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The ultimate degree for business leaders

Part-time PhD programme in Business

The part-time PhD programme in Business is specifically designed to enable working professionals to conduct scientific research next to a fulltime working commitment.

Through the programme’s modular structure, you will develop the ‘know how’ and academic skills to conduct high-quality research, whilst step-by-step constructing your own papers, with support of the of your academic advisors. 

The part-time PhD programme is a four-year programme, of which each year consists of up to six training modules which guide you through the process of writing a scientific article. Throughout the four years (or more if necessary), you will typically develop four articles, which will form the body of your PhD thesis.

Each programme year has its own specific focus, but is always aimed at writing a scientific article, which will eventually be included as a chapter in the PhD dissertation. Throughout the process, the programme supports you in developing your methodological skills and academic writing capabilities, and in publishing research in international scientific journals.

The programme consists of three phases:

  • The first phase (1st year), is dedicated to 
    1. writing a systematic literature review paper on a topic of choice, and
    2. developing an academically valid research proposal, which will serve as the blue print for the empirical research in the second phase.
  • The second phase (2nd and 3rd year) is dedicated to conducting original, empirical research (qualitative or quantitative, or mixed methods).
  • The third phase (4th year and beyond), is dedicated to finalising the fourth research paper, and finalising the PhD dissertation in close  collaboration with the academic advisors.

More detailed information follows below.

The part-time PhD programme in Business supports doctoral research on numerous topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Business processes
  • Professional services
  • Career guidance
  • Coaching
  • Consultancy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Human Resource Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Marketing (limited capacity)
  • Organisational change
  • Strategy

If you would like to conduct your research on other topics, please contact the Programme Director Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova: 

Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova

Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova

Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova is a full-professor of Organisational Behaviour at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is Head of Department - Management & Organisation, and Head of Section - HRM/OB. 

Between 2009-2017, she served as a founding Director of Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). ABRI caters for doctoral education in management and organisation studies at VU. She also served as Director of Doctoral Education between 2009-2015. Since 2013, she is Director of the part-time PhD programme in Business Studies. Her research focuses on the link between careers and institutions. Topics:

  • Individual careers as a resource for innovation
  • Employees who take initiative to make changes
  • Nascent entrepreneurs who make their careers successful
  • Board members who define the future of their firms
View the profile of Svetlana Khapova
Svetlana Khapova

Dr. Maria Tims

Dr. Maria Tims

Maria Tims is associate professor at the department of Management and Organisation at the VU Amsterdam since 2014. Previously she worked as an assistant professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, where she obtained her PhD cum laude in 2013.

Her scientific and practical expertise lies in the areas of  employee proactivity and work design (at the individual and team level, such as self-organizing teams), and workforce analytics.

VENI research grant from NWO for research project "Looking for the “I” in teams while still functioning as a team: Individual job crafting and its relationships with individual, team, and organizational outcomes."  

View the profile of Maria Tims
Maria Tims

Dr. Evgenia I. Lysova

Dr. Evgenia I. Lysova

Dr. Evgenia Lysova is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at VU Amsterdam. She is Director of the VU Center for Meaningful Work at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

Dr. Lysova is an active member of the “International Consortium for the Cross-Cultural Study of Contemporary Careers” (5C). 

Her research primarily concerns calling, meaningful work, careers, and Corporate Social Responsibility. She is especially interested in understanding what enables employees to experience a sense of work meaningfulness in their careers, how individuals can pursue their meaningful careers in in a “healthy” manner in the long term and what role organisations play in supporting this process. 

Her work has been published in the international peer-reviewed journals such as Career Development International.

View the profile of Evgenia Lysova
Evgenia Lysova

Dr. Christopher Wickert

Dr. Christopher Wickert

Christopher Wickert is Associate Professor of Ethics & Sustainability in the Department of Management & Organisation at VU Amsterdam. His research examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate sustainability as well as the broader relationship between business and society by drawing on various strands of organisation and management theory. His further teaching activities include courses at the graduate and post-graduate/PhD level.

In his research, Christopher explores different patterns of corporate social responsibility implementation in globally integrated companies, paying particular attention to how firm size influences the way companies organise CSR. 

In 2019, he published a book "Corporate Social Responsibility (Elements in Business Strategy)", which provides a critical introduction to contemporary approaches to CSR.

View the profile of Christopher Wickert
Christopher Wickert

dr. Florian Zapkau

dr. Florian Zapkau

Dr. Florian Zapkau is the program director of the MBA in International Business. He is an Associate Professor of International Business with the School of Business and Economics of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Before, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. Florian obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Giessen, Germany. Prior to becoming a researcher, he co-founded a university startup firm. Florian has teaching experience on the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate and PhD level as well as in executive education. His main research interests are International Business, Entrepreneurship, and International Entrepreneurship.
Florian’s research appears in academic journals such as Journal of Management Studies (JMS), Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), or Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (ET&P). 

View the profile of Florian Zapkau
Florian Zapkau

Dr. Jost Sieweke

Dr. Jost Sieweke

Dr. Jost Sieweke is programme director of the Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose. He is an associate professor in the Department of Management & Organisation at the School of Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Jost received his PhD from the University of Duesseldorf (Germany) in 2012. He was a visiting scholar in Vancouver (Canada) at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University (2015), and Stockholm School of Economics (2016).

In his research, Jost focuses on human errors (e.g., error reporting, learning from errors), and individual and team performance (e.g., coordination in teams, team diversity, leader effectiveness). He worked in research projects on the internationalization of professional services firms and human errors in professional services firms.

View the profile of Jost Sieweke
Jost Sieweke

Prof. dr. Paul Jansen

Prof. dr. Paul Jansen

Paul Jansen (born 1954) is since 1992 Professor of Industrial Psychology at the School of Business and Economics, VU Amsterdam.

He worked for the Ministry of Inner Affairs, the Dutch Civil Service and from 1984 for the PTT, where he became Head of the Psycho­logical De­partment, amongst other functions. Since 1992 is Professor of Industrial Psychology. He teaches Industrial Psychology, Hu­man Resources Manage­ment and Research Methods in Business Administration. From 1995-2001 he was director of the Limperg Institute, the Interuniversity Institute for Research in Accountancy. From 1994-2001 Prof. Jansen was chairman of the Board of the NFMD. Paul Jansen is one of the founders of the 'HRM Network NL’. 

For his work in assessment centers, Paul was elected as an 'innovator of Netherlands’ industry for the nineties' by the Dutch management journal NEXT (November 1998).

View the profile of Paul Jansen
Paul Jansen

First Year

The first phase coincides with the first year of the programme during which you will give start to your PhD dissertation. During this first year, you will focus on developing a PhD proposal and writing a literature review on your chosen research topic. This will later become one of the chapters of your final dissertation. At the end of your first year, your work will be officially assessed by a scientific committee and you will receive precious recommendations for the next research phase

Timetable year 1, 2022

Module 1: January 19-21 

Module 1: February 16-18

Module 1: April 6-8

Module 1.4: June 1-3

Module 1.5: September 8-9

Module 1.6: November 4

In the first year of the programme, we focus on:

  • Writing a systematic literature review paper
  • Writing a PhD proposal
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Topic coaching
  • Academic writing
  • Construct clarity and conceptual blending
  • Research designs

Second and Third year

The second phase of the PhD programme in Business covers the consequent second and third years of the programme. During this period you will focus on conducting original research.

Additionally, depending on the topic of your dissertation, you can choose between dedicating a year on developing a quantitative research paper or a qualitative research paper. 

Once more, this second phase revolves around writing academic research papers.

Timetable year 2, 2022

Module 2.1: January 27-28

Module 2.2: March 23-25

Module 2.3: June 15-17 

Module 2.4: June 20-22 

Module 2.5: September 28-30

Module 2.6: November 24-25

In year 2, we focus on:

  • Conducting original research
  • Qualitative or quantitative research methods
  • Academic writing
  • Key perspectives in management and organisational theory

Fourth Year

Finally, the third phase coincides with the fourth year of the PhD programme in Business. This is dedicated to finalising your research papers and integrating your entire research work into a single PhD manuscript. During this final phase, you will work in close collaboration with your scientific supervisors. Upon the approval of your dissertation by the supervisors, the final decision is made by an international reading committee, composed of renowned international professors experts on the topic. 

Consequently, you will be able to present your research project publicly during a highly traditional and ceremonial academic defence at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Topics

  • Finalise your research
  • Integrate your research into a PhD manuscript
  • Present your research project publicly
  • Phase 1

    First Year

    The first phase coincides with the first year of the programme during which you will give start to your PhD dissertation. During this first year, you will focus on developing a PhD proposal and writing a literature review on your chosen research topic. This will later become one of the chapters of your final dissertation. At the end of your first year, your work will be officially assessed by a scientific committee and you will receive precious recommendations for the next research phase

    Timetable year 1, 2022

    Module 1: January 19-21 

    Module 1: February 16-18

    Module 1: April 6-8

    Module 1.4: June 1-3

    Module 1.5: September 8-9

    Module 1.6: November 4

    In the first year of the programme, we focus on:

    • Writing a systematic literature review paper
    • Writing a PhD proposal
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Topic coaching
    • Academic writing
    • Construct clarity and conceptual blending
    • Research designs
  • Phase 2

    Second and Third year

    The second phase of the PhD programme in Business covers the consequent second and third years of the programme. During this period you will focus on conducting original research.

    Additionally, depending on the topic of your dissertation, you can choose between dedicating a year on developing a quantitative research paper or a qualitative research paper. 

    Once more, this second phase revolves around writing academic research papers.

    Timetable year 2, 2022

    Module 2.1: January 27-28

    Module 2.2: March 23-25

    Module 2.3: June 15-17 

    Module 2.4: June 20-22 

    Module 2.5: September 28-30

    Module 2.6: November 24-25

    In year 2, we focus on:

    • Conducting original research
    • Qualitative or quantitative research methods
    • Academic writing
    • Key perspectives in management and organisational theory
  • Phase 3

    Fourth Year

    Finally, the third phase coincides with the fourth year of the PhD programme in Business. This is dedicated to finalising your research papers and integrating your entire research work into a single PhD manuscript. During this final phase, you will work in close collaboration with your scientific supervisors. Upon the approval of your dissertation by the supervisors, the final decision is made by an international reading committee, composed of renowned international professors experts on the topic. 

    Consequently, you will be able to present your research project publicly during a highly traditional and ceremonial academic defence at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Topics

    • Finalise your research
    • Integrate your research into a PhD manuscript
    • Present your research project publicly

We'd love to hear from you

Please contact the Programme Coordinator Niki Konijn for more information, or to schedule an individual meeting. For research-related questions, please contact the Programme Director Svetlana Khapova

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
School of Business and Economics Executive Education
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV AMSTERDAM

General questions?

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Contact

Niki Konijn
  • Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova
  • Head of Department, Department of Management & Organisation, Programme Director part-time PhD in Business
  • Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Head of Section HRM/OB
  • + 31 20 59 82414
  • s.n.khapova@vu.nl
Svetlana Khapova