On The Necessity and Scientific Challenges of Conducting Research into Strategic Value Creating Management Models



In his Farewell Lecture, referring to the statement “Nothing is as practical as good theory”, Professor Van Den Bosch elaborates on developing “good” Management Theory and its practical application to business and society. Management is likely to be the most valuable resource of goal-oriented organizations. However, nowadays in the media and in public debate the diminishing legitimacy of managers is coming under discussion. This raises the challenging question: are managers losing their societal legitimacy? If this is the case, the second question arises: how can a more solid theoretical foundation of Management contribute to new insights in terms of its role – as an alternative to the Market – as a coordinating mechanism for creating value for business and society?

Regarding both questions, the following four scientific challenges are addressed. First, the case is made that a managerial perspective on Research into Management is required. Second, taking a context-neutral approach in defining Management, it is proposed to focus on generic core activities of Management. Third, it is suggested that the creation of strategic value for society should be defined as the purpose of Management of organizations. Fourth, based on recent contributions to the literature, the importance for practice of strategic value creating Management Models are discussed, including a current application in the context of Shared Value Creation. Finally, the problems and challenges of changing the Management Model of an organization, i.e. Management Innovation, are highlighted.

The lecture is concluded with four recommendations. These recommendations are directed to scientists in the field of Research in Management, to Schools of Management, to the practice of Management, and to governmental and regulatory agencies. These agencies have to look after Management Models and their strategic value creation for society. In the context of the present financial and economic crisis, it is recommended these agencies have to consider correcting not only the “Invisible Hand” of the Market, but also paying due attention to its close connection with the “Visible Hand” of Management.

About Prof. Dr. Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch

Prof. Dr. Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch was (until April 2012) a full Professor of Management of Interfaces between Organizations and Environments in the Department of Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. After his retirement he maintained a part-time appointment in the School.  He was chairman of the Department (1990-2002), of the School´s PhD Committee (1990-1999), of the Schools Promotion and Tenure Committee (2002-2007) and, from 2005-2011, of the Program Advisory Board of the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). His major research interests are in the development of managerial theories of the firm and in topics such as strategic renewal processes, management innovation and corporate governance. He has published several books and over 175 articles in scientific journals, including chapters in books. Journals in which his scientific papers have appeared include Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Management Science, Organization Science and Organization Studies; he is a board member of several major scientific journals. He has supervised over 33 PhD theses. In 1993, on behalf of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, he acted as honorary promotor of Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. Van Den Bosch has been actively involved in the business community and the public sector, e.g. as vice-chairman of the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce, member of the City Council of Rotterdam, advisor of a Dutch trade union association and as chairman of the Board of Non-executive Directors of Dutch companies. At present his main activities concern research, PhD supervision, teaching and executive education.

The Symposium on “Management Innovation: Rigor and Managerial Relevance” will take place preceding the Farewell Address of Prof. Dr. Frans A.J. Van den Bosch.

Contact information:
Marianne Schouten