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The Book

Skill Sheets is a practical resource for understanding and developing core skills that all university students need to obtain. In a very concise manner, this book shows how these skills are related and how one can develop and work with many skills simultaneously. With these skills to hand, students are able to maintain a better focus on the content of their course. Developed and at RSM Erasmus University, it has been thoroughly tested over many years by both students and professors, and improved accordingly.


Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business-Society Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam/Rotterdam School of Management. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam. Published in particular on the following topics: European Business, Multinationals, high-tech industries, Corporate Social Responsibility, the global car industry, issues of standardisation, network strategies, smaller industrial countries (welfare states) and European Community/Union policies.

How to purchase

The book – Skill Sheets – An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management - (2018, ISBN 9789043033503) can be ordered directly online by clicking one of the following links depending your country of origin:

Dutch Dutch buyers

International buyers International buyers

Team and project management

project management

Research and study are often organised as a group activity. In order to work effectively as a member of a group on a project, management skills are a mandatory element of a skill profile. Acquiring and applying management skills, however, is more difficult to achieve because they consist of a mixture of input as well as output characteristics. The effectiveness of a ‘manager’ depends on the behaviour and interests of the group members, and vice versa.

Managing a group always represents s a balancing act between diverging individual interests, competencies and temperaments. The diversity of a group, however, is almost always a necessary – but not sufficient - condition for success. Groups of ‘friends’ are notoriously ineffective; groups of people with the same skill profile often clash or end up in apathy. So the fact that groups are often made up of ‘colleagues’ - people who do not have to like each other in order to collaborate – is not necessarily bad. But collaboration between colleagues requires different skills than when you work with friends. Project groups run into problems when the two identities get mixed up. Or when you aim at acting like friends in a group, whereas a more colleague-like attitude would be more professional and effective - a problem that many students face when they collectively try to work on an assignment. Mastering management and study skills – combined in acts of ‘doing it yourself’ – have greater learning effects than any of the other skills contained in this Skill Sheet collection.

This requires that you be prepared to go through the reflective cycle of effective project management, and that you always take into account the following five phases (Guirdham, 1990):

  1. Forming – the appropriate team
  2. Storming – taking the adequate time for brainstorming over possible dimensions (causes as well as consequences) of the project
  3. Norming – deciding on the basis of more or less objective ‘norms’
  4. Performing – implementing it
  5. Adjourning – the team can be adjourned, provided they performed well

'An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management'