PhD candidates

Rotterdam School of Management, RSM University hosts approximately 60 parttime PhD candidates from a great variety of professional and academic backgrounds. Are you interested in their profiles? We introduce a selection of our candidates below. If you are curious about their motivations and experiences, read their testimonials here.

Would you like to become one of the new candidates, starting in September 2021? See our admission criteria and find out how to apply

Ajlin Dizdarevic

Cohort 2018

Topic: Corporate-startup collaboration: a new way of organizing to innovate
Department: Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship
Supervisors: Prof. Vareska van de Vrande and Prof. Justin Jansen
Contact: dizdarevic@rsm.nl
Project description: 
Ajlin is interested in strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the growth of enterprises. Her project explores corporate-startup collaboration, which is an asymmetric partnership and a way of open innovation. This kind of collaboration has been an increasingly frequent mode of corporate innovation. When companies tap into knowledge externally, the latter brings innovation opportunities and, at the same time, significant organizational challenges as corporates and startups differ substantially in their strategy, structure, and culture. Hence, it is crucial to understand how a large incumbent firm effectively manages its collaboration with a startup (dyad level) and a portfolio of startups (network level) to develop or commercialize an innovation. What is the theoretical framework of corporate-startup collaboration, what are the corporate-startup collaboration capabilities, why they matter, and how they evolve?

Publications: Work in progress

Curtis Meloy Goldsby

Cohort 2019

Topic: Digital governance of interorganizational networks
Department: Technology and Operations Management
Supervisors: Prof. Jan van den Ende and Dr. Helge Klapper
Contact: goldsby@rsm.nl
Project description: 
Curtis is a part-time PhD student in Management at RSM’s Technology and Operations Management department. In his PhD, Curtis studies how complex interorganizational networks are governed by digital governance modes, including digital platforms and blockchains. As Senior Consultant at IBM Enterprise Strategy in Germany, he combines his research interest for digital platforms and blockchain networks, with practical engagements in the Automotive, Retail and Industrial sectors for DAX 30 clients. Curtis is alumnus of the London School of Economics (LSE) with a M.Sc. in Management.

Publications: Work in progress

Dijana Aleksic

Cohort 2019

Topic/theme: Employee adoption of Machine Learning technology in organizations
Department: Department of Organisation and Personnel Management
Supervisory team: Prof. Steffen Giessner and Dr. Rebecca Hewett
Contact: aleksic@rsm.nl
Project description:
This research examines application and adoption of machine learning digital capabilities (predictions, chatbots…) in the organizations and the effects of the same on employee motivation. The aim of the research is to contribute to the knowledge on employee motivation by providing an evidence-based assessment of design, implementation, and user adoption of intelligent technologies internally, within organizations.  Understanding how some of the features of AI, machine learning and chatbots, such as personalization, conversational interface, and similar play the role in employee motivation, will contribute to creating a work environment that is conducive to a better employee well-being and performance.

Publications: Work in progress

Linda van Rijn

Cohort 2015

Topic/theme: The relationship between aging and consumer purchasing behavior
Department: Marketing Management
Supervisory team: Prof. Gerrit van Bruggen and Dr. Bram van den Bergh
Contact: vanrijn@rsm.nl
Project description:
The number and proportion of senior consumers in the population have grown strongly in recent decades and will continue to grow. Projections indicate that in 2060, 45% of the North American and EU population will be over 50 years old, and 27.4% will be over 65 years old  (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2019). Senior consumers are the largest customer group in the market and will continue to grow in the future.
During the last decades, elderly consumers' living arrangements have shifted from the standard of co-residence with children to more independence. Over 75% of consumers over 60 years old lives independently and is responsible for making purchasing decisions.
Through the aging process, consumers face physiological and psychological changes that may influence purchasing behavior. Therefore, it is essential to know how age influences that purchasing behavior. Despite the vast increase of senior consumers, little attention has been paid to understanding how aging, defined as the consumer's increasing calendar age, affects purchasing decisions. Past research has not provided conclusive, generalizable insights about age-related changes in consumer purchasing behavior. In several projects, I investigate how aging influences consumer purchasing behavior by employing longitudinal research designs.

Publications: Work in progress

Syed Bilal Gilani

Cohort 2017

Topic/theme: Strategic renewal: By means of an ambidextrous organization – dynamic ambidexterity and scaling of new businesses
Department: Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship
Supervisory team: Prof. Justin Jansen and Prof. Tom Mom
Contact: gilani@rsm.nl
Project description:
Bilal is intrigued by the existential challenges that organizations - particularly large - face in complex, uncertain, and dynamic business environments. His research is focused on strategic renewal of organizations by means of organizational ambidexterity i.e. ability of organizations to simultaneously exploring new opportunities while exploiting existing assets. Organizational ambidexterity is essential for long-term firm survival but triggers contradicting challenges that requires an ongoing management by the multi-level leadership of organizations. Bilal’s research work is contributing to the existing literature by enlightening the dynamic view of ambidexterity as opposed to widely researched static view. His research model provides a process view of how continuous strategic decision making by top management teams (TMT) about organizational context – structure, processes, incentives, and capabilities – and portfolio mix of strategic initiatives dynamically balances organizational ambidexterity over time in multiple cycles. He is proposing a dynamic management capability that is essential for managing the complex rebalancing of organizational ambidexterity contingent to external environment and internal dynamics. He is also researching how individual growth initiatives are developed, scaled, and commercialized in large organizations. In this second part of his research, the focus is on the key challenges and success factors necessary for scaling and growth of new business opportunities.

