In a current business project, our students of the Master’s programme “Business Psychology” under the direction of Prof. Dr. Stefan Schwarz, Chair of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, have successfully solved five different business cases of their practice partner REWE, a supermarket chain in Germany. The challenge for the students was to analyse specific situations of a company and to develop the best possible solution strategies based on facts. Business Projects are integrated into all CBS study programmes in order to teach students how to work on real or realistic business cases in a problem-solving manner.
From employee recruitment to gender diversity: 5 cases from the HR area
At the beginning of the project phase, the students formed five teams and appointed a project manager to each team who acted as the sole interface between the respective team, the REWE project supervisors and Prof. Dr. Stefan Schwarz. “My team opted for the topic “From idea to implementation” from the five project topics. We analysed ideas and suggestions that were collected during a management training course and then developed concrete proposals for measures,” explained Master student Alicia Westendorf.
As in all project teams, her team began with a comprehensive analysis phase. Which of the ideas are suitable for practice? What parameters can be used to determine this? And how can these ideas be implemented? Other project teams dealt with tasks such as developing ideas for recruiting employees for the service counters or recommendations for action for a higher proportion of women at management level.
Close exchange between client and project teams
In order to work efficiently within the set time frame of four months, the teams set themselves four project milestones with individual objectives. In the kick-off meeting at REWE, the individual topics were presented to the groups in more detail and the opportunity was given to clarify questions about their assignments. Within two weeks they developed project plans and introduced them to their fellow students. For the mid-term presentation, they presented the final analysis of the current situation and first approaches to solve the problems to their client for the first time. Considering the feedback they got they presented the results of their work in the final presentation toGeorg Kehrbaum, Head of Human Resources, and other contacts at Rewe Markt GmbH West.
“I particularly liked the cooperation at eye level. We were treated like consultants right from the start and were able to apply many theories from the classroom to our case. A fellow student even applied for an internship at REWE and was accepted,” says Alicia Westendorf.