MST-31806 Facility Management in Action


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Group work21
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. HB Kok
Lecturer(s)dr. HB Kok
Examiner(s)prof. dr. SWF Omta

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

MST-52806 Evidence-Based Facility Management.

Continuation courses:

Thesis Facility Management.


Within classical data collection, methods for observation and intervention are usually strictly separated. Soft systems methodology (SSM) is an action-research approach in which both methods are intertwined. The basic shape of SSM is a cyclic learning system in which student-researcher and manager-respondent define and debate the relation between the real world and systems models of this real world.
This approach improves students' understanding of complex decision-making in facility management. Moreover, the expected complexity of an integral and interdisciplinary perspective makes it hard for facility managers to find the right accommodations for change. The dynamics in these elements and relations make it often too complex for a regular approach.
The essence of this course is an application of SSM to practice. Students will work with a complex real life case in facility management. The course outlines the best way to structure such complex situations, which allows the involved students to improve their understanding of it and the involved facility managers to make better decisions in practice. It also teaches students the basics in systems approaches to management and to differentiate between hard and soft managerial problems. It seeks to culminate in a perspective to act and intends to improve the understanding and decision-making of complex facility management problems.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate basic knowledge of (soft and hard) systems approaches;
- demonstrate how humans in and around organizations respond to (changes in) facility management;
- master managerial challenges to integrate knowledge from different disciplines at different levels of analyses in theory and practice;
- analyse and master the complexity of (decision-making in) facility management;
- apply soft systems methodology to complex facility management problems;
- develop solutions that are useful to real-life decision-makers in practice.


- lectures;
- guest-lectures;
- project;
- group assignments;
- individual assignment;
- presentations; self study.


Individual assignment (100%).


Checkland, P., Scholes, J. 1999. Soft Systems Methodology in Action. Chicester, Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-98605-8.

Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScA: Management Studies1AF