04 November 2019

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Johan Bruneel, tel.: +32 56 24 60 34, mail: or dr. Frédéric Dufays, tel.: +32 16 37 30 52, mail:

You can apply for this PhD position no later than November 30, 2019. You can apply through our online job application, requiring a motivation letter, resume (including detailed study results), at least one reference that we may contact (e.g. thesis supervisor) and a one-page summary of your master's thesis.

You can apply for this job no later than November 30, 2019 via the online application toolKU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

Apply before 30 November 2019

The present doctoral research will be conducted under the supervision of Prof. Johan Bruneel (Department Management, Strategy and Innovation – MSI) in collaboration with dr. Frédéric Dufays (Department Work and Organisation Studies - WOS) in the framework of the Centre of Expertise for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (Kenniscentrum voor Coöperatief Ondernemen, KCO in short).

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Cooperative enterprises are value-driven member-owned and democratically controlled organizations that operate primarily and philosophically outside of the traditional profit to capital owners’ model. Governance is often set forth as the most distinctive element of cooperatives. However, cooperatives are confronted with several pressures that challenge the nature of their governance. This doctoral research project will study the dynamics within the board of directors of Belgian cooperatives, more specifically the profile of board members and the role of the Chairperson. You will contribute to a broad FWO-SBO project on governance of cooperatives shouldered by the Faculty of Economics and Business in collaboration with Saint-Mary’s University’s Sobey Business School, Halifax, Canada.

Your job will consist of the following main activities:

  • Conducting academic research on the governance of cooperative enterprises, in particular on their board of directors;
  • Writing up academic papers with the aim of composing a PhD-dissertation and publishing in high-quality academic journals;
  • Actively participating in international conferences and dissemination of research results;
  • Completing the PhD-programme in Business Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven;
  • Providing assistance in project-writing, teaching and supervision of a limited number of master theses.
  • You have a strong interest and/or affinity with cooperative business models, (social) entrepreneurship and/or good governance.
  • You have obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Economics, Business Engineering, Economics, Sociology or related discipline in the broad domain of socio-economic sciences;
  • Having obtained excellent (‘honors’-level or ‘cum laude’) results in prior studies is a prerequisite and students holding a Research Master are also encouraged to apply.
  • Having good skills in applied quantitative and qualitative research methods, applied econometrics and expertise in statistical software is considered a plus.
  • Having affinity and/or prior experience with conducting academic research is considered a plus.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and good presentation skills are a prerequisite. A good command of Dutch is considered a plus.
  • You qualify for enrollment in the doctoral programme of ‘Business Economics’ of FEB KU Leuven according to the prerequisites specified in the sub-section 3 of the regulations, retrievable from: offer full-time employment for one doctoral researcher, starting between January 1 and February 1, 2020. The appointment will be for 4 years, pending yearly evaluations. The candidate will enter the doctoral program of the Faculty of Economics and Business (Leuven Campus) and will develop a doctoral dissertation in Business Economics at KU Leuven (Faculty of Economics and Business).