CPT-32806 Change, Inter-human Processes and Communication


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. IM Buizer
Lecturer(s)MSc M Garnier Ortiz
JR de Vries
MSc A Aalvanger
Examiner(s)dr. IM Buizer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CPT-12306 Introduction to Strategic Communication, or CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M, or CPT-3AA06 Integral Approaches in Communication, Health and Life Sciences, or CPT-37306 Politics of Knowledge and Inclusive Innovation.

Continuation courses:

MSc Thesis Strategic Communication; MSc Thesis Knowledge, Technology and Innovation.


Worldwide social transformation processes, related to livelihoods, agro-food networks and the environment take place in both national and international contexts. Such processes involve changes at different levels. Change is generally discussed in terms of 'what should be done'. In this course we try to understand change and change management by analyzing how people actually communicate when they are confronted with new developments. Starting from a complexity approach, with a focus on inclusion and exclusion processes, we will analyze inter-human processes, as they emerge in interpersonal communication. Resistance to change, for instance, will be discussed with special attention for social identity issues such as group-think, the role of honor and shame and the importance of face-saving. These factors, although in different appearances depending on specific situations and cultures, are often decisive factors in change processes. Related to conflict and negotiation for change we will analyze how people construct frames while communicating, including the goals they pursue in specific interaction contexts and the effect of frames and framing. There will be special attention for self-organization in networks, based on direct interaction between people, resulting in planned and unplanned change. Finally, we will pay attention to the role of storytelling and conversations for social change and transformation.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- critically reflect on concepts and theories concerning complexity, inter-human processes and communication related to social change and innovation in both national and international contexts;
- compose a conceptual framework, consisting of an integration of well-chosen concepts and theories for analyzing real-life experiences and practices related to change, inter-human processes and communication;
- compose a scientifically sound paper in which a problem, event or phenomenon is analyzed from a dynamic communication perspective.


The course consists of 12 meetings of two-three hours each. During these meetings students will work together in groups to review and discuss different theories and practices related to change processes. Subjects such as resistance to change, strategies for image-building, risk perceptions, group processes and leadership will be addressed. Several guest lecturers will share their experiences in change management.


- individual paper (80%);
- group work on the development and presentation of a mind-map (20%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Articles will be handed out.

Compulsory for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Inclusive Innovation, Communication and Development5AF
Restricted Optional for: MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScA: Communication and Innovation5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScB: Health and Society5AF