About ERIM

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) is a research school of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). ERIM was founded in 1998 by two schools of EUR; Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE).

In 1999, ERIM was officially accredited by Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and re-accredited in 2003 and 2011. As of 2014, a separate accreditation for research institutes has been abolished at national level.

Mission, goals and domain

The mission of ERIM is to conduct scientific research that enables organisations to assess and improve their business processes in order to perform in a profitable and responsible way.

ERIM’s research programmes focus on two pivotal areas of investigation. The first is the study of intra-firm and inter-firm business processes. The second is the role of data, information, information processing and knowledge in managerial decision making. ERIM’s objective is to carry out first-rate research in management, as recognised by the community of peers, and to offer an advanced Doctoral Programme in Business and Management. More specifically, the goals of ERIM are:

  • To be a high quality institute with high visibility and a strong reputation among its peers in the international community of researchers in management;
  • To achieve a high output and impact of scientific publications in the top journals and books of research in management; 
  • To offer high quality doctoral education through an internationally competitive Doctoral Programme; 
  • To attract, develop and retain top research talent in all stages of their career.

Throughout its activities, in research as well as teaching, ERIM has five distinct areas of research in management:

  • Business Processes, Logistics and Information Systems - LIS
  • Organisation - ORG
  • Marketing - MKT
  • Finance and Accounting - F&A
  • Strategy & Entrepreneurship - S&E

Founding history of ERIM

In Rotterdam the academic study of management started during a wave of similar initiatives around the beginning of the 20th century, mostly in the United States. These initiatives were usually headed by local businessmen who saw the limitations of existing curricula for educating the (business) leaders of the future, and took place against the backdrop of organisations growing rapidly in their scale and complexity and in their (international) environment. In Rotterdam, representatives of the internationally oriented port-related business establishment, predominantly trained at the law schools of the universities of Leiden and Utrecht, founded the Nederlandsche Handelshoogeschool (Netherlands School of Commerce) in 1913 as a new source of the managerial elite in their companies. Later, in 1939, the school’s name was changed to Nederlandse Economische Hogeschool (Netherlands School of Economics), as a result of full legal recognition of academic training in management and economics in the Netherlands.

In 1973 the Netherlands School of Economics, which by then also included a school of Law and a school of Social Sciences, merged with the Medical Faculty at Rotterdam, leading to the start of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Within the new University the ESE, through its departments in the area of business economics, retained its economics perspective on management. From 1970 onwards, other disciplinary perspectives such as the behavioural sciences and industrial engineering had started to receive more attention with the establishment of the Graduate School of Management, a joint venture between Netherlands School of Economics/EUR and Delft University of Technology. In 1985, this Graduate School of Management became a distinct school of the EUR: Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). During this period both RSM and the ESE established their institutes for research in management: ERASM (Erasmus Research Institute for Advanced Studies in Management) and RIBES (Rotterdams Instituut voor Bedrijfseconomische Studies), respectively. In 1998 the two schools brought together their best resources for research in the domain of management, and jointly founded a new research institute: ERIM. The KNAW officially accredited ERIM in 1999, 2003 and 2011.

Position of ERIM

ERIM’s position will subsequently be discussed: at Erasmus University (i) , in the Netherlands (ii), in Europe and the world (iii).

At Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

EUR operates in three domains:

  1. Economics and Management
  2. Medicine and Health Sciences 
  3. Law, Culture and Society

Two schools operate in the domain of Economics and Management: ESE and RSM-

Erasmus School of Economics, Rotterdam (ESE) has 123.9 FTE faculty (Professors, Associate and Assistant Professors) 61.5 FTE PhD candidates and 6,104 (BSc and MSc) students (3,588 BSc and 2,516 MSc (As of 22 December 2015).

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) has 147.8 FTE faculty (Professors, Associate and Assistant Professors), 90.7 FTE PhD candidates and 5830 (3,537 BSc and 2,303 MSc) students (As of December 22, 2015). The MBA student numbers are not included in the figures quoted here.

ERIM’s location is in the Mandeville Building, on the Erasmus University campus. The Dean of RSM is the legal representative (‘penvoerder’) of ERIM. 

Within ESE, ERIM is one of two major research schools; the other one is Tinbergen Institute (TI), founded in 1987. Tinbergen Institute is a disciplinary inter-university research school in economics, a joint initiative of ESE, and the schools of economics of the University of Amsterdam and Free University of Amsterdam. The researchers at Tinbergen Institute operate in the fields of economics and econometrics. Thus, the research domains of ERIM, management, and TI, economics, are clearly distinct. ERIM members in ESE are researchers who work on topics in business economics (‘bedrijfseconomie’). Some of them have a background in (applied) econometrics and provide methodological contributions to research in management.

In the Netherlands

Within the Netherlands, the research schools most closely related to ERIM are CentER (University of Tilburg), METEOR (University of Maastricht), and SOM (University of Groningen). In this academic environment ERIM has a unique position. Firstly, ERIM takes management as its exclusive object of study. This gives it a more explicit focus than CentER, SOM and METEOR, which cover broad domains, including micro-economics, macro-economics, econometrics, and research in management (roughly equating to the foci of ERIM and TI combined). Secondly, while economics strongly dominates in the research of the three other schools, ERIM studies managerial issues from a truly multidisciplinary perspective. At ERIM, economics is one perspective used among many, including those of psychology, sociology, applied mathematics and engineering. Finally, ERIM’s faculty is much larger than the number of researchers dedicated to management research at the other institutes. ERIM is by far the largest academic centre of research in management and doctoral education in management in the Netherlands.

In Europe and throughout the world

In fact, ERIM is one of the largest centres of research in management in Europe. It stands in the Anglo-Saxon tradition of management schools. Such schools combine a broad management education with a research focus on management processes that are studied from a wide spectrum of disciplines. As already illustrated in the description of the current situation in the Netherlands this differs from the continental European tradition where research in management typically originates from departments fully dedicated to economics (‘bedrijfseconomie’). The Anglo-Saxon perspective is also reflected in ERIM’s approach to its doctoral programme, as will be further explained below (especially in Chapter 6). Within Europe, the London Business School (LBS) and INSEAD are other examples of this Anglo-Saxon tradition, and we can see an increasing number of business schools in Europe moving in this direction. Examples are: Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Manchester and Cranfield in the UK, HEC and Essec in France, IESE and ESADE in Spain, Bocconi in Italy, the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland and the Norwegian School of Management in Norway. Among these organisations ERIM is consistently ranked in the top three research institutes in management in Europe, and it is increasingly receiving acclaim in the Netherlands and abroad for the sophistication of its vision and its development.

This success derives partly from the fact that from its very start ERIM has always carefully assessed true world class performance and taken inspiration from global best practice, which still often comes from outside Europe. ERIM has invested in a global network and built an excellent reputation in the global community of business schools and research institutes in management so as to facilitate familiarity with faculty, functions and facilities at schools that are truly world class in one way or another. ERIM is well represented at many world leading conferences such as the Academy of Management and INFORMS, and ERIM researchers are strongly encouraged to form intensive relationships with colleagues and research groups at leading business schools around the world. This is leveraged through, for example, a vibrant research seminar series (with over 250 international speakers in 2015 alone), conferences and workshops, structural visiting positions, exchanges and joint creation of research projects and related grant proposals (with funding from both the EU and the US government).