dr. M.D. (Mirjam) Werner

Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Member ERIM
Affiliated since 2015

Mirjam Werner is Associate Professor in the Business-Society Management Department at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

In her research, she focuses on the processes by which people and organizations challenge the status quo and fight for a more equitable and sustainable world. She is particularly interested in the ways in which marginalized groups fight for inclusion and acceptance, by breaking societal taboos and challenging processes of stigmatization and exclusion. For instance, an important research stream within Mirjam’s current research agenda explores the detrimental impact of the taboo around menstruation, and the way in which social enterprises globally are changing the menstrual product industry.

The innovative and novel ways in which people and organizations go about this fight, how they make sense of their actions and what drives them, then, is core to Mirjam’s work. She explores these issues in the context of social entrepreneurship, social movements and political activism, and intra-organizational change. She has studied social enterprises such Yoni (menstrual products) and Fairphone (mobile phones), as well as global certification organization RA. She has also studied citizen initiatives in the energy sector and healthcare industry.

Other research projects in which she is involved focus on emotions in organizational settings, leadership loneliness, and the Belt and Road initative in China.

As an anthropologist, Mirjam is trained as an ethnographer and her research generally draws on an in-depth qualitative and interpretive approach. She also enjoys theoretical and conceptual work. Her research has been published in various top tier journals such as the Academy of Management Annals, Journal of Management Studies and Organization Studies.

Mirjam holds an MSc in cultural anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a PhD in political and social science from the University of Leeds, UK.

Research interests: framing and sensemaking, social entrepreneurship; taboo and stigma; social movements and political activism; organizational change, organizational identity and culture, and emotions

Topics: Menstruation taboo; stigma; gender (in)equity; citizen initiatives; sustainability


  • Academic (7)
    • Lam, H., Giessner, S. R., Shemla, M., & Werner, M. D. (2024). Leader and leadership loneliness: A review-based critique and path to future research. Leadership Quarterly, 35(3), Article 101780. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2024.101780

    • Werner, M. D., Punzi, M. C., & Turkenburg, A. J. K. (Accepted/In press). Period Power: Organizational Stigma, Multimodality, and Social Entrepreneurship in the Menstrual Products Industry. Journal of Management Studies, 61(5), 2137-2180. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12974

    • Jellema, S. F., Werner, M. D., Rasche, A., & Cornelissen, J. (2022). Questioning Impact: A Cross-Disciplinary Review of Certification Standards for Sustainability. Business and Society, 61(5), 1042-1082. https://doi.org/10.1177/00076503211056332

    • Cornelissen, J., Akemu, O., Jonkman, J., & Werner, M. (2021). Building Character: The Formation of a Hybrid Organizational Identity in a Social Enterprise. Journal of Management Studies, 58(5), 1294-1330. https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12640

    • Haslam, SA., Cornelissen, J., & Werner, M. (2017). Metatheories and metaphors of organizational identity: integrating social constructionist, social identity, and social actor perspectives within a social interactionist model. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(3), 318-336. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12150

    • Cornelissen, J., & Werner, M. (2014). Putting Framing in Perspective: A review of Framing and Frame Analysis across the Management and Organizational Literature. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), 181-235. https://doi.org/10.1080/19416520.2014.875669

    • Werner, M., & Cornelissen, J. (2014). Framing the Change: Switching and Blending Frames and their Role in Instigating Institutional Change. Organization Studies, 35(10), 1449-1472. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840614539314

  • Academic (4)
    • Punzi, M. C., & Werner, M. (2020). Challenging the Menstruation Taboo One Sale at a Time: The Role of Social Entrepreneurs in the Period Revolution. In C. Bobel, I. T. Winkler, B. Fahs, K. A. Hasson, E. A. Kissling, & T. A. Roberts (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies (pp. 833-851). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-0614-7_60

    • Werner, M. D., & Jellema, S. F. (2018). 'Becoming a co-operative?': Emergent identity and governance struggles in the context of institutional ambiguity in a citizen-led health-care cooperative. In Managing Hybrid Organizations: Governance, Professionalism and Regulation (pp. 243-265). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95486-8_12

    • Cornelissen, J., Haslam, SA., & Werner, M. (2016). Bridging and Integrating Meta-Theoretical Perspectives on organizational identity: A social Interactionist Model of Organizational Identity Development. In M. Pratt, M. Schultz, D. Ravasi, & B. Ashforth (Eds.), Handbook on Organizational Identity Oxford University Press.

    • Crawford, G., & Werner, M. (2014). Participatory Democracy Initiatives in Europe: An Overview and Comparison. In M. Rijal (Ed.), Participatory Democracy. Practices and Reflections (pp. 109-133). Institute for Governance and Development Action Aid Nepal Publications.

  • Role: Daily Supervisor
  • PhD Candidate: Ho Wa (Hodar) Lam
  • Time frame: 2016 - 2023
  • Role: Daily Supervisor
  • PhD Candidate: Chuqiao Zhou
  • Time frame: 2016 - 2023
  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Krijn Turkenburg
  • Time frame: 2016 -
  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Mana Saki
  • Time frame: 2022 -
  • Role: Co-promotor
  • PhD Candidate: Aurélie Sapa Furaha
  • Time frame: 2023 -


Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T11-41
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam