J.P (Joep) Cornelissen

Full Professor
RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Fellow ERIM
Field: Organisation
Affiliated since 2015

Joep Cornelissen is Professor of Corporate Communication and Management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

The main focus of his research involves studies of the role of corporate and managerial communication in the context of innovation, entrepreneurship and change, and of social evaluations of the legitimacy and reputation of start-up and established firms.

In addition, he also has an interest in questions of scientific reasoning and theory development in management and organization theory.

His work has been published in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies,Organization Science and Organization Studies, and he has written a general text on corporate communication (Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice, Sage Publications) which is now in its fourth edition.

He is an Associate Editor for the Academy of Management Review, a Council member of the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, a former General Editor of the Journal of Management Studies (2006-2012) and serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies and Organization Studies.

  • J.P. Cornelissen, S.A. Haslam & M.D. Werner (2017). Bridging and Integrating Meta-Theoretical Perspectives on organizational identity: A social Interactionist Model of Organizational Identity Development. In Mike Pratt, Majken Schultz, Davide Ravasi & Blake Ashforth (Eds.), Handbook on Organizational Identity. Oxford University Press
  • J.P. Cornelissen (2017). Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice. London: Sage publications, 5th edition
  • J.P. Cornelissen, D. Schoeneborn & C. Vasquez (2017). Deconstructing the Theoretical Language of Process Research: Metaphor and Metonymy in Interaction. In A. Langley & H. Tsoukas (Eds.), Handbook of Process Organization Studies. Sage Publications
  • C. Wickert & J.P. Cornelissen (2017). Corporate social responsibility and reputation: Too much of a good thing? In J. Moon, M. Morsing & A. Rasche (Eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication and Governance. Cambridge University Press
  • J.P. Cornelissen (2016). Morgan's Legacy in Theorizing and Understanding Organizations. In A. Ortenblad, K. Trehan & L.L. Putnam (Eds.), Exploring Morgan’s Metaphors: Theory, Research, and Practice in Organizational Studies
  • J.P. Cornelissen & H. Schildt (2014). Sensemaking and strategy as practice. In D. Seidl, J. Balogun, E. Vaara & D. Golsorkhi (Eds.), Handbook on strategy as practice. Oxford University Press

Open PhD projects in Value Based Organizing: Acting on unprecedented change

Traditionally, management research takes the perspective of business and focuses on how conditions for business can be improved. Research conducted within the Value Based Organizing subprogram starts with the challenges that society and our natural environment face and focuses on how business, in partnership with other actors, can address these challenges. In other words, we help business to take responsibility for the context in which it operates. Research in our group focuses on alternative definitions of and approaches to business, including issues around climate change, poverty alleviation, health, reputation, business ethics, philanthropy, social enterprise and partnerships. We support the general ambition of RSM to help business be a ‘force for positive change in society’. The research methods we use vary from qualitative techniques to surveys and laboratory research.

“Acting on unprecedented change” describes a series of interrelated projects that address the most current challenges that businesses face. Specifically, our social and natural environments are changing in unprecedented ways. Business contributes to some of these developments, such as climate change, growing inequality, and also alienation from the general public by losing track of the interests of broader society. Business is confronted with very low levels of trust in their ability to responsibly deal with grand societal challenges. Yet, society also changes in ways that are difficult to foresee for companies. Each project describes ways for companies to deal with these challenges and to contribute in such a way that changes work out for the best (or at least, are less damaging). A common theme underlying each project is that each seriously considers the possibility that the way companies do business -including how they relate to the context in which they operate- needs to be changed fundamentally and that small gestures are unlikely to be sufficient to help solve the large problems that society faces. 

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Change all around: A multi-level study of practice, identity and professional change within marketing and communications

The marketing and communication functions in organizations and agencies are fundamentally being redefined in most corporate organizations and agencies around the globe. This trend is triggered by changes in media spending and the game changing impact of social media. The proposed research project takes place in this changing context of the marketing and communication professions, and the way in which these are currently practised in corporate organizations. Through a combination of case studies and survey and content analytic methods, the research will develop theory on how practice changes (such as the emergence of branded content ) have led marketing and communication professionals to redefine, or reframe, their work and their professional identity, and how such a reframing is in turn at a macro level changing the field in the direction of a new, emerging profession (of integrated content communicators ). In this way, the research aims to draw out in detail and across levels of analysis the effect of specific practice changes on the nature of the communication profession and its changing professional identity.

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Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T11-53
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

Work in progress

J.P. Cornelissen, S.A. Haslam & M.D. Werner (2017). Bridging and Integrating Meta-Theoretical Perspectives on organizational identity: A social Interactionist Model of Organizational Identity Development. In Mike Pratt, Majken Schultz, Davide Ravasi & Blake Ashforth (Eds.), Handbook on Organizational Identity. Oxford University Press

Latest publication

M. Ketokivi, S. Mantere & J.P. Cornelissen (2017). Reasoning by analogy and the progress of theory. In Academy of Management Review