A.M. (Anke) Murillo Oosterwijk MSc

Anke Murillo Oosterwijk
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Finance & Accounting
Affiliated since 2013

PhD Track The Neuroscience of Decision-­‐making under Accountability

Accountability, being called to account for one’s actions, is a constitutive element of human organization. However, the usefulness of accountability has recently become a topic of debate because the effect of accountability on individual decision­‐making is not well understood. While many accountability interventions seemingly succeed in enhancing motivation and rationality, less desirable effects may include mindless conformity, enhanced stress, conservatism, stifling of learning and creativity, shortsightedness, tunnel­‐vision and means­‐end inversion. Theorists within and between different fields often generate their own definition, conceptualizations and frameworks for studying accountability making accountability seem like an ever­‐expanding concept. Therefore, we argue that a more fundamental approach to accountability effects is a timely endeavor. In a review paper, we aim to discuss the missing link between the current literature on accountability (in managerial and psychological science) and the relevant neuroscientific knowledge. For the purpose of this proposal we discuss the conceptual confusion that exists in the accountability literature and propose a working definition of accountability. Next, we propose research ideas for two empirical studies that will help us in mapping the brain mechanisms involved in decision­‐making under accountability. The aim of the first empirical study is to investigate whether accountability changes cooperative attitudes in joint stag­‐hunt decisions and, if so, identify the cerebral mechanisms that are involved. The aim of the second empirical study is to investigate whether, and if so how, accountability changes the modus operandi of decision strategies, e.g. the pruning of decision­‐trees. We conclude by recapitulating the scientific and managerial relevance of a fundamental approach to accountability and finish with the planned time schedule and research collaborations for this PhD project.


Accountability, neuroscience, cooperation, decision-­‐tree, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
Time frame
2013 -


Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building , FLEX
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

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Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam