"The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
- Albert Einstein -
Dr. Irene Jonkers is Assistant Professor at Nyenrode Business University. She is part of Nyenrode's Faculty Research Center for Strategy, Organization & Leadership.
Her (PhD) research concerned social innovation in
established organizations. The roles that organizations can play in social
change processes remains the topic which captures her academic interests. In
it, she touches strongly on themes such as learning, knowledge, organizational
change and the agency of people to change (course) themselves. Particularly
Irene is involved in participative research with organizations, for instance
through methods like action learning and action research, to explore with change
agents themselves on what it takes to create more sustainable practices. In
education, Irene mainly teaches qualitative research methods. Her main
educational goals are to contribute to the development of critical thinking and
to arouse curiosity in order to look at familiar situations with an open mind.
Jonkers herself was comprehensively educated at the University of Amsterdam by following Waldorf education, where she eventually obtained a master’s degree in general political, cultural and social sciences' (2005). From a specialization in quantitative methods, she would directly progress to a methodological PhD. However, she really wanted to get a taste of practical application first. She first conducted a volunteer project in Cambodia and ended up at Nyenrode in 2008. For the first five years, she carried out contract research in the field of Sustainability, in which she also mastered the qualitative methods. Then she switched to the faculty, where she started her PhD-research in 2013, to achieve her PhD title in 2022.
For two years, Jonkers acted as coach of a research group at the BUFT University in Bangladesh. This was part of a broader capacity building project. Within the framework of her own research, she naturally interacts with the international community through congresses or other meetings aimed at exchanging knowledge.