Contemporary Challenges in Managing individuals at work


Contemporary Challenges in Managing individuals at work

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In the fast-paced environment in which organizations must operate today, there are important challenges that employees and leaders alike must face These include dealing with fast paced requests from multiple stakeholders (Herttalampi et al., 2023), managing ethical considerations during strategic decision making (Everett et al., 2021), and integrating new technological advancements into one’s work (Banerjee, 2024), amongst others. In this course, we will discuss some of these challenges related to the management of individuals and teams at work. Using an experiential approach (including simulations, videos, interactive activities and debates), the course will offer a practical, hands-on perspective on challenges related to managing crises and uncertainty, dealing with millennials and different age groups─who usually have different expectations and motivations about their work (De Meulenaere et al., 2016)─, and using natural language processing (NLP) technologies to enhance group communication and decision-making amongst others.

Regular students at the University (students who are studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree) will not be able to register through the Educación Continua for this course. In case of registration, the Management will proceed with its return.

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Students are expected to be familiar with some fundamental concepts of management, including: Motivation, teamwork, diversity, and power. Thus, it is advisable that students taking this course will have already taken a course on management principles or equivalent. That said, students without a business background or prior knowledge on these topics can join the class; in that case, they can request further recommended materials to prepare the sessions.


The course situates the manager’s and employee’s behavior with respect to some of the most pressing contemporary challenges in international and digitalized contexts. The course will allow students to become more self-aware of some fundamental managerial skills to work in teams and lead in a constantly changing world (Herttalampi et al., 2023), including time pressure, dealing with CSR issues on their daily routine, and motivating and retaining millennials and employees coming from a diverse workforce. It will also offer students the possibility of experiencing the challenges of making strategic decisions under uncertainty. Further, it will allow students to reflect on the benefits and risks of using NLP (including ChatGPT) for fostering communication in teams.


The course is based on theory, cases, articles, videos, role plays, experiential activities and a lot of in class discussion and dialog. Indeed, experiential learning and practical application of theoretical concepts have been associated to more effective learning (Harvey & Brown, 2001). In order to fully take advantage of each session it is extremely important that students are prepared to engage in a rich exchange of ideas during the sessions. Within class, instructor and students will discuss the materials, apply diagnostic tools to organizational cases, and experience the nuances of some of the main challenges embedded in managing individuals and teams at work.

Session spirit: 

The sessions are trying to simulate as much as possible the climate of a real organization, where teamwork is a very frequent work structure (LaFasto & Larson, 2001), rules and norms about how the work should be done are present (Cialdini & Trost, 1998), and evaluations of performance are regular (Bommer et al., 1995). This is the rationale for the assessment methods and ground rules. The sessions will be demanding in terms of quality of work and behavior since the objective is to prepare students to work effectively in a professional intercultural environment. 

Ground rules: Come prepared – be on time – participate – act professionally 

  • Laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electronic devices are allowed as support materials for the class. Students must ensure that they use these tools for class-related purposes only. 
  • Disrespect of the ground rules is considered unprofessional behavior and will automatically lower the individual/group grade. Thus, if a student interrupts the class, uses their electronic devices for purposes other than the class or does not act professionally, their individual/group grade will be lowered.


Module 1: Contemporary Challenges in Managing Others at Work

Class 1:

  • Introduction & Challenges of working in teams
  • Ice Breaker 
  • An experiential team exercise: C-Suite 

Class 2:

  • Daily Challenges for Leaders 
  • A leadership simulation: Chris Pierce 

Class 3:

  • Strategic and Ethical Challenges for Leaders
  • A leadership simulation: Patient Zero 

Class 4:

  • The Challenges of Leading a Diverse Workforce 
  • A self-awareness exercise on implicit bias

Class 5: 

  • The Challenges and Benefits of New Technologies for Teamwork
  • A business case on AI 

Module 2: Contemporary Challenges in Managing Yourself at Work

Class 6:

  • The Challenges of Managing Power and Influence 
  • A simulation on persuasion and influence: The kidney case 

Class 7:

  • The Challenges Benefits of Networking 
  • A networking simulation 

Class 8:

  • Physical and Mental Wellbeing at Work
  • A series of experiments on physical wellbeing 
  • A well being simulation

Class 9:

  • Coaching Group Project & Individual Feedback 

Class 10:

  • Group presentations


Helena González Gómez

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at NEOMA Business School, France. She has a PhD in Management (IE Business School), an MSc in Industrial Engineering (Los Andes University), and a BSc in Industrial Engineering (Javeriana University). Her research interests include issues of emotions, creativity, and inequality. She has been teaching organizational behavior, creativity, and human resource management to executives and international MBAs, as well as to MSc, and BSc students. She also teaches research methods to PhD students. Her research has been published at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Vocational Behavior and Psychology & Marketing amongst others. Prior to her doctoral studies she worked in the banking industry and filled positions in corporate banking, operations, information security and project management.


Eventualmente la Universidad puede verse obligada, por causas de fuerza mayor a cambiar sus profesores o cancelar el programa. En este caso el participante podrá optar por la devolución de su dinero o reinvertirlo en otro curso de Educación Continua que se ofrezca en ese momento, asumiendo la diferencia si la hubiere.

La apertura y desarrollo del programa estará sujeto al número de inscritos. El Departamento/Facultad (Unidad académica que ofrece el curso) de la Universidad de los Andes se reserva el derecho de admisión dependiendo del perfil académico de los aspirantes.