Publications: Work in progress

Ana Maria Sierra Maya

Cohort 2018

Topic/theme: A new boss takes charge. The process to becoming – or failing to become - the new leader. New leader endorsement at the middle management level.
Department: Department of Technology and Operations Management
Supervisory team: Prof. dr. Daan Stam, Prof. dr. Henk Volberda and Dr Juan Madiedo
Contact: sierramaya@rsm.nl
Project description:
Using data of more than 200 leader successions events I will test various models to understand how the characteristics of the transitioning leaders and of their team members, impact the way the new leader is endorsed. I will base my research on theoretical perspectives such as leader member exchange - LMX, leader trust and in human resources management mechanisms such as onboarding. My aim is to contribute to the leadership literature bringing light to the way new leaders are endorsed. I also pretend to add to the succession management literature by focusing on transitions at the middle management level. And finally I want to enrich the onboarding literature by understanding the impact of this process in leader successions. I also expect to contribute to the practice of human resource management by bringing ideas to promote the success of new leaders. I will put into action some leadership theories to bring light to the challenge of transitions at the middle management level, the potential risks that the former leadership impose in the new leader and test how to onboard the new boss in the leadership role.

Publications: Work in progress

Daniel Liebau

Cohort 2018

Topic: Effects of emerging technologies (blockchain and AI) on global financial markets
Department: Finance
Supervisors: Prof. Peter Roosenboom and Dr. Thomas Lambert
Contact: liebau@rsm.nl   
Project description: 
In the course of my PhD thesis I plan to write three papers: In paper one we study adverse selection and moral hazard problems associated with Security Token Offerings and explore other basic facts of the nascent STO market. In paper two we explore the risk factors associated to Proof-of-Stake blockchains in the context of financial transactions. In paper three I will focus on how to use machine learning techniques to make sense of sentiment data influencing cryptocurrency price movements.

Publications:

  • T. Lambert, D. Liebau, P. Roosenboom, 2020. Security Token Offerings. Working paper.

  • N. Krapels, D. Liebau, 2020. An Essay on Minimum Disclosure Requirements for Cryptocurrency & Utility Token Issuers. Cryptoeconomic Systems Journal (MIT Press), forthcoming.

  • D.Liebau, T.Wong, 2019: AI and Business Ethics in Financial Markets in S. Chishti, I. Bartoletti, A. Leslie (eds.): The AI Book: The Artificial Intelligence Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and FinTech Visionaries (Wiley)

  • D. Liebau, P. Schueffel, 2019. Cryptocurrencies & Initial Coin Offerings: Are the Scams? – An empirical Study. Journal of the British Blockchain Association, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 2019.

Izaak Dekker

Cohort 2018

Topic: Optimizing students’ college success
Department: Technology and Operations Management
Supervisors: Prof. Michaéla Schippers, Dr. Erik van Schooten and Dr. Ellen Klatter
Contact: dekker@rsm.nl 
Project description: 
This PhD project consists of three studies that center around the question how college success can be improved. In all three cases, academic outcomes are studied as outcomes that are interrelated with other domains of students’ lives:

  1. A longitudinal study on the correlation between student employment and study progress. This study tested the effects of different types of (un)paid student employment on study progress with the use of growth models with 25 repeated measures over the span of 4 years. Results showed that domain specific student employment has a positive effect on study progress in the third and fourth year, while more than 15 hours a week of domain unspecific work correlates negatively to study progress in the first semester.
  2. A large-scale field experiment to test the effect of a reflective goal setting  intervention on academic achievement and well-being of students in business and teacher education. Results from this study showed that reflective goal-setting improves both obtained study credits and retention regardless of gender, ethnicity or previous education.
  3. A theoretical review of how both academic achievement as well as students’ mental health could be improved by AI-enhanced life crafting. This study combines findings from educational and clinical psychology, to propose a more integrated approach to preventing mental health and study related issues at the start of college.

Publications:

Malika Ouacha

Cohort 2020

Topic/theme: Politics of Representation: the examination of cross-border philanthropy in Morocco
Department: Business-Society Management
Supervisory team: Prof. Lucas C. P. M. Meijs
Contact: ouacha@rsm.nl
Project description:
By introducing the term of cross-border philanthropy, I examine both local and global philanthropy between Western Europe and the Islamic world (North Africa and the Middle East). After five years of ongoing ethnographic fieldwork, I use the case of Morocco to raise the examination on the strategy of several actors in the civil society and their intersectionality towards the indigenous people of Morocco, the Amazigh. Through an intersectional approach, my research argues the concepts of the importance of representation, volunteering, power structures and gender in both secular and Islamic philanthropy. By comparing cross-border philanthropic projects from Western Europe and the Islamic world, which all take place within the context of Morocco, I aim to develop a contribution in the form of knowledge and best-practices for present and future cross-border philanthropists, who bravely cross both cultural and national frontiers to serve humanity.

Publications:

In the media/dissemination:

Pascal Carpentier

Cohort 2018

Topic/theme: A commons perspective on the governance of open innovation projects
Department: Business-Society Management
Supervisory team: Prof. Lucas Meijs and Prof. Vareska van de Vrande
Contact: carpentier@rsm.nl 
Project description:
Open innovation allows companies to boost their research and development programs by gaining novel insights from external actors. Outsourcing to a large, relatively open, and continuously evolving group allows firms to harness the wisdom of the crowd through open calls to undertake tasks. These external stakeholders are usually contacted via an Open Innovation Intermediary (OII), which structures and facilitates information sharing.

However, this crowdsourced approach has given rise to unexpected difficulties. Inadequate sharing of benefits has led to contributors shortage, and, over the long run, initiatives could be hampered if OIIs do not meet contributors’ expectations. Governing community members with different expectations and motivations for product development is also a challenge, but one that can lead to disruptive innovation (e.g.Waze). We will rely on Nobel prize winner Elinor Ostrom’s study of the Knowledge Commons to provide unique insight on building and managing these communities in a durable and fruitful manner.

Publications: