstraction and intensive reading and reflection on main texts in business theory. The course is specifically intended for students from the MME Business specialisation and PhD students from the Business cluster. Beyond the Business cluster, this course is useful for students from MID and MDR interested in value chain development, public-private partnerships, and business models development.
The course discusses fundamental theories underlying business decisions and their translation into research questions and empirical applications in the domains of (i) business performance (production and cost theory, rational choice theory); (ii) collaboration (contract theory, transaction costs theory, (social) network theory); (iii) market conditions (theory of competition, market orientation theory, stakeholder theory); and (iv) innovation (prospect theory, resource based view).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- distinguish and contrast fundamental theories related to business decision making;
- debate contemporary themes in business theory;
- appraise relevant business theories for business problems in uncertain, complex and dynamic business environments;
- propose research questions for business oriented scientific research;
- evaluate business decision theories for their own research.


- lectures;
- tutorials in which main texts on business theories are intensively prepared and discussed;
- tutorials in which contemporary themes are assessed;
- a case study in which a case is elaborated from different theoretical perspectives;
- an individual short paper transforming case-relevant theories into testable hypotheses, research questions and empirical applications.


- short individual paper (50%);
- written test in which knowledge on theories is tested (50%).
The written test requires a minimum of 5.5 to pass.


Will be made available during the course.