PhD position Accounting for the Uncountable (1,0 fte)

Geen sluitdatum


Nyenrode Business University is seeking a full-time PhD student with a research interest in organizational control and performance management in the public sector. The position is for four years and is fully funded. The PhD-student will join the Center for Accounting, Auditing and Control. Under the supervision of Professors Ivo De Loo and Roland Speklé, the PhD student will perform theoretical and empirical research on the relative effectiveness of internal governance arrangements in public sector organizations.

We are looking for candidates with a Master of Science in economics, public sector administration, business administration, or a related field. Candidates must have strong analytical and research skills and a genuine interest in the topic. In addition, they should possess solid academic writing and communication skills and a profound command of English.

Accounting for the Uncountable

The function of government is to promote the common good and overall well-being of society. This involves a concern for safety, civil rights, equity, justice, welfare, health, environmental protection, and other similarly evasive societal objectives. Measuring performance on these objectives is very difficult. But, if performance cannot be measured, does that mean it cannot be managed? Is it possible to devise performance management systems that account for the uncountable? This research project first explores the foundational question as to what accountability means when outcomes defy measurement. It then moves on to examine (both theoretically and empirically) the potential contribution to public sector effectiveness of control practices such as performance measurement, action controls, and socio-cultural controls, with a specific emphasis on how these practices combine in larger systems to affect public sector performance.

We are interested in candidates with clear academic research ambitions and a background in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Candidates must have the ambition to publish in highly ranked international peer reviewed academic journals, and to develop a high-quality and original research portfolio that is relevant to academia and the world of organizations. The objective is that the research project results in a number of high-quality, original academic research papers, suitable for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.

This fulltime PhD position involves a limited teaching load (with a maximum of 25% of the appointment).


Who are we?

Nyenrode Business Universiteit offers a combination of sound theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and personal development. Nyenrode aims to achieve a diverse mix of researchers and teaching staff with international experience, to optimize research and the education that is offered and to reflect the university’s distinguished status. Nyenrode is a small-scale private university, founded in 1946 for and by business, with an international orientation. Nyenrode offers degree and executive education programs in business, management, accountancy and controlling, and conducts research in these disciplines. The mission of Nyenrode is: ‘Serving society by shaping responsible leaders.’ Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Stewardship are the core values, embedded in all the education programs offered at Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

The Nyenrode PhD School
As a PhD candidate you will be part of the Nyenrode PhD School that offers courses, guidance on article writing and opportunities for participation in scientific conferences and seminars. The candidate will work to produce a doctoral dissertation, which is to be written in English.


Who are you? 

You hold an MSc, MA, or MPhil degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited research university, preferably in economics, public sector administration, business administration, or a related field. You have excellent results in your graduate study. You have a genuine interest in and a strong motivation for academic research. 


What do we have to offer?

Nyenrode is a knowledge institute that is characterized by a personal, informal atmosphere and a professional approach. Result-oriented work methods and attention to personal development go hand in hand; for instance, you can participate in exclusive seminars and lunch classes. Nyenrode has a dynamic work environment in which you are given a lot of responsibility and the opportunity to contribute to objectives in your own way.

  • A gross salary between € 2.766, - and € 3.708, - depending on your seniority and experience (Scale 8)
  • 30 days off (with the possibility of an additional five) 
  • Fixed 5,1 % end of year bonus
  • Flexible end of year bonus, up to 4,5%
  • Allowance of € 850 to be spent with Coolblue to facilitate a home office
  • Reimbursements for internet and working from home costs, travel allowance
  • Pension scheme
  • Bike scheme



We would like to receive your application package, consisting of:

  • A university degree of minimum four years within the field of business (Master of Science) or equivalent education, that includes a master thesis as the final academic accomplishment.
  • Curriculum Vitae + Motivation letter + two academic reference letters. 
  • A copy of your master thesis.
  • Proof of excellent grades from the Master of Science degree or equivalent education
  • Proof of excellent English written and oral language skills. Applicants from non-European countries where English is not the official language must present an official language test report.
  • Good analytical skills and knowledge about research methods relevant for the proposed project.

Qualified applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Grades.
  • Quality of the master's thesis.
  • Applicant's description of motivation for the doctoral dissertation.
  • Relevant experience from research work.
  • Teaching potential.

The application package should be sent to In addition to the formal requirements, the selection will be based on interview(s) with the supervisors, Prof. Dr. Ivo De Loo and Prof. Dr. Roland Speklé. 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 enrich our organization in various ways. Talent as basis, diversity as power.