J. (Hans) van Oosterhout

Full Professor
RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Fellow ERIM
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2002

Hans van Oosterhout is a professor of corporate governance and responsibility at the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

His research is in comparative corporate governance, involving both comparisons between different national corporate governance systems, and comparisons between different forms of enterprise organization.

His current research focuses on how jurisdiction level institutions shape the respective role of owners and executives in publicly listed firms, and on the corporate governance challenges and practices of professional partnerships, family firms, and philanthropic organizations.

Professor van Oosterhout has published extensively in journals including the Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, the Journal of Management Studies, Business Ethics Quarterly and the Journal of Business Ethics.

He has held visiting positions at the Australian National University and the The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor van Oosterhout obtained an MA Cum Laude in political science from Leiden University and a PhD in Management from Erasmus University.

  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Oosterhout, J. van & Vromen, J.J. (2004). The Social Institutions of Capitalism: Evolution and Design of Social Contracts. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. & Oosterhout, J. van (2008). Much ado about nothing: A conceptual critique of corporate social responsibility. In D.S. Siegel, D. Matten, A. McWilliams & A. Crane (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 197-223). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Oosterhout, J. van & Vromen, J.J. (2004). Social Contract Theories: E Pluribus Unum? In P.P.M.A.R Heugens & J. Van Oosterhout (Eds.), The Social Institutions of capitalism: Evolution and Design of Social Contracts (pp. 1-19). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Kaptein, S.P., Oosterhout, J. van & Wempe, J.F.D.B. (2002). Ethical Criteria for Corporations. In S.P. Kaptein & J. Wempe (Eds.), The Balanced Company: a Theory of Corporate Integrity (pp. 227-262). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Oosterhout, J. van, Wempe, B.H.E. & Willigenburg, T. van (2002). A Critique of Monistic Organizational Ethics. In Proceedings Ninth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics. Niagara Falls.
  • Rutte, K.L. van & Oosterhout, J. van (2002). Standard Argumentative Strategies in Conceptualizing Business Ethics. In Duane Windsor & Stephanie Welcomer (Eds.), 2002 Proceedings Thirteenth Anual Conference Victoria (B.C.) June 27-30 2002 of the International Association for Business and Society (pp. 61-65).
  • Oosterhout, J. van, Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. & Kaptein, S.P. (2000). Normative documents, the contract model, and stakeholder management. In Kathleen.A Getz & Duane Windsor (Eds.), Proceedings Eleventh Annual Conference Essex Junction, March 16-19, 2000 of the International Association for Business and Society (pp. 276-281). Essex: International Association for Business /Society.
  • Oosterhout, J. van (2016). Does shareholder voting matter in Europe? RSM Discovery - Management Knowledge, 28 (4), 8-10.
  • Oosterhout, J. van, Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. & Essen, M. van (2013). The effect of blockholders in corporate governance. RSM Insight, 13 (1), 18-19.
  • Otten, J.A. & Oosterhout, J. van (2008). Bestuurdersbeloning: Ideologie, Symboliek of Instrument van Corporate Governance? Ondernemingsrecht, 290-296.

PhD in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

The Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University provides a strong research environment, with numerous faculty members and PhD students working across nearly all relevant fields of the wider strategic management field. Three characteristics make the Department an excellent environment for high-quality candidates to pursue a PhD.

  • First, we pride ourselves in our excellent PhD placement record, and our graduates routinely find placements in top schools worldwide. Recent placements include INSEAD, Judge (Cambridge), Desautels (McGill), HEC Paris, ETH Zurich, Otto Besheim (WHU), and Moore (University of South Carolina).
  • Second, the department hosts specialists in a wide variety of methodological traditions, including survey and archival data analysis, longitudinal econometric analysis, meta-analysis, case studies, grounded theory, and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.
  • Third, our department is well-connected internationally. It structurally hosts visiting professors, like Gerry George (SMU), and our own faculty have held visiting positions at schools like Harvard, Imperial, Kellogg, MIT, and Wharton.

In short, the Department offers one of the most stimulating and productive environments for pursuing a PhD in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship in North-western Europe.

PhD research in the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship group at the Rotterdam School of Management is expected to take place within four main research themes that represent currently ongoing research:

  1. Corporate Entrepreneurship;
  2. Strategic Renewal;
  3. Corporate Governance and Competitiveness;
  4. Global Strategy.

Although research that cuts across these four themes is encouraged, candidates are expected to express and explain their preferences for one or more research themes in the cover letter of their application.

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Ownership, Governance, and Strategy of 21st Century Family Firms

The 21st century has been named the century of the family firm by influential observers. Whereas many pundits once believed that the end of the family-controlled firm was near, or that family firms should inevitably ‘go public or die’ after the first generation exits the firm, family firms continue to thrive in the global economy. In fact, during the recent financial crisis it has become apparant that self-financed, somewhat conservative, and long-term oriented firms are the most robust form of capitalist organization under adverse economic conditions. In the Netherlands alone, there are more than 250,000 family-controlled enterprises, which jointly produce more than 50 percent of the national GDP and secure more than 50 percent of Dutch employment. This remarkable and unexpected success raises many hithertofore unanswered questions in the area of family controlled-firms’ ownership, governance, and strategy.


In this PhD project, we set out to answer several of these questions. Specifically, we aim to develop new grounded theories of family firm decision making and behavior, using a variety of qualitative data collection and analysis methods. We also aim to reach a definitive answer to many of the interesting research questions that can be raised about family firms by collecting and analyzing pan-European panel data on family firms (with a control group of non-family firms). The expectation is that the successful candidate will secure a successful placement at one of the leading business schools interested in family business at the end of his or her contract at ERIM.

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ERIM Research Seminar
  • ERIM Top Article Award (2007)



Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T07-53
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

Latest publication

Oosterhout, J. van (2016). Does shareholder voting matter in Europe? RSM Discovery - Management Knowledge, 28 (4), 8-10.