P.P.M.A.R. (Pursey) Heugens

Full Professor
RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Fellow ERIM
Field: Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Affiliated since 2005

Pursey Heugens is a professor of organisation theory, development, and change at the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

His research interests include comparative corporate governance, business ethics, and bureaucracy, institutional, and demographic theories of organisation.

Professor Heugens has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He currently serves on the editorial boards of six scholarly journals. His research has been published in academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, and the Journal of Management Studies.

His most recent works argues that the field of organisation theory is locked into a state of permanent failure due to powerful centrifugal forces which prevent it from producing a unified theory of organisational effectiveness – while equally strong centripetal forces keep university administrators and policy makers from cashing in their chips.

He offers three research strategies that might end the stalemate by increasing the integration, relevance and realism of current theories of organisation.

He obtained his PhD from RSM in 2001.

Key Publications (13)

  • 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. (Ed.). (2001). Strategic issues management: Implications for corporate performance (ERIM Ph.D series research in management, ISSN 1568-1726 ; 7). Rotterdam: ERIM.
  • Kroezen, J.J. & Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2012). Organizational Identity Formation: Processes of Identity Imprinting and Enactment in the Dutch Microbrewing Landscape. In M. Schultz, S. Maguire, A. Langley & H. Tsoukas (Eds.), Perspectives on Process Organization Studies Volume 2 (pp. 89-127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2010). Social institutions of capitalism. In G. Ritzer & J.M. Ryan (Eds.), Concise Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Osadchiy, S., Bogenrieder, I. & Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2010). Organizational learning through problem absorption: A processual view. In T. Hernes & S. Maitlis (Eds.), Perspectives on Process Organization Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 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. (2007). Social institutions of capitalism. In G Ritzer (Ed.), The Blackwell encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 395-398). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2007). Organizations and the theory of the firm. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), The Blackwell encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 3326-3331). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2005). Issues management: Core understandings and scholarly development. In P. Harris & C. Fleisher (Eds.), The Handbook of Public Affairs (pp. 481-500). London: Sage.
  • 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, Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. & Essen, M. van (2013). The effect of blockholders in corporate governance. RSM Insight, 13 (1), 18-19.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2009). Een mooie toekomst voor een chronisch tekortschietend vakgebied. Holland Management Review, 125 (-), 2-8.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Kaptein, S.P. & Nieuwenboer, N.A. den (2007, December 20). Liever high-trust toezicht. Het Financiële Dagblad
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Van Den Bosch, Frans, A.J. & Riel, C.B.M. van (2001). Stakeholder integratie: werken aan wederzijds versterkende relaties. M en O, 55 (4), 5-26.
  • Van Den Bosch, Frans, A.J., Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. & Riel, C.B.M. van (1998). De introductie van GMO-soja in Nederland. Beschrijving en analyse van de communicatie en de strategie van het margarine-, vetten- en oliën-cluster in de periode 1992-1998. (Extern rapport). Rotterdam: Corporate Communication Centre.
  • Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (1998). Naar een nieuwe definitie van crisismanagement: plaatsbepaling. Tijdschrift voor Strategische Bedrijfscommunicatie, 4 (2), 16-17.
Jitse Duijsters

Capturing the strategic value of corporate venturing

Ilaria Orlandi

Open PhD in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Katrin Smolka


Guus Hendriks

Home Country Conditions for International Investment

Jorien Pruijssers

An Organizational Perspective on Auditor Conduct

Evgenia Dolgova

Social Network Dynamics

Pursey Heugens

Strategic Issues Management: Implications for Corporate Performance

Luciana Ferreira

Attention Mosaics: Studies of organizational attention

Editorial positions

  • Journal of Business Ethics

    Editorial Board

  • Corporate Reputation Review

    Editorial Board

  • Business and Society

    Editorial Board

  • Business Ethics Quarterly

    Editorial Board

  • Journal of Public Affairs

    Editorial Board

  • Strategic Organization

    Editorial Board

Past courses

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 Research Clinic
ERIM Institute Event
ERIM Inaugural Address Research in Management Series
  • ERIM Top Article Award (2007)


  • ERIM Award for 'Outstanding Performance by a Young Researcher' (2005)


  • ERIM Dissertation Award (2003)



Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T07-57
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam


Latest publication

Lander, M.W. & Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (2017). Better together: Using meta-analysis to explore complementarities between ecological and institutional theories of organization. Organization Studies, 38 (9), Forthcoming.