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Rijksuniversiteit Groningen/Campus FryslânCentre for Sustainable EntrepreneurshipPhD research

PhD Research

PhD research at Campus Fryslân focuses on the grand challenges of our society. The Faculty’s core philosophy is to connect regional themes with interdisciplinary global issues.

PhD research at the Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship is dedicated to one of the main challenges in the modern world economy: the transformation from an oil- and gas-based economy into a circular society. Sustainable entrepreneurship offers the creative potential needed to develop a circular society in which economic, social, and ecological systems are simultaneously balanced and preserved.

The Centre will offer a range of PhD research projects dedicated to disentangle the causes and consequences of sustainable entrepreneurship. The research is interdisciplinary, multi-level and multi-method in nature.

Margo Enthoven
Margo Enthoven

1. Margo Enthoven

Title: Leadership and Sustainable Entrepreneurship
1st supervisor: Prof. Gjalt de Jong

"Entrepreneurship aimed at achieving social and environmental goals has the potential to catalyze sustainable development by providing value for society and the environment while achieving economic growth. But what makes entrepreneurship with a sustainability goal successful? During my PhD I want to provide insight into this question by finding which traits characterize a successful sustainable entrepreneur. With this research, I hope to be able to contribute to a more sustainable society."

Angela Greco
Angela Greco

2. Angela Greco

Title: Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Social Housing
1st supervisor: Prof. Gjalt de Jong

While working on the engineering of energy neutral buildings, I quickly realized that there could not be implementation of sustainable technologies without in-depth consideration of business and human factors.

“Responsibility is the ability to respond to your community, sustainability is the ability to sustain your community” is one of my favorite quotes on sustainability. With my PhD I will study sustainable entrepreneurship applied to the field of social housing. Particularly I will explore the role that housing corporations play in the transition to a low carbon economy and in sustainable welfare and poverty reduction in city neighborhoods.

I believe that developing solutions to sustainability issues and creating value at the same time, is today s challenge if we want to make this so needed transition happen.

Femke Vrenegoor
Femke Vrenegoor

3. Femke Vrenegoor

Title: Closing the buy-in gap to salient ecolabel application for SME hotel entrepreneurs in the Netherlands
1st supervisor: Prof. Gjalt de Jong
2nd supervisor: Dr. Elena Cavagnaro

"Since sustainability has been a trend for many years now, we can see that in the hospitality industry it has also taken an important place in the daily operations of hotels. Hotel entrepreneurs choose to engage in CSR for many different reasons, and some of these entrepreneurs make the choice to get their sustainability efforts certified with for example a Green Key certificate. However, not all entrepreneurs will try to reach the highest level possible within the certificate, or push to reach more than the minimum number of required criteria within their level.

My research will try to understand the reasons for this behaviour, and evaluate whether these reasons can be connected to their motivation to engage CSR in the first place. Once the motivations of the hotel entrepreneur and their behaviour are understood, I wish to try to nudge them to more sustainable ecolabel application.

In my research I have chosen to focus on SME hotels as they comprise a large portion of the total amount of hotels in the Netherlands."

Hendrik Thelken
Hendrik Thelken

4. Hendrik Thelken

Title: The Organization of Value Chains in Sustainable Entrepreneurship
1st supervisor: Prof. Gjalt de Jong

"While researching on the topic of fishing net collection and recycling, I quickly got enthusiastic about the potential of solving environmental and social problems through entrepreneurial effort. For me it became clear that the world as of today is in pressuring need of such sustainable entrepreneurs.

Over the years it has become more and more obvious that the world is facing severe social and environmental disruptions due to decades of exploitation of depletable resources. Successful sustainable entrepreneurship can help to rethink and to some extent revert these disruptions by simultaneously creating social, environmental and lasting economic value for the society. But what drives successful sustainable entrepreneurship?

With my research I would like to analyze how sustainable entrepreneurs organize their value chains and develop resources and capabilities in cooperation with other stakeholders. Ultimately, I would like to contribute to a future society that genuinely fits the following prediction:

‘I think there is going to be a time when they technically stop calling it sustainable entrepreneurship, because you are either doing good in the world from having a business or you are not having a business at all.’"

Manon Eikelenboom
Manon Eikelenboom

5. Manon Eikelenboom

Title: Internal capabilities for sustainable and circular business
1st supervisor: Prof. Gjalt de Jong

In order to achieve a sustainable development of our society, businesses need to be involved. However, implementing sustainability can be a difficult task for companies as combining social, environmental and economic goals may require extensive resources and cause complexities as well as contradictories. For example, focussing on the reuse of materials in houses may have negative social impacts such as a decreased feeling of comfort. In order to successfully balance social, environmental and economic goals, companies need to be adaptive and able to deal with continuous change.

In my PhD I will analyse the internal firm capabilities that help businesses achieving a balance between social, environmental and economic goals. I will focus on dynamic capacities, internal actors including leaders and employees, and new business strategies and models.

Laatst gewijzigd:05 december 2017 09:25