GSBE research themes

Inspired by today’s challenges and tomorrow’s solutions, the seven research themes of Maastricht University's School of Business and Economics bring together a broad range of academic expertise in a creative, forward-thinking environment.

1. Conflict and Cooperation

The Conflict and Cooperation team uses methods ranging from multilevel analysis and growth modelling to field experiments and game theory. Subjects are studied not only in static contexts but dynamic ones, for example analysing how people learn to cooperate in organisations and how conflicts evolve over time. Its members are drawn from across the faculty, including the departments of economics, quantitative economics, and organisation and strategy, along with UNU-Merit academics. The faculty’s strengths in both fundamental and applied game theory are key to the team’s work, with significant potential for exploring game-theoretical applications in business research. In recent years, SBE has organised two world-leading conferences in this area, GAMES 2016 and EARIE 2017.

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2. Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The CIE team is built around a core group of academics from across SBE’s departments and institutes. As a research group, it covers a wide range of topics, including individuals’ creative work involvement, creativity-enhancing team and organisational climates, research and development spending choices, innovation networks and alliances, innovation policy design, new business development, social entrepreneurship and family-owned enterprises.

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3. Culture, Ethics and Leadership

Working in a multidisciplinary setting, the Culture, Ethics and Leadership research theme brings together academics from fields including accounting, educational research and development, finance, and organisation and strategy, as well as collaborating with other research themes and building bridges to other faculties. Via a core membership of some 15 senior scholars whose research interests range from financial reporting and corporate governance to learning culture and conflict management, the team will explore subjects such as the measurement and management of ethical culture in different organisations; the influence of leadership on organisational culture and its outcomes; the impact of ethical culture and leadership style on employees’ motivation, knowledge sharing and innovation and the way