Full Professor in Environmental, Social and Governmental (ESG) transformation & digital innovation

November 7 2022


The Center for Entrepreneurship, Governance & Stewardship at Nyenrode Business University is offering the position of parttime Professor in ESG transformation & digital innovation.

The goal of the Chair is to develop and strengthen our understanding of ESG transformation & innovation, in particular the way digital innovation supports the structural embedding of ESG and business targets that increase both the financial and societal value in the regular performance cycles of organizations and how this affects organizational structures, procedures and required personnel.

The Chair will be sponsored by KPMG in the Netherlands as part of our global commitment to invest 1,5 billion in ESG transformation, and the 5-year partnership between Nyenrode and KPMG more specifically. KPMG and Nyenrode have set up the ESG Innovation Institute to help organizations make the transition to sustainability. By building and harnessing a community within the ESG Innovation Institute, we want to start a movement among business leaders – to inspire them and facilitate innovative, sustainable, and responsible leadership.



The focus of the chair on ESG transformation & digital innovation includes the following areas:

  1. Frameworks and tools to define relevant ESG and business goals for embedding of externalities in regular performances cycles, taking into account the current and future value and impacts of the company in terms cash flow, (intangible) assets and liabilities, as well as planetary boundaries and social floors. We call this end-to-end process “True Valuation”.
  2. Tools for baseline assessments including the current performance management cycle in terms of processes, governance and supporting technology, data-availability for the relevant KPI’s, digital platforms to support the new KPI’s, existing incentive schemes and/or soft controls to steer on company performance and the role of ESG and True Valuation therein.
  3. Tools to select a) the relevant technologies, b) ecosystem partners that can deliver these and/or c) the required digital innovations to meaningfully embed the core True Valuation KPI’s in the regular performance cycle.
  4. Digital innovations that make it easier for organizations to either select and/or embed the relevant True Valuation KPI’s in regular performance cycles (e.g. calculators to estimate the proportional contribution an organization should make to respect planetary boundaries and social floors, using strong proxies based on big data analysis, low cost data collection of data across the value chain that is typically not owned by the organization, low code technology to replace manual scripts)
  5. The impact of True Valuation on organizations with regards to systems, structures, etc., including personnel.
  6.  Study the interdependence of various types of externalities and investigate how to rank impact (e.g., as utility in a Game Theoretical context) when externalities of various types are combined.


More context

Traditionally, improving the quality of ESG reporting lines are linked to KPI’s that are used in the annual disclosures of an organization (e.g., annual report, CDP disclosures, data input for ESG ratings). These KPI’s will get an extra push in the coming years due to the CSRD and the new ISSB standards. The number of KPI’s to disclose will increase, and mandatory assurance will increase the quality of reporting.  While more and more effort will be placed on matching disclosures and internal steering to increase the overall value of the organization by these standards, there is still a lot to improve to end-to-end process of True Valuation which will bring ESG to the heart of the regular performance cycles taking planetary boundaries and social floors into account.

The increased number of companies that join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has, for instance, has shown that companies struggle to translate the external commitments to the right internal performance indicators across the organization to steer towards the steep emission targets they have committed to. As a result, companies risk that they initially progress slower than planned which increases cost in the next years as the glidepath is linear and they may even face penalties from banks on preferential loans or bonds issued.  

An active role of digital innovations is expected to accelerate the capacity to break down KPIs to tailored performance indicators, collect the data and/or incentive internal and external stakeholders that collectively contribute to reaching KPIs.

However, despite the importance of the lessons learnt in this domain to a broad group of stakeholders in organizations, knowledge often sits with technology providers rather than with those tasked to steer ESG embedding in organizations. Therefore, it is important to collect, bundle and disclose new insights related to the focus of this Chair, in an easy to digest manner. This will increase the overall contribution to a better management of environmental targets (E), social standards across the value chain (S) and governance (G) in organizations as a basis for True Valuation.   

Also, little is known about when to use which technology or what innovation to drive to embed ESG in this way given the context in which organizations operate.



The Chair-holder will be involved in initiating, coordinating, and supervising research projects, including PhD dissertations, in the field of digital innovations to support ESG transformation through the end-to-end process of True Valuation. The Chair-holder will also have a leading role in disseminating research results through education (degree and executive programs) and impactful contributions to both scientific research and business practices. The duties of the Chair-holder also include fulfilling administrative tasks (committees) and representative tasks in the aforementioned domain.

In a period of five years, we would expect at least the following outputs/milestones:

  • Annual publication(s) in scientific journals and suitable for practitioners in ESG transformation
  • A framework with tools to select goals based on the concept of True Valuation to be embedded in regular performance cycle, assess the baseline, and select relevant technologies and/or innovations to support
  • One or more Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) of digital innovations in this domain
  • 4 round tables in The Netherlands, following the 4 areas that are in focus of the Chair and are relevant to both organizations that want to further embed ESG goals to increase the True Value of the company, and technology providers that contribute to this domain
  • 1 academic conference aimed to discuss the synthesis of the five-year program  


Who are we?

KPMG and Nyenrode have set up the ESG Innovation Institute to help organisations make the transition to sustainability. Organisations can create added value in their business operations by balancing financial and economic results, transparency, social interests, and the environment. We aim to make the latest ESG knowledge, skills, and ecosystem accessible to executives who want to accelerate the route to sustainability in a professional and informed way. In addition to its educational offering, the ESG Innovation Institute also includes an academic ESG chair at Nyenrode, from which research, scientific publications and opinion and debate take place. By building and harnessing a community within the ESG Innovation Institute, we want to start a movement among business leaders – to inspire them and facilitate innovative, sustainable, and responsible leadership.


Who are you?

As an internationally recognized scientist in your field of expertise, you have obtained your doctorate degree in a business management-related or technology field, and you are able to:

  • teach courses on the intersection of ESG and Digital Transformation at Bachelor, Master, and Post-Graduate level in a clear and inspiring way,
  • conduct impactful inter-disciplinary research, as evidenced by the citations of your frequently published books and/or peer reviewed articles in top scientific journals,
  • to instigate, stimulate, and supervise research (including doctoral research) by others, as demonstrated by the PhD and Master students you supervised,
  • leverage your extensive network within and outside the university community with relevant (inter)national contacts,
  • acquire research funds to scale the program.

You also:

  • have a thorough knowledge in the scientific domain of ESG transformation and digital innovation gathered through a PhD in a closely related field.
  • have practical experience in a corporate setting, professional services or by working at a technology provider in this domain.
  • have a proven track record of successfully developing and implementing educational programs or courses,
  • are interested in interdisciplinary research,
  • have skills to contribute to a motivating and connecting work culture,
  • have an excellent command of the English language in speech and writing.


What do we have to offer?

Nyenrode Business Universiteit can be characterized by a combination of a prominent level of professionalism and an informal atmosphere. Salary will depend on position and qualifications. Tax benefits may apply. The initial appointment will be for 1 year and can be extended to 5 years.

The university is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and is committed to maintaining an intellectually and culturally diverse faculty. Internationals, minorities, women, and personas with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Nyenrode offers a competitive salary with attractive secondary benefits. This position will be scaled in Hgl A: between € 6.026, - and € 8.785,- gross.



Interested candidates are invited to forward their application (a cover letter, curriculum vitae, one or two recently published papers, recent teaching evaluations, and three references) to jobs@nyenrode.nl

Should you have any questions about this vacancy you can contact prof.dr.ir. Henk Kievit (h.kievit@nyenrode.nl ). Screening of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Nyenrode Business Universiteit ambition is to create an inclusive working environment where everybody feels involved, valued and recognized. In addition to your talent, experience and motivation, the specific aspects of your identity ernriches our organization in various ways. Talent as basis, diversity as power.