PhD candidate for the project 'Navigating strategic paradoxes'

PhD candidate for the project 'Navigating strategic paradoxes'

Published Deadline Location
17 Jan 15 Mar Amsterdam
Do you have a keen research orientation, are you strongly committed to research quality and productivity, do you proactively pursue educational innovation, and are you stimulating teamwork? Then please apply.

Job description

The Management & Organization department at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam invites applications for a PhD position with a research interest in strategic management and organization theory. we are looking for phd candidates to join our project on navigating strategic paradoxes.

Firms and their leaders increasingly face competing demands in their work. They need to exploit an existing business model, while exploring innovations; perform according to their shareholders financial goals, while meeting the social expectations of stakeholders; maintain a stable leadership, while being flexible in responding to sudden changes. Past research has suggested that leaders and organizations need to pursue one of these two sides. Increasingly, there is a new view in strategy that successful organizations need to pursue both demands simultaneously, seeking to leverage their synergistic potential. This view has been established as paradox theory – where two competing objectives can be understood as fundamentally interdependet. Business and academic stakeholders draw on paradox increasingly. However, until today, we lack the tools to implement, track, and evaluate the management of paradoxes.

As a PhD student, you will work closely with the members of the VU Knowledge Hub for Navigating (Strategic) Paradoxes. We collaborate with academic and business partners to deliver work that is rigorous and relevant.

The PhD position is a full-time position for a period of four years, during which the candidate will design and conduct research about tools for strategic paradoxes. In the first year, we expect the candidate to systematically review the existing literature on tools on competing demands, also for a better understanding of the main theories and schools of thought in this stream of research. In addition, the candidate will write a proposal that contains concrete research questions, potential hypotheses, and an overarching model that accommodates the empirical research to work on in the next three years. In the second year and the third year, the candidate will focus on data collection, data analysis, and discussing preliminary findings of the research. The candidate is expected to prepare the first drafts of empirical research papers to submit to conferences and journals from the second year onwards. In the fourth year, research will continue, and the candidate will write and submit her/his final PhD dissertation. During these four years, the PhD candidate will also follow PhD-level coursework and s/he will be expected to teach.

Your duties
  • Perform high-quality research
  • Teach courses at the bachelor level (e.g., the SBE International Business Administration and the SBE Bedrijfskunde programs) and supervise bachelor and master theses
  • Be committed to follow relevant PhD-level courses


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • MPhil-degree in Research in Management or
  • MSc degrees in Business Administration, Business Economics, Sociology, or related disciplines, with a keen research orientation and thorough qualitative or quantitative research skills.
  • enjoying scholarly teamwork and appreciate publishing in top journals

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially for one year. If there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

School of Business and Economics
We at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at VU Amsterdam bring together socially relevant teaching and research in the areas of business administration and economics. We focus on real-life issues that have a huge impact on society, economics and ecology: from robotics to big data, and from job market participation to change management.

Collaboration and cooperation, transparency and social responsibility are four keywords that embody our approach. Students, researchers and staff at SBE share real-world knowledge in order to devise solutions together to global economic and social challenges. In order to make a positive impact on the world, society and the lives of others.

Are you interested in joining SBE? You will work in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment with motivated colleagues dedicated to helping society make informed choices. SBE employs roughly 600 staff, with 7,250 students enrolled in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and 1,700 executive students.

The Department of Management & Organization
The Department of Management and Organization comprises a large, diverse group of micro and macro scholars who seek to combine research excellence with passion in teaching. The department has a strong research tradition, manifested in top tier publication records as well as in success in attracting external funding for research. The Department has a collaborative ethos with members actively working together on research and teaching projects. Our Department is highly diverse in terms of cultural backgrounds and we enjoy working in an international environment. We offer an active PhD program, Master programs in Entrepreneurship, Management Consulting, Human Resource Management, International Business, Leadership Change Management and Strategy & Organization and a broad range of courses in several Bachelor programs. The PhD candidate will enhance and contribute to the Department’s teaching and research activities and be member of the Strategic Management section. Members of the section publish in journals like Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Long Range Planning, International Journal of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, and Strategic Organization among others. For more information about the department and the strategic management research group, see our website: Management & Organization - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalization contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application.

Submitting a diploma is part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3595


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).