Managing New Ways of Working: Insights from Research and Practice



In recent years, many Dutch organizations have embraced New Ways of Working (Het Nieuwe Werken). During this time, its supposed benefits –such as higher performance, increased agility, and sustainability– were largely unopposed. However, bans on teleworking programs (Yahoo) and results-only work environments (Best Buy) that took the media by storm earlier this year have challenged the efficacy of such new working practices, and question their importance in the near future. A seminar and panel discussion at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) aim to address these developments and questions by presenting the latest knowledge in research and practice regarding new ways of working.

Keynote speaker for this event is Susan Halford, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Work Futures Research Centre at the University of Southampton (UK). Her research interests focus on everyday work and organization, particularly in the context of social and organizational change. Susan’s most recent and current projects have concentrated more specifically on new information and communication technologies at work.

In addition, Sipko Mülder (MEB) and Jan Dirk Hoogendoorn (Finext) will present two inspiring cases as champions of organizations that are considered frontrunners in new ways of working in the public and private sector. The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) was awarded the title ‘Government Organization 2.0 of the Year’ in 2011, and Finext was one of the first Dutch organizations to execute a ‘Professional Buy Out’ in 2011.

Preliminary Programme

13:30-13:45  Welcome + Introduction Erasmus@Work
Eric van Heck
Professor of Information Management and Markets, RSM
13:45-14:30 Hybrid Workspace
Susan Halford
Professor of Sociology, University of Southampton (UK)
14:30-15:00  Out of Sight, Out of Control?
Peter van BaalenNick van der Meulen
Associate Professor Information Management, RSM & PhD Candidate, RSM
15:00-15:30 BREAK
15:30-16:00  The Benefit/Risk Tradeoff in a New Way of Working
Sipko Mülder
Manager Pharmacotherapeutic Group, MEB
16:00-16:30 The Newest Way of Working
Jan Dirk Hoogendoorn
Specialist in Project Control, Finext
16:30-17:15 Panel discussion on Managing New Ways of Working
Moderated by Eric van Heck
17:15-17:30 Reflections and Directions for the Future
17:30-18:30 Closure and Drinks

Susan Halford
is a Professor in Sociology and Director of the Work Futures Research Centre at the University of Southampton (UK). She studied Geography and Urban Studies at Sussex University where she was also awarded a PhD in 1991. Professor Halford teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Cyberlives? New Technologies and Social Change, and The Philosophy and Methods of Social Research. In 2005, she coined the term ‘Hybrid Workspace,’ arguing that spatial hybridity changes the nature of work, organization and management in domestic space, cyberspace, and in organizational space. Her research has been published in top sociology and management journals, including Organization Studies, Sociology, and New Technology, Work, and Employment.

Sipko Mülder is manager at the Dutch Medicines Evaluations Board (MEB). The MEB assesses and monitors the efficacy, risks, and quality of human and veterinary medicinal products. It also assesses the safety of novel foods for human consumption. In 2011 the MEB was awarded the title ‘Government Organization 2.0 of the Year:’ an award that is given in recognition of exceptional and inspirational use of web 2.0 opportunities by public organizations. The MEB’s comprehensive approach regarding the implementation of a New Way of Working is considered exemplary for the public sector.

Jan Dirk Hoogendoorn is a specialist in project control at Finext –an organization that specializes in visibly improving finance. Sometimes referred to as the Dutch Semco, Finext has an innovative organizational model where trust, transparency and communication are considered key elements. Focused on self-organization, Finext has no official job functions, managers, or any type of supporting departments. The organization was one of the first Dutch organizations to execute a ‘Professional Buy Out’ in 2011, transferring the company’s ownership to its ±150 professionals.

Eric van Heck is a Professor in Information Management and Markets at the department of Decision and Information Sciences at RSM. He teaches and conducts research into the strategic and operational use of information technologies for companies and markets. Professor van Heck is the co-author and co-editor of fourteen books, including the well received Making Markets (Harvard Business School Press, 2002) and Smart Business Networks (Springer, 2005). His articles have appeared in top academic and practitioner-oriented journals.

Peter van Baalen is Associate Professor of Information Management at RSM. He is head of the department of Decision and Information Sciences and Academic Director of the Centre of E-Learning and Knowledge Management at RSM. His research focuses on online knowledge sharing, network coordination, IT adoption and implementation, digital platforms, online communities, new media, management education, e-learning, and New Ways of Working. Peter van Baalen has published eight books and more than 100 articles in national and international journals, including Decision Support Systems, The European Journal of Information Systems, and Organizational Change Management, in addition to numerous book chapters.

Nick van der Meulen is an ERIM doctoral candidate at the department of Decision and Information Sciences at RSM. He holds a BSc in Business Administration and an MSc in Business Information Management, both from Erasmus University Rotterdam. In close collaboration with partner companies of Erasmus@Work, Nick conducts research on the impact of new work practices on knowledge worker performance.