Post-doc on Meaning and decision making of managers in Smart Industry; NWO-funded project ‘Smart skills @ Scale’

Post-doc on Meaning and decision making of managers in Smart Industry; NWO-funded project ‘Smart skills @ Scale’

Published Deadline Location
27 Mar 5 May Enschede

Job description

The Dutch industry needs a skilled workforce to keep up with and contribute to digital and green transitions. Currently, implementing new technology is often seen as complex, as this also affects the production processes and way of working. This might result in managers either jumping to solutions (without fully understanding the implications) or postponing or refraining from engaging in the development of their business. Managers and entrepreneurs therefore need to become action-intelligent and co-design with their production workers production systems for worker-technology symbiosis.

To support managers in their decision making around Smart Industry, we need to gain insight into how managers make meaning of the Industry 5.0 transition, what subsequent decisions are made and how these processes can be optimised. This allows managers to create and implement more successful strategies for their own organisation’s development alongside core values such as human-centricity, sustainability, and resilience and, in this way, provide the foundation for developing Smart production systems

As a Post-doc researcher in this project, your job is to
  • Design and conduct longitudinal qualitative case studies to better understand how managers make meaning of the Industry 5.0 transition, and how this influences their decision making.
  • Design and conduct interventions to support managers’ meaning- and decision-making processes to facilitate more successful organizational change.
  • Work independently on your own research, while remaining in close relation with other researchers in the project team as well as with stakeholders and professionals of the involved learning communities.
  • Report and present your findings for both scientific and non-scientific audiences (e.g., at scientific conferences, in journal publications, or during workshops with practitioners).

The post-doc position is funded by NWO and is part of the project Smart Skills@Scale.

The Dutch industry needs a skilled workforce to keep up with and contribute to digital and green transitions. However, finding qualified employees is challenging, and skills quickly become outdated due to fast-developing technologies (AI, VR, robots). Currently, most Smart Industry companies lack human capital and knowledge to achieve their maximum potential.

Smart Skills@Scale connects 5 universities, 3 universities of applied sciences, eleven Smart Industry communities, 450 SMEs, and several social partners and educational partners in an eight-year program to realize a major breakthrough aimed towards creating a sustainably employable workforce. We stimulate the development of human-centric production systems, smart workplaces, jobs and careers, and (regional) partnerships. With this integrated approach, we want to empower production employees and organizations to achieve a human-centric, resilient, and sustainable Smart Industry sector. The program started at the beginning of 2024 with a new team of three PhD-students, three post-doc researchers, four senior researchers and their supervisors. We now invite a new researchers to join our team and to work on the role of managerial meaning making and decision making.


University of Twente (UT)


You hold your PhD (or are close to completion) in Organization Studies, Organizational Sociology, Educational Science,(Work & Organizational) Psychology, or a related field. In addition, you:
  • have expertise or demonstrable interest in meaning making processes, decision making and organizational change;
  • have strong methodological knowledge (qualitative; process research);
  • have experience with field research and longitudinal designs;
  • have an interest in the challenges related to industry 5.0, with a focus on human capital rather than technical matters;
  • have good social and communication skills in academic as well as non-academic contexts;
  • are fluent in English and able to understand and communicate in Dutch (data collection will be in Dutch);
  • have excellent writing skills;
  • are willing and have proven ability to work independently, but also to collaborate with a team and relevant stakeholders.

Conditions of employment

  • A 4-year post-doc position (1,0 fte), starting in between October 2024 and January 2025.
  • The gross salary is in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) € 3.226,- to € 5.090,- per month for a fulltime position, depending on experience.
  • On top of this, you receive a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs;
  • a secondary remuneration package;
  • a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • an organization focusing on internationalization;
  • a high degree of responsibility and independence.


Researchers in our section study formal and informal learning of (future) employees, including the use of technology to measure and support professional learning. More broadly, we also study professional learning in relation to the collaboration and innovation processes of professionals, particularly so in multidisciplinary settings and new forms of organizing (such as learning communities or living labs). Our studies often take place in the high-tech, health, and educational sectors with the intention to understand, evaluate, and optimize (inter)professional and (inter)organizational learning, collaboration, and innovation in these various contexts. Increasingly, the settings we study revolve around grand challenges and wicked problems, such as the transitions to green energy and circularity or matters of digital transformation. To contribute to these challenges, we also design and evaluate (technology-based) interventions to optimize professional learning, innovation, and collaboration. In our research group, we combine expertise from a range of disciplines (e.g., educational sciences, psychology, business administration, organization studies, communication science).

Additional information

Your application should include the following documents:
  • a cover letter (in English or Dutch) which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a copy of your PhD-thesis or, if it is not yet available, an outline and summary of your thesis and one of your scientific papers.

Applications should be uploaded via (click twice to find vacancy). Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is May 5th. The first round of interviews will be held on May 17th, the second round on May 31st. The starting date for the position is flexible, but ideally between October 2024 and January 2025.

For additional information about this position, or to receive the full text of the research proposal funded by NWO, you can contact dr. Mireille Post (; +31534891115).

More information about the department of Professional Learning & Technology can be found on the following website.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • 28—40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1725


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 5 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).