PhD CANDIDATE (1,0 fte)

28 dagen geleden


Valkenburgerweg, Heerlen, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur

We are looking for a PhD candidate who is interested in the field of  closed loop supply chain management  in combination with (inter-) organizational learning.
Practitioners currently experience a paradigm shift from cost minimization towards ...


We are looking for a PhD candidate who is interested in the field of closed loop supply chain management in combination with (inter-) organizational learning.

Practitioners currently experience a paradigm shift from cost minimization towards ‘cradle to cradle’ approaches. Product life cycles are extended by reuse and recycling. This is driven by customer demand for take-back, shortages of raw materials and energy resources and a general concern for the environment. A closed loop supply chain comprises a forward and reverse chain. Value should be created from a customer-, environmental- and economic perspective. Key in this proposal is information value. Often the reverse chain has been called ‘the mirror’ of the forward supply chain. Design flaws, badly timed promotional activities, inaccurate pricing strategy, unbalanced score cards and sales targets, are all valuable information. Information value is actually a driver of other types of value, such as customer value and environmental value, both in the forward and reverse chain.

The lack of multi-disciplinary research has resulted in relatively little progress in the field, whilst at the same time its relevance is booming. We argue that companies have trouble adopting new routines, in particular when collaboration between supply chain actors and other stakeholders is needed. One way to tackle this is by looking at the (inter-) organizational learning processes. Organizations need to learn collaboratively in response to their environment when a (CL) supply chain is formed or renewed. Players must learn from each other and need to share know-how and information. New theory is needed to make progress.

The PhD candidate is expected to study the literature in various disciplines thoroughly, develop and test a conceptual framework to better understand the mechanisms underpinning organizational learning in a closed loop supply chain context, and to specify which parameters best be managed to create optimal conditions for learning amongst CLSC actors. The study will mainly involve qualitative research, possibly extended with a quantitative study. The theory developed will be tested and validated in practice.

The candidate is also expected to participate for 10 to 15% of his/her time in educational activities within our Master of Science in Management and potentially the Bachelor Bedrijfskunde. Also, valorization activities form a considerable part of the daily activities of the candidate.


Preferably the candidate holds an MSc degree in Management studies or econometrics/mathematics with proven affinity to business studies. The candidate is flexible, able to work independently and is result driven. Preferably, the candidate has good communication skills (oral and written) in Dutch; fluency in English (oral and written) is required. The candidate should show interest in educational science research, have proven experience in carrying out case-study research and quantitative analysis. Also the candidate should be able to collaborate with business companies and work independently. Teaching experience and publications are not required, but are considered an advantage if the candidate can demonstrate experience in these areas.


The PhD candidate will be appointed for a period of 12 months. The appointment will be extended to four or five years (0,8 fte) when progress and performance are good. The salary is € 2.191,- gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 2.801,- in the fourth year, for a full time appointment, contingent on satisfactory performance.

The Open Universiteit provides good secondary benefits such as training, mobility, part-time employment and paid parental leave.

Additional information

A summary of the project proposal is available by e-mail

For more information about this vacancy you can contact: prof. dr. Marjolein Caniëls, tel. 045-5762724, e-mail:

For additional information about the Open Universiteit, you can visit our websites


Studying online anywhere in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)
The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) is the university in the Netherlands where students study part-time and follow online and activating education in bachelor and master degree programmes in seven fields of study. Characteristics of the education are openness, flexibility and quality. Enhancing the study success of students is an important point of focus. More than 15.000 students are studying at the OUNL and it has 531 employees. The OUNL has a network of fifteen regional study centres in the Netherlands and six in Belgium (Flanders). The head office is situated in Heerlen.
The most modern technologies and educational insights are applied in bachelor and master programmes and courses and also in projects and programmes with partners. Nationally and internationally the OUNL plays a key role in the innovation of higher education. Education and research are closely interrelated which guarantees that the current state of science is applied. The OUNL not only invests in research in the various academic disciplines, but also in research in learning sciences and learning technologies.

Satisfied students
For several consecutive years, the OUNL has achieved the top 2 position among the fourteen Dutch universities in the National Students Survey, the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Universiteiten’ (in which the ratings by students and experts of the bachelor studies of the fourteen universities are compared), and the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’. In addition all studies score high in the rankings of the universities for these studies. All ratings are available on the website.

Faculty of Management, Science & Technology

The faculty of Management, Science & Technology (MST) is one of the three faculties of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL). Education, research and valorisation are the main tasks of the faculty. MST offers academic bachelor and master programmes in the fields of management, environmental science and computer science. Additionally the faculty offers a Liberal Arts & Sciences bachelor program as well as short programmes for professionals (certified professional programs), who aim at gaining more in-depth knowledge. The research program centers on Learning and Innovation in Resillient Systems and is characterized by its multidisciplinary approach. The faculty has a large number of PhD-students who conduct research on various current topics within this research program. In addition, as a faculty of the OUNL, MST is partner in the Business Intelligence & Smart Services (BISS) Institute, which is part of the Brightlands Smart Services Campus (
At the faculty of MST students can immediately reflect on what they learn in the light of their work situation, e.g. apply theory in practice. Here assignments can be performed and research can be conducted as part of the bachelor or master program they study. As a result of the interdisciplinary focus on education and research, as well as the connection with business, scientific work at this faculty provides innovative and challenging opportunities.


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