PhD-position in Business Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business

19 February 2020

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You can apply for this job via the online application tool. To apply, prepare your CV, a short motivation letter and proof of academic credentials. In addition, two letters of recommendation are required. Selected candidates will be invited for a job interview.

For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Vincent Molly, mail: or Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yannick Bammens, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than March 15, 2020 via the online application tool

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Apply before 15 March 2020

The research groups Management, Strategy & Innovation (KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, campus Brussels - Belgium) and Organization, Strategy & Entrepreneurship (Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht – The Netherlands) are looking for a doctoral researcher to conduct research in the area of ‘corporate venturing in family firms’ with preferred starting date October 1st 2020 (or earlier).


Prof. Dr. Vincent Molly (KU Leuven)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yannick Bammens (Maastricht University)

Topic: Bridging the old and the new - corporate venturing in family firms

This research project can be situated at the intersection of the family business and entrepreneurship field and will mainly be oriented towards open innovation in (small- to medium-sized) family firms. More precisely, it will focus on external corporate venturing and strategic cooperation between family businesses and startups/scaleups, a topic which is growing rapidly in importance and which could offer a solution to the challenges of both firms.

Corporate venturing can manifest itself in the form of corporate venture capital (CVC), joint ventures, mergers or acquisitions, or other forms of strategic alliances. Extant research in this field has largely focused on large corporations without integrating the SME and family business perspective, which are the dominant business forms in most countries.

This project aims at conducting novel and high-quality research to investigate the main research question: how does family ownership as a firm-level structural attribute influence incumbent firms’ engagement in external corporate venturing to access new (technological) knowledge from the startup ecosystem? It will be composed of: systematic literature review bringing together the two highly relevant research fields of family business and corporate venturing; qualitative research (in-depth interviews) with business owners and decision-makers in the Benelux; analysis of primary survey data using quantitative (statistical) techniques; search for adequate (proxy) measures in large-scale longitudinal (international) secondary datasets for model testing.

In our research departments, we typically conduct empirical studies using large databases, survey information and qualitative case studies. We refer to the following links for further details regarding research activities within our research groups: and https://www.maastrichtuniversi... job will consist of the following main activities:

  • You enroll in the PhD program in Business Economics at KU Leuven. For further details, see conduct high-quality academic research under the supervision of your promotors.
  • You present your research findings at national and international conferences and will publish in internationally recognized journals.
  • Teaching and supervision of a limited number of master theses.
  • You will spend two years doing research at the KU Leuven campus Brussels (Belgium) and two years at Maastricht University (The Netherlands).
  • You obtained 120 ECTS of master education (either a 2-year master’s degree or two 1-year master’s degrees) in business/economics, or in a related field provided that you are sufficiently familiar with the research methodologies required for the chosen field (research master). Master students who will graduate this academic year can also apply.
  • You have yearly exam results equaling 68% (honours) or more, at least twice, of which minimum once in the master’s degree.
  • Applicants who are non-native speakers of English or who don’t hold a prior degree awarded by an English-speaking university from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the USA must provide evidence of English language proficiency by submitting a satisfactory score on an internationally recognized test of English language proficiency: TOEFL (minimum score 575 paper-based, 233 computer-based, 90 internet-based), or IELTS (minimum score 7). The test results should not be older than two years.
  • You need to provide a GRE or GMAT score. A GRE- or a GMAT result above the 75th percentile on the quantitative part is required. The test results should not be older than 5 years.
  • You can find a detailed overview of the KU Leuven PhD program conditions through the following link:; and PhD information for Maastricht University through the following link: https://www.maastrichtuniversi... and/or experience in strategic management and entrepreneurship is considered as a plus.
  • Having good skills in applied quantitative research methods, applied econometrics and expertise in statistical software is considered a plus.
  • Proficiency in Dutch language is considered a plus.
  • You are quality-oriented, reliable, creative and you like to work autonomously as well as in team.

We offer employment as a full-time doctoral researcher for a maximum period of 4 years (pending positive yearly evaluations).