13 June 2019

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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 (or of a more recent research object of yours, if applicable).

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

You can apply for this job no later than July 14, 2019 via the online application tool
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Apply before 14 July 2019

The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) – Campus Leuven and Kortrijk – is currently looking for a full-time doctoral researcher to become involved in academic research on cooperatives, and more specifically on member participation and democratic governance.

Research team

The FWO-SBO research project is shouldered by the Faculty of Economics and Business in collaboration with Saint-Mary’s University’s Sobey Business School, Halifax, Canada. The present research will be conducted under the supervision of Prof. Luc Sels and dr. Frédéric Dufays (Department Work and Organisation Studies - WOS) in collaboration with Prof. Johan Bruneel (Department Management, Strategy and Innovation – MSI) in the framework of the Centre of Expertise for Cooperative Entrepreneurship (Kenniscentrum voor Coöperatief Ondernemen, KCO in short).

Website unit


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. In the framework of a broad FWO-SBO project that aims to investigate governance of cooperatives and how they respond to these challenges, this research project will study 1) the new practices of member participation, and 2) how these satisfy members’ expectations. This relationship between members and their cooperative will be studied from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives on a sample of Belgian cooperatives. This research project is embedded in the broader fields of organization studies, business and society, business ethics, and the study of economic democracy.


You preferably have a Master degree and background in Applied Economics, Business (or Civil) Engineering, Management, Economics, Sociology, Work and Organizational Psychology  or in the broad domain of socio-economic sciences. You had excellent results in these prior studies (‘honors’-level). Ideally, you have passed the GRE/GMAT with a high score. You have demonstrable interest in the themes of social entrepreneurship, cooperatives, and/or good governance. You have strong analytical skills and are open to a multidisciplinary environment. You have affinity with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. You have strong oral and written communication skills both in English and in Dutch. You are a team player. Most importantly, you should share our unbridled enthusiasm for scientific research.


We offer full-time employment for one doctoral researcher, starting 1 October 2019. The appointment will be for 4 years, annually renewable. 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).