Through Research. Through Teaching.
I am an Assistant Professor of Change Management and Sustainability at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. Prior to joining the Innovation Management and Strategy Department at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Groningen, I completed my Ph.D. at Cornell University, USA and an MPhil in Strategy, Innovation, and Organization at Cambridge University, UK.
In my spare time, I enjoy rowing and anything wine related, having worked for a start-up winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa before pursuing an academic career.
to my personal website
In my work, I study how business organizations can successfully engage with sustainability challenges and proactively help solve societal problems. Visionary leaders and the organizations they manage can be an incredible force for social innovation.
The lessons I learn from my empirical research, I share in the classroom. I strive to equip my students with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful leaders in the organizations they join or found.
Most of the great challenges of our day, such as climate change, increasing inequality, and continued discrimination, are systemic in nature. They require institutional change to be addressed. In my research, I focus on the role business organizations and their members can play in affecting such institutional change.
In my first stream of research, I study how innovative ways of organizing for greater sustainability take hold and function. Many green technologies or socially beneficial innovations require changes in the way we organize to be successfully implemented. Increasingly, organizations such as social enterprises reject the traditional notion of business interests and sustainability as adversarial. They seek to generate multi-dimensional benefit for their constituents. I study how such potentially disruptive alternative organizing models emerge in established markets and how they can be successful.
In a second stream of research, I seek to understand roadblocks to sustainable change in major corporations. While more and more business organizations and decision makers within them commit to greater environmental and social performance, hindrances and opposition persist. I study the factors that can obstruct corporate sustainability transitions and their implications.
Management all too often involves complex problem situations, conditional answers thus tend to be the norm. Evidence based recommendations for effective management are highly context dependent. As such, important capabilities for students to develop are the ability to identify important context factors in a given situation and the ability to transfer learned concepts and frameworks.
Innovating and leading for greater organizational sustainability requires to be able to change a system from within. For students to become innovation leaders, they need keen analytical skills to understand existing structures and devise improved alternatives. They also need to be able to effectively communicate their ideas.
My teaching is directed at helping students develop these skills and the actionable management knowledge they need to succeed. To effectivly support students in reaching their learning objectives, I engage in continued professional development, honing my own teaching skills: course design and planning, creating an effective classroom experience, and assessing student learning to guide teaching.