Exploring issues from the micro to the macro level of analysis, the focus of ERIM’s internationally recognised Organisation programme is on the development and testing of fundamental theory in the area of applied organisational research.

Taking the perspective that people shape the internal organisation of companies, help define the relationships organisations have with their stakeholders and society at large, and are crucial to successful, ethical, and sustainable organisational performance, these aspects are at the very heart of the Organisation programme’s activities, which takes a behavioural approach towards most research questions.

Excellence in research

ERIM has a clear mission to achieve academic excellence in all of its research output while at the same time ensuring it builds on the dual pillars of societal relevance and meaningful impact.

The excellence and standing of ERIM’s Organisation programme is recognised by the international academic community as evidenced through the editorships and positions of its faculty members on the editorial boards of leading academic journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

While the Organisation programme’s research capacity and output is consolidated into two areas, there is much scope and potential for talented individuals wishing to pursue alternative research questions and methodologies. The two core areas are:

Organisational Behaviour

Key issues in the area of Organisational Behaviour centre around the effective management of every organisation’s greatest asset – its people. Focal points include the motivation and development of employees, the realisation and value of synergies within and between teams, as well as how organisations can maximise the potential of employees for creativity and innovation.

Find out more: Organisational Behaviour

Value-Based Organising

The activities of the Value-Based Organising (VBO) group have positioned ERIM among the academic world leaders in sustainability. The group’s research priorities include how economic organisations interact with institutional, societal and natural environments. In turn, research in these areas explores factors such as the conditions under which organisations can engage in shared value creation, and how, rather than contributing to society’s problems, organisations can be part of the solution.

Find out more: Value-Based Organising

Societal relevance and impact

Members of ERIM’s Organisation programme are actively engaged in commissioned, practice-oriented research projects with strong societal relevance in which findings from fundamental research are applied in practical settings. A priority for researchers is the transfer of academic knowledge to practice, which is achieved through multiple channels.

ERIM’s Organisation programme has a strong and impactful publication record in areas such as ethics, non-profit management and volunteers, philanthropy, leadership relating to sustainability and ethical concerns, regulation and firm strategies geared to managing the transition towards sustainability, and stakeholder dialogues.

Emphasising ERIM’s strengths in practical valorisation, several senior faculty members within the Organisation group have established research initiatives and centres of excellence, some attracting substantial external funding, and which build bridges between science and society.

These centres of excellence include (more information about the societal relevance and social impact of each centre can be found by clicking on the appropriate link):

Areas of focus include understanding how leadership can bring out the best in people (as well as where leadership can go wrong) and the critical importance that effective leadership plays in helping organisations to functioning successfully.

Find out more: Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies

A virtual flexible learning network of professionals, academics and practitioners from around the world, the centre’s focus is on enhancing scientific knowledge about cross sector partnerships, and strengthening partnership practice as a result.

Find out more: The Partnerships Resource Centre

Advancing the study of the new field of behavioural ethics, the centre advocates that in addition to a prescriptive approach in which a moral principle is communicated and evaluated, a behavioural (descriptive) approach is also needed which examines how individuals make actual decisions and engage in real actions when they are faced with ethical dilemmas.

Find out more: Erasmus Centre of Behavioural Ethics

In acknowledgment of ERIM’s success in achieving societal relevance and meaningful impact, the faculty research section of the biennial “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” survey (2012) – the leading benchmark on the sustainability orientation of leading business schools – ranks Erasmus University Rotterdam in second place globally.

Research Initiatives ORG

  • Behavioural Ethics
  • China Business
  • Cooperatives
  • Eco-Transformation
  • Human Resource Excellence
  • Leadership


ERIM takes great pride in developing a collaborative and highly professional working environment where researchers share common goals and strive together to achieve impactful research that reaches the highest academic standards.