Prof. dr. Joseph Kessels

Emeritus Professor in Human Resource Development


My main research interest in Human Resource Development is in exploring and explaining characteristics of designing effective learning environments in knowledge intensive firms. Major concepts are knowledge productivity, the corporate curriculum, and social capital. Knowledge productivity refers to the capability of a team or unit to signal relevant information on the basis of which employees develop new competencies for gradual improvement and radical innovation of work procedures, products and services. The corporate curriculum acts as a plan for organisational learning with a strong focus on the development of subject matter expertise, problem solving skills, meta-cognitions, reflective skills, as well as social skills and the capability of self-regulation. Social capital in the context of HRD offers a climate of shared values, trust, integrity, transparency and respect, that create a safe learning environment for improvement and innovation.

Teaching (related) activities

My teaching is in the domain of curriculum design in the context of HRD. In the Bachelor programme I participate in the ‘Design Course’ and in ‘HRD Theory’. In the HRD Master track I participate in the classes of the Design Stream, and act as a supervisor of master theses.

Selection of journal articles

Selection of articles in Dutch


Supervision of PhD projects

Proposed defence


Suzanne Verdonschot (together with Dr. Paul Keursten, ass. Promotor)
Learning arrangements for Knowledge Productivity


Rainer Hensel (together with Dr. Frans Meijers, ass. Promotor)
Competentieontwikkeling bij Hogeschool docenten


Pieter van Bommel (together with Dr. Kitty Kwakman, ass. Promotor)
Kennisproductief Leiderschap


Helen Zhou Hong
Social Capital in a knowledge economy


Yang Xiong
Knowledge productivity in Chinese multinationals

Start 2006

Harry van de Pol
Social Capital

Start 2006

Tjip de Jong
Social Capital

For a full CV see

Kessels & Smit the Learning Company: