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Research at ABRI

ABRI Research connects several research area's with research departments and centres in the VU School of of Business and Economics.

ABRI views business as the context in which organisations (as key entities) interact and interplay providing bases for economic growth. In this context, ABRI’s research tracks focus on:

  • Inter-connections between organisations and their key members.
  • Implications of the inter-connected business environment for organisational and business practices.

Cooperation ABRI & VU Research Centers

ABRI works with all research centers within VU School of Business and Education.

View all VU Research Centers here.

ABRI Research Tracks

  • Accounting & Financial Management

    Accounting

    In today's business arena the need for transparency and involvement of all stakeholders requires organisations to develop and improve their accounting and financial reporting practices. In this track we focus on explaining choices made by organisations in the design of their internal and external reporting systems. In this context keywords are financial reporting, corporate reporting information, accounting information, strategic alliances, and value auditing. The track consists of three sub-programmes: Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, and Auditing. Due to the wide variety in subjects, in our research we apply extensive and diverse research methods such as case studies, archival studies, longitudinal data analyses, surveys, and (semi-) controlled experiments.

    Keywords: financial reporting; corporate reporting information; accounting information; strategic alliances; value auditing.

    Financial Management

    Despite the progress researchers make in the field of Corporate Finance Research still a lot of issues remain unresolved. A combined effort is needed in theory, empirics and practical insight in the profession of Corporate Finance. In this research track we attempt to understand the practice corporate finance decisions by relating them with asset quality financial market conditions and corporate governance quality. A crucial step in this research is an understanding of the (micro) economics of corporate security pricing. First how to measure corporate risk and second how to price them. More specific, we focus on corporate credit risk, measurement of asset quality in relation with corporate finance decisions, (use and misuse) of corporate information in financial markets and the impact of corporate governance on corporate financial performance.

    Keywords: corporate credit risk; financial performance; corporate governance. 

  • Digital Innovation & Transformation

    We are organization scholars who study the development of digital innovations and the intended and unintended consequences of the use of digital technologies in organizations. We do this by looking beyond the hypes and by actively engaging with organizational professionals who are managing, developing and using these new technologies. There are few, if any, places in the world where you can find state-of-the art expertise encompassing the wide field of Digital Innovation, ranging from the development of smart technologies in ecosystems, to changing work practices under influence of AI, from crowdsourcing through online platforms to the changing role of the IT organization. This is what makes the KIN Center for Digital Innovation a unique place in the world.

    Changing work and organizations in the digital age 

    In this theme, we study the future of work in light of digital technologies. When digital technologies such as AI, robotics or smart devices are used we see new ways of working and new ways of organizing emerge. This has consequences for how people learn, collaborate and coordinate their work. Professions are changing, new practices and roles emerge and organizations also adapt in ways that are difficult to predict.

    Topics we study are for instance:

    • How does the use of digital technologies in daily work practices change professions and the organization of work (e.g. AI, HR analytics, robotics)?
    • New ways of working, mobile work and ubiquitous workplace and human capital development.
    • New ways of organizing and managing expertise (e.g. using online marketplaces).

    With our research, we contribute to a more resilient future of work and a human-centric digital economy.

    Organizing for Digital Innovation 

    In this theme, we study collaboration for the development of digital innovations. Innovation processes change when the focus shifts to digital products and services. The development of digital innovations can be faster, will be more open-ended, distributed across boundaries, centered around platforms, and leading to disruption and convergence of industries. New forms of collaboration are also enabled by digital technologies.

    Topics we study include:

    • Collaborative innovation around technology platforms and in innovation ecosystems.
    • Collaboration enabled by digital technology, such as in crowdsourcing or 3D printing communities.
    • Changing nature of innovation processes for digital products and services, thriving on experimentation, learning, and generativity.

    With our research, we contribute to organizations that effectively collaborate to create value with and through digital technologies.

    Managing Digital Transformation 

    In this theme, we focus on the implications of digital transformation for organizations’ IT and data management. Digital innovation leads to new technologies, applications, and processes that need to be embedded in the organizational architecture and policies. Such innovation may also completely transform the organization’s business model, for instance, to create value from (big) data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. As innovation becomes increasingly digital, this also affects the role of those traditionally involved in the development, implementation, and maintenance of technologies: the role of IT- and data management itself changes.

    Topics we study include:

    • Data-driven business innovation: how organizations can create value from (big) data, analytics and artificial intelligence,
    • Managing IT complexity: integrating new digital technologies, managing legacy systems, managing data quality, business-IT alignment.
    • The changing role of the IT organization: from service provider to innovation partner, organizing for bimodal IT, managing Agile software development, managing business intelligence and analytics.

    With our research we contribute to organizations’ ability and capability to manage, and optimally benefit from, the implications of digital innovation.

  • Marketing

    The research of the Marketing track covers all three subdisciplines within the field of marketing (consumer behavior, marketing strategy, and marketing modeling). The research is characterized by a strong emphasis on relevance for business and society, and is centered around social marketing (e.g., health, sustainability, public policy). These topics are investigated from different perspectives, often bridging the three sub disciplines, for instance by applying behavioral theories to strategic issues or by combining experimental data with modeling approaches. In recent years, the marketing group has invested highly in its research program. The focus on research has led to an increasing number of international publications in journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Management Science, and Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes.

    Consumer Behavior

    Marketing starts with a solid understanding of consumers. How do consumers gather and process information about products and services? How do they evaluate and choose products? How and when do they share their experiences with other consumers?  Faculty members with backgrounds in psychology and marketing study these questions. Shared interests include identity-related aspects of consumer behavior, social interactions among consumers, and the cognitive and affective influences of product (packaging) design and marketing communications.

    Marketing Strategy

    Research in this area aims to achieve an understanding of how organizations can develop superior customer value in markets characterized by dynamic exchange relationships. Firms' long term competitive advantage is highly dependent upon their capability to successfully develop and market innovative value propositions (products and services). Innovation plays an important role in providing superior value to customers. Faculty in our Department investigate innovation from individual and company perspectives, studying adoption (and resistance) of innovations, as well as the capabilities needed to successfully develop and market innovations.

    Marketing Modeling

    Several faculty members engage in research aimed at developing methods that enable organizations to more effectively understand their markets in the increasingly dynamic international context and that enable these organizations to make better decisions. Within this group, two more specific areas of interest can be distinguished. The first is the construction of econometric models that help understand market drivers, and allows managers to predict market developments and understand the impact of their decisions on sales and other indicators of company performance. The second is developing and improving methods for (cross-cultural) market research by means of surveys and other instruments.  This is achieved by developing and adapting measures for international contexts, and by developing statistical tools for analyzing these data.

  • Organisational Behaviour

    ABRI's Human Resource Management & Organizational Behavior track is focused on producing high impact research that is internationally excellent and serves to create knowledge that enables organisations, teams, and individuals to understand and proactively lead the current developments in employment relations, careers and meaningful work, work design, leadership, talent management, and diversity. We share a business-relevant research strategy that crosses disciplinary boundaries and utilises innovative methodologies (including survey research, experimental field studies, and qualitative research approaches). Our combined skills and interests allow us to unpack the complex patterns of influence present in society and organisations. 

    We address research on organisational behaviour from the following five key perspectives:

    Careers and meaningful work

    Environmental and societal changes, such as increased globalisation, technological advancements, workforce diversity, and temporary employment contracts have created significant changes in how individuals enact and manage their work and career. These changes call for a conversation on the topic and the development of research-based solutions that can enable employees’ experiences of meaningful work and careers in organisations. Our research interests concern topics as the sources of meaningful work and its consequences for individuals and organisations, proactive careers, changing employer-employee relationships, school-to-work transitions, and employability.

    The future of work design

    Job crafting allows individual workers to initiate changes in their job design such that the job fits the employee throughout the career. We study job crafting from a contemporary perspective, by focusing on the effects of non-traditional employment arrangements (e.g., fixed-contracts, self-employment, and temporary agency work) on motivation, proactive work behaviours, work engagement, employability, and career development. In our studies, we adopt a multilevel perspective, for example, by studying topics related to interpersonal dynamics in teams.

    Leadership and organizational change 

    Successful change is one of largest problems that modern organisations face. Leaders play a key role in optimising organisational change, fostering social cohesion among individual workers, and fuelling growth for a wide range of individuals. We study questions related to leadership and change management and the cognitive and contextual antecedents of constructive and destructive leadership. We offer organisational practitioners theoretical and practical insights into how they can maximise their leaders’ potential.

    Talent management

    Organizations benefit from talent that powers their businesses, especially in roles that would otherwise remain unfilled. Recruitment, selection, and talent management therefore comprise essential levers for a sustainable future of work. Our research focuses on the assessment and identification of talent, and we study topics such as test development, impression management tactics, and talent management programs. At a more general level, we examine the effects of HR practices on employee and organisational outcomes.

    Diversity management and inclusion

    Labour forces have become increasingly diverse. Therefore, we need a future in which a range of options open up for the many, not just for the few. Our main research activities deal with age, gender, and ethnic diversity in job transitions. Specifically, we focus on the impact of implicit biases and normative beliefs on career systems, patterns, and outcomes. Our research also explores gendered distribution of social and psychological resources at work. Our research projects help build the evidence base and provide managerial implications in terms of HR practices for dealing with problems related to diversity and inclusion.

  • Strategy & Entrepreneurship

    The research group undertakes research at the crossroad of the domains of strategy, organisation, and entrepreneurship and its mission is to contribute to scientific knowledge on the emerging field of strategic entrepreneurship in general, with a particular focus on alliances, networks and organisational processes to realise innovative opportunities. In the research track, we attempt to explain the origins, antecedents, nature, and consequences of entrepreneurial and innovative efforts and their outcomes in terms of performance and innovation. We use the strategic entrepreneurship lens to analyse the outcomes of strategic entrepreneurship activities, which means that we integrate theories related to the search for entrepreneurial opportunities with those focusing on the actions aimed at seeking strategic advantage.

    Keywords: mergers; alliances; acquisition; performance; innovation.

  • Operations Analytics

    Scholars at the Operations Analytics track at ABRI study how data can be transformed into better decisions for a variety of processes and operations. Research efforts are aimed at analyzing data-driven decision-making problems arising in industry and society, in particular related to Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Sustainability and Networks. By examining the mathematical structure and properties of these decision-making problems and by developing novel data analysis and optimization methods, the department offers academic and practical insights on how to tackle contemporary challenges.

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For general enquiries about ABRI courses, registrations and general questions, please contact

For enquiries about ABRI PhD positions, please contact Ina Putter

Contact

Philipp Tuertscher
  • Dr. Maria Tims
  • Associate Professor
  • Director Doctoral Education ABRI
  • m.tims@vu.nl
Maria Tims