2013: The year in top research

ERIM honoured its highest-performing members at the ERIM Awards ceremony last Wednesday. The winning research spanned such diverse topics as stakeholder engagement, management innovation, intelligent agents, corporate finance, and material handling.

Professor Marno Verbeek, ERIM’s Scientific Director, opened the award ceremony reflecting on this year’s milestones and on the future. He first proudly mentioned that the ERIM community is still growing and that ERIM has further increased its quality publishing, especially the number of top articles. He reflected on the initiatives taken with respect to scientific integrity and said that he was very happy with the increasing number of international PhD Placements. He also highlighted the full portfolio of support programmes available for ERIM members. He then reminded the audience of the priorities for 2014-2015: to further strengthen academic performance; to further increase quality and international appeal of the doctoral programme; to invest in capabilities to broaden and increase the research funding base; and in particular to strengthen visibility and reputation in management practice and society at large.

Professor Verbeek then invited Professor Huibert Pols, rector magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam, to present the ERIM Awards. Professor Pols continued by handing out the Awards, starting by the most senior award:

Communication between the firm and its stakeholders

Cees van RielThe 2013 Book Award went to Cees van Riel, Professor of Corporate Communication at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) for the book The Alignment Factor. Leveraging the Power of Total Stakeholder Support published in 2012 by Routledge, London, UK.

The jury said: “Van Riel’s book is timely. At a time when stakeholders have become more vocal, stakeholder and shareholder engagement is on the rise and firms are increasingly evaluated not just based on their profits, there is an obvious need for an effective communication between the firm and its stakeholders. Whereas most of the literature focuses on the stakeholder view, the strength of Van Riel’s book lies in his decision to focus on the firm’s view. The result is a book that we would strongly recommend, for example, to the boards of Dutch pension funds, as they struggle to create a consistent stakeholder strategy.”

Management innovation

Henk Volberda on behalf of Oli MihalacheThe 2013 Dissertation Award went to Oli Mihalache for his dissertation entitled Stimulating Firm Innovativeness: Probing the interrelations between managerial and organizational determinants.

The jury said: “For mature economies, innovation is the key engine for growth. Unfortunately, the innovative process is still mostly a black box. At best, existing research has investigated the sources behind differences in the innovativeness of firms, industries and countries. Of course, although interesting, such research does not necessarily tell us much about how firms can become more innovative. It is exactly at this stage of the game where this thesis makes a great contribution. By focusing not only on product innovation, but also on management innovation, Mihalache has created a comprehensive and (pun intended) innovative piece of work.” As Mihalache was not able to attend the ceremony, his promoter Professor Henk Volberda received the award on his behalf.

Intelligent agents

Wolf KetterThe 2013 Top Article Award went to Wolf Ketter, Professor of Next Generation Information Systems at RSM and his co-authors for their article: Real-Time Tactical and Strategic Sales Management for Intelligent Agents Guided by Economic Regimes, published in Information Systems Research, December 2012. 

The jury said: “This paper is definitely the best among an impressive shortlist. Perhaps the best way to describe the impact of this paper is the explosion of ideas it creates after reading it. The paper is a fascinating combination of a number of different strands of literature: ecological economics, behavioural economics, industrial organisation and operations research, among others. The jury is impressed with the authors’ ability to present a framework that on the one hand captures the complexity of decision making to a large extent, and on the other hand stays tractable enough.”

Outstanding young researcher 

Patrick VerwijmerenThe 2013 Award for Outstanding Performance by a Young Researcher went to Patrick Verwijmeren, Professor of Corporate Finance at the Department of Business Economics of the Erasmus School of Economics. 

The jury said: “In terms of academic quality, Verwijmeren's achievement is truly outstanding and very impressive: 18 journal articles since obtaining his PhD in 2008, including 4 papers in ERIM P* journals in the period 2012-2013. This is an amazing performance for a young researcher and indicates very high academic quality. It becomes even more impressive, if we take the NWO Vidi grant and the Erasmus Research Excellence Initiative grant into account, which were awarded to him as well.  The issues Verwijmeren studies, such as the effectiveness of sanctions, the motivation for combining convertible bonds with stock repurchases, and the economic implications of international standards, are not only academically interesting but are also of substantial relevance in the real world.”

Material Handling Forum

Rene de KosterThe 2013 Award for the Impact on Management Practice went to René de Koster, Professor of Logistics and Operations Management at RSM, for the impact of his initiative and work with the Material Handling Forum.

The jury says: “The Material Handling Forum (MHF) aims at narrowing the gap between material handling research and practice, by promoting and disseminating academic knowledge, sharing innovative developments in material handling practice, generating research questions, and co-developing new research themes. The jury was very impressed by the initiatives and activities of the Material Handling Forum. Science at its best: not only solid research (condition sine qua non), but also a wide variety of reaching out activities to hook up with industries and workers. And using all available web-related means for this reaching out. In one word: top!”

Beadle honoured for outstanding service

Ton MolendijkThe 2013 Service Award went to Ton Molendijk, departing Head of the Erasmus University Academic Ceremonies Team. 

The jury said: “For many years Ton has impersonated, in his role as University Beadle, the cultural and ceremonial traditions of Erasmus University and transferred these values to so many PhD graduates, including more than 300 ERIM PhDs. Ton was also a business partner of ERIM in the development and optimisation of the business processes for the final stage of the PhD projects, including the development of the Hora Est information system, which we jointly initiated in the Netherlands. With this Service Award, ERIM wants to honour Ton for his career-long contribution to this very special form of research support. Ton has been an example for all of us and we invite you all to applaud him on this occasion.”