PhD Management Control, Organizational Learning and Big Data in Auditing Firms

PhD Management Control, Organizational Learning and Big Data in Auditing Firms

Published Deadline Location
31 Jan 3 Mar Groningen

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Job description

This PhD position is sponsored by the Foundation for Auditing Research (FAR) in The Netherlands and co-sponsored by the Faculty of Economics & Business of the University of Groningen. FAR will make it possible for the PhD candidate to work closely with Dutch auditing firms. For this broadly defined project, we seek students interested in topics such as management control, strategy, and big data, who would like to do their research in the context of auditing firms.

About the project
Many organisations have competing goals and this is particularly true in auditing firms where an inherent tension exists between commercial and professional objectives. In contemporary auditing firms, the conflict between these objectives has been found to manifest in different forms such as cost/quality trade-offs and objective/cooperative relationships with auditees. More recently, firms are confronted with tensions arising from advances in technology and choices of investment in various big data projects with different levels of risk and innovative potential.

This PhD project therefore seeks to provide insights into the role of management control systems in managing conflicting goals that impact on audit quality. The project may address questions such as: How are control systems used in audit firms to balance objectives? How do different control configurations impact on auditor behaviour? How do control systems support ambidexterity in the context of different innovative projects on big data and advanced analytics in audit firms?


University of Groningen


We are looking for applicants with a Master of Science degree. Research oriented students with a background in accounting/auditing, business administration, or strategy and organizational behaviour are invited to apply.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a gross monthly starting salary of € 2,325 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2,972 in the fourth year. Based on the gross salary you will receive an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % end of year bonus in December. The full-time appointment is temporary for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year.

An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

Starting date: 1 September 2019.

For more general information, please send an email to:

How to apply
You may apply for this position until 3 March 23:59h / before 4 March 2019 European Central Time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The application package consists of the following separate documents:
1. Your cv
2. A motivation letter (1 A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max)
3. A scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. Proof of English proficiency
5. Other relevant documents.

The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


Faculty of Economics and Business

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

SOM, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has available a PhD position in the field of Management Control, Organizational Learning and Big Data in Auditing Firms.


  • PhD positions
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • max. €2972 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 219052


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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