In progress PhD project in Value Based Organising



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 subprogramme of ERIM 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 a more (pro)active manner. 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, sustainable development, reputation, business ethics, philanthropy, social enterprise and partnerships. The research methods we use vary from qualitative interview techniques to survey and laboratory research.

For this recruitment round we focus on research about “behavioral ethics” (see below, “topic”, for a description). This means that we look primarily for candidates with a background suitable to, or a strong willingness to learn conducting this type of research. However, we are also very much interested in outstanding candidates with an interest in other topics in the field of Value Based Organizing.


Behavioral Ethics, Business Ethics, Ethical Leadership, Sustainability, Sustainable Management

Time frame

2017 - 2021


Building ethical organizations: How organizations shape the (un)ethical behaviors of their members

The past few decades have revealed a number of corporate scandals, such as at Enron, Lehman Brothers, and Volkswagen. In response, researchers in management, psychology, and economics have become increasingly interested in understanding what makes employees and managers behave in ways that are commonly viewed as ethical (e.g., being truthful, helping others) or unethical (e.g., stealing, lying). The ultimate aim of this research is to help organization members act in more ethical ways. Scholars agree that to understand (un)ethical behavior in organizational settings, it is important to consider the influence of the organization’s internal and external environment (e.g., leadership styles, the organization’s ethical climate, and market conditions). Unfortunately, there is at present no integrated understanding of how the internal and external environment shape relevant psychological processes and influence their expression in (un)ethical behavior over time. The aims of the proposed project are (1) to develop a model that explains Contextual Influences on the Psychological underpinnings of (Un)ethical Behavior in organizations (CIPUB), and (2) to test CIPUB. Contextual factors are theorized to influence, first, which specific moral intuition is applied and to whom; subsequently, the specific moral intuitions that are developed and, finally, the manifestation of intuitive (and deliberative) psychological processes in behavior. CIPUB conceptualizes contextual factors also as influencing the expression of intuitions in (un)ethical behavior.

CIPUB cannot be tested with traditional survey studies. It will be tested with Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM). ESM involves measuring daily experiences and behaviors in the work context, and testing how stable contextual conditions influence the unfolding of these experiences and behaviors in time. These ESM studies will be accompanied by laboratory experiments that can be used to arrive at conclusions high in internal validity.

The proposed supervisor for this project is professor Marius van Dijke (promotor and daily supervisor), in cooperation with professor Muel Kaptein (promotor) and dr. Niek Hoogervorst (co-promotor).

For further information, contact Marius van Dijke,

Supervisory Team

Marius van Dijke
Endowed Professor in Behavioral Ethics
  • Promotor
  • Daily Supervisor
Joep Cornelissen
Professor of Corporate Communication and Management
  • Promotor
Muel Kaptein
Professor of Business Ethics and Integrity Management
  • Promotor
Lucas Meijs
Professor of Volunteering, Civil Society and Businesses and Professor of Strategic Philanthropy
  • Promotor
Rob van Tulder
Professor of International Business-Society Management
  • Promotor
Niek Hoogervorst
Niek Hoogervorst
  • Copromotor