Traditional organisational forms have become jaded. Therefore, people are searching for a new ‘paradigm’, a new way to organise societies, companies and other institutions (Balkenende, 2011). Topics such as sustainability, intercultural communication, corporate social responsibility, diversity, crowd sourcing, all suggest the need for a ‘paradigm shift’.
The professorship International Business, which started in February 2007, when Dr. Frank Jan de Graaf was installed as professor International Business, focuses on this paradigm shift and on network governance issues in particular; how do companies organise themselves in non-hierarchical relationships? The research is closely related to the challenges international companies face, especially those within the Northern European Region. A central question is: How can Northern European companies, especially SMEs, be more successful in global markets? This asks for new business models, methodologies, approaches and practices.
Research on the institutional, organisational and individual implications of network governance should contribute to the development of companies, help these companies dealing with their institutional environment and offering accurate tools, practices and academic skills to their (future) employees.
Applied Research embedded in a strong Research Culture
This requires applied research, which can only add value when it is embedded in a strong research culture. Expertise is made visible in publications (both academic and professional), consulting work and company projects within the curriculum. Thereby the research improves the curriculum of the International Business School and Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen.
For a further introduction to the professorship in 2007, see the introductory video.