Affiliated Organization

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Over the past fifteen years, Information Management (IM) has emerged as a management sub discipline, both in academic research and in practice. The creation of an Information Management Chair at the University of Amsterdam reflects the importance. What started as a chair in Information Systems on the periphery of the Faculties of Economics and Computer Science, now incorporates a fully integrated discipline in the Amsterdam graduate Business School. Its main activities are the running of Bachelors and Masters programs in Business Studies and Information Studies (both with a major in IM), the Executive Master in Information Management (EMIM) program and the PrimaVera (a playful acronym for PRogram in Information MAnagement at the uniVERsity of Amsterdam) research program. This research note predominantly deals with the combination of the latter two. IM is a young discipline, still struggling with its theoretical identity and its role and place in organizations. Our approach to IM is primarily aimed at keeping the significance of IM to practice (and hence overcoming the common belief that 'academic' stands for being 'impractical'), yet conforming to and applying academic rigor to the discipline. This approach was shaped by 15 years of experience in aligning executive education and research. The incessant interaction of education and research and of university and business simultaneously is noticeably helpful in highlighting the very concept of IM and its constituent parts. Teaching at the frontline of an emerging discipline give rise to innovative combinations of learning and research in which the specific expertise of executive students as reflective practitioners is exploited. These observations are in line with the often-heard appeals to study and develop IM in innovative, generative and action-based ways. In this respect, traditional academic ivory tower approaches are too distant to be relevant to practice. This research note gives an account of the (as far as we are aware of: unique) combination of executive education and research in IM as it is practiced at the University of Amsterdam. To this end, we first elaborate on the joint learning model and notion of IM, after which we discuss the EMIM program in brief and the PrimaVera research program more at length.