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Top research in management is a foundational pillar of Erasmus University, said Rector Magnificus Prof. Rutger Engels when he congratulated the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) on its 20th anniversary at an annual awards dinner recently. ERIM is a joint research institute of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). Prof. Engels commended ERIM for the part it played in elevating the state of management research at EUR to its current level.

Prof. Engels was speaking at the 20th anniversary ERIM Awards this year in front of Dean of RSM Prof. Ansgar Richter and the ERIM community. The 20th anniversary is also commemorated with a special issue magazine.

ESE and RSM joined forces 20 years ago, and their close partnership has resulted in major achievements, making ERIM not just one of the largest centres of economy and management research in Europe, but also one of the most highly respected.  EUR is fourth for business administration and eighth for management in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Prof. Engels commended ERIM’s role in elevating the state of management research at EUR. “From my perspective as Rector of this university, it is particularly gratifying to see that two strong EUR schools have proactively sought out opportunities for collaboration to collectively address major societal puzzles.

“ESE and RSM each have their own leadership, faculty, students, and disciplinary domain. Yet they also venture out to collectively address the management component of many grand challenges facing society today. The fact that this completely voluntary arrangement is now on the brink of entering its third decennium speaks volumes about both the material importance of research collaboration across EUR schools, and about the high levels of goodwill and respect between ESE and RSM."

20th anniversary ERIM Awards

The 20th anniversary celebration was also the occasion for the ERIM Awards, which were presented by Prof. Engels for achievements such as excellence in dissertations and scientific impact. The award recipients were selected by a jury, consisting of representatives from the Universities of Groningen, Tilburg and Maastricht.

Excitement in research

Prof. Pursey Heugens, Scientific Director of ERIM and RSM’s Dean of Research described the terrific relationship between RSM and ESE. He paid tribute to ERIM’s ‘wonderful set of ambassadors’ – the almost 500 PhD graduates for their top-quality output, global recognition, and values-driven community. The next 20 years will be different to the first 20, he said, because ERIM will cater to the societal demand for open and engaged science with an immediate real-world impact, and experiment with new ways of evaluating research and supporting diverse academic careers. “We need to make sure that whatever excites us in own research work, we carry some of that excitement over into the classroom,” he added.

More impactful research to come

In a keynote speech, Stephanie Bryant, Executive Vice-president and Chief Accreditation Officer at business school accreditation body AACSB, described new standards that increasingly reflect the efforts of many business school to carry out more impactful and engaged research. Talking about ‘tomorrow’s job market for PhDs’, she referred to a manifesto produced by the Responsible Research in Business and Management organisation (RRBM), which represented a pivot for AACSB’s thinking about the role of business schools in wider society. She encouraged ERIM researchers to venture out and ensure societal impact by aiming higher and seeking diversity in the portfolio of publications in which their work is published.

The next 20 years

The plan for the next 20 years at ERIM, as outlined by Prof Heugens, will see the Institute making closer contacts with the business community and expanding its research centres. Such departmental facilities are already under development, and will encourage greater connections with executives and other community stakeholders for close and frank dialogue. ERIM researchers are keen to brief the business community on ERIM’s latest discoveries, and to ask for opinions about the next subjects for ERIM’s research; what research would be useful for business?

A gem of ERIM

The Erasmus Doctoral Programme in Business and Management is one of the gems of ERIM. It nurtures global academic talent, developing PhD candidates into thought leaders, and into top researchers at the world’s premier universities and business schools. ERIM has a strong presence in top tier academic journals, such as the Strategic Management Journal, and EUR performs well in global business administration and management rankings. It is fourth for business administration and eighth for management in the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Two decades of PhD dissertations

Over the last 20 years more than 350 ERIM PhD dissertations have been published in the ERIM PhD Series and defended by ERIM researchers. The Series pioneered the offer of full and open access to academic research with the aim of stimulating the global reach and impact of PhD research.

The Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) is the joint research institute of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). The research undertaken by ERIM is focused on management of the firm in its environment, its intra- and interfirm relations, business processes, strategies, finances, consumers, markets and their interdependent connections.

Since its founding in 1999, the objective of ERIM is to carry out first-rate research in management and to offer an advanced doctoral programme in Business and Management. Within ERIM, over 350 senior researchers and PhD candidates are active in five research programmes, spanning all areas of management research. From a variety of academic backgrounds and expertise, the ERIM Community is united in striving for excellence and working at the forefront of creating new business knowledge.

Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) is defined by its groundbreaking research and excellence in education. It is strong in econometrics and behavioural economics. ESE is committed to finding solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s economic issues by challenging yesterday’s economic theories as well as building from and valorising existing models and methods. Just like the countless leaders in business, research and politics, who started their careers in Rotterdam, we make it happen. Just like its students will do, as they are taught and inspired by the best.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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