RSM Part-time PhD Programme

This PhD thesis has sprung from the Part-time PhD Programme at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Part-time PhD candidates conduct research against the highest academic standards on topics with real-world application value, thereby contributing to the positive impact of RSM research on business and other societal stakeholders. This programme allows candidates to develop their academic and research skills while they work. During the five-year programme, candidates are trained in research methods, use RSM’s research facilities and databases, participate in international conferences, and are supervised by research active faculty.

Below you can find dissertations of RSM Part-time PhD candidates:


Duijm, P. On the Cyclical Nature of Finance: The role and impact of financial institutions, Promotor(s): Prof. D. Schoenmaker & Prof. W.B. Wagner, 1,

Maas, S.A. In the moment of giving: Essays on contemporary forms of private and corporate philanthropy. Promotors: Prof. L.C.P.M. Meijs & Prof. J.P. Cornelissen.

Langenbusch, C. A lot to lose. Organizational identity and emotions in institutional contexts. Promotors: Prof. J.P. Cornelissen, Prof. G. Jacobs.

Van Zanten, J. A. Business in the Age of Sustainable Development

Profiles of Part-time Phd programme students

Patty Duijm

Cohort 2015

Topic: On the cyclical nature of finance: The role and impact of financial institutions
Supervisors: D. Schoenmaker (Dirk)W.B. Wagner (Wolf)
Patty Duijm started her part-time PhD in 2015, at the Finance Department at RSM. Alongside her PhD she worked as an Economist at the Financial Stability Division and subsequently at the Supervisory Policy Division of De Nederlandsche Bank. She has been involved in regulatory and international policy topics covering recovery and resolution, stress testing financial institutions, and macroprudential policy. Her research interests include the impact of policy reforms on financial institutions, international banking, investment behavior and risk diversification. She completed her PhD in 2019. Patty currently works at the Data Science Hub of De Nederlandsche Bank, aiming at getting most value out of the data by incorporating data science at central bank and supervisory practices. An overview of her publications and current research can be found here.

Project description:
Cyclical patterns are characterized by periods of strong economic expansions (‘booms’), followed by periods of detractions (‘busts’). In finance, we have seen these boom-bust cycles occur in, for example, the equity, credit and housing markets. During the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, we have seen that periods of economic downturns intensified financial market disruptions, and vice versa. The existence of these cycles that are closely linked to financial crises and that can intensify each other calls for a better understanding of their underlying mechanisms.

Christina Langenbusch

Cohort 2015

Topic: A lot to lose Organizational identity and emotions in institutional contexts
Supervisors: J.P. Cornelissen (Joep)G. Belschak-Jacobs (Gabriele)
Christina Langenbusch is a senior organizational developer whose dissertation research focused on the qualitative analysis of organizational life at the intersection of global crisis management, organizational identity, sensemaking in the context of the grand challenge of forced displacement, emotions in institutions, and the process of theory development. Christina is currently researching quantitative evaluations of group behavior by translating organizational culture into a data-driven tool for leadership and change processes in the context of technology adoption. In addition to her work as an organizational developer and researcher, she continues to coach master's students. Christina has been awarded the 1st prize of the 2021 EDAMBA thesis competition.

Project description: 
Organizational life entails complex, informal processes that can defi ne an organization just as much as its basic operational premises. To investigate these phenomena, this dissertation begins with a systematic literature review that critically investigates how the formation and strength of an organization’s identity is associated with value creation, providing a multi-level and multi-theory framework.

Stephanie Koolen-Maas

Cohort 2019

Topic: In the Moment of Giving. Essays on contemporary forms of private and corporate philanthropy
Supervisors: L.C.P.M. Meijs (Lucas)J.P. Cornelissen (Joep)
Stephanie Koolen-Maas started her PhD in 2015 at the Business-Society Management Department at RSM. She worked as an academic researcher and lecturer for the same department alongside her PhD. Stephanie’s research interests include the societal role of organizations, philanthropy, nonprofit and volunteer management, and business-nonprofit relationships. After completing her PhD in 2020, she started to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Philanthropic Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She also continued to work for the Business-Society Management Department at RSM as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer. She is currently associated with Impact Centre Erasmus as a senior impact researcher. Her ultimate goal is to better understand and increase the societal impact of philanthropy and philanthropic, hybrid and commercial organizations.

Project description: 
No part of the philanthropic landscape appears to be as diverse as the ways in which individuals and for-profit organizations seek to do good. While philanthropy is not a new phenomenon, its diversification of practices and the emergence of (third party) organizations and new vehicles call for a renewed understanding. The studies in this dissertation represent a more in-depth exploration of contemporary forms of private and corporate philanthropy. First, I examine temporary episodic volunteering by examining National Days of Service. National Days of Service are state- or countrywide volunteering programs in which individuals and groups support nonprofit organizations by giving their time to a one-day, time-limited volunteer project. In the first two studies, I show how nonprofit organizations integrate National Days of Service and how they can do so more meaningfully. Second, I examine two vehicles that channel important elements of corporate philanthropy and that stand between corporate donors and nonprofit recipients. These include a corporate foundation serving the interests of multiple corporate donors simultaneously (collective corporate foundation) and third-party intermediary organizations. In the last two studies, I demonstrate how these two channels of corporate philanthropy add value and what the consequences are for corporate donors and nonprofit recipients.

Anton van Zanten

Cohort 2016

Topic: Business in the Age of Sustainable Development
Supervisors: Prof.dr. R. van TulderDr. F. Wijen
Jan Anton van Zanten works at Robeco, an international asset manager specialized in sustainable investing, as Strategist for the Sustainable Development Goals. He was awarded his PhD with distinction (cum laude) in 2021. He had joined the part-time PhD programme in 2017 at RSM's Business-Society Management department. His research interests center around corporate sustainability, sustainable development, and sustainable investing. Prior to joining Robeco, Jan Anton was a Senior Consultant at Steward Redqueen, and a Consultant at the United Nations Environment Programme. Jan Anton holds a Master’s in Global Business & Stakeholder Management from Erasmus University Rotterdam and a Master’s in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge.

Project description:
This dissertation contains five studies that investigate the role of companies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first study builds on institutional theory to develop propositions that explain how corporate engagement with SDGs is influenced by traits of SDGs and by traits of companies. The second study conducts a systematic literature review to survey and synthesize the positive and negative impacts of diverse corporate activities on the SDGs and their underlying targets. In study three, corporate impacts on the SDGs are investigated using network analysis. This allows for identifying four types of companies, each having a unique sustainability imperative. The fourth study then asks how companies might improve their impacts on the SDGs, thereby contributing to developing a theory of sustainability management. This conceptual paper that is grounded in the sustainability sciences literature introduces a nexus approach to corporate sustainability. This nexus approach induces companies to manage their positive and negative, and direct and indirect, interactions with the SDGs in order to advance multiple SDGs simultaneously (“co-benefits”) while reducing the risk that contributions to one SDG undermine progress on another (“trade-offs”). Finally, the fifth study reflects on how the SDGs can help transform towards more sustainable societies throughout, and beyond, the COVID-19 pandemic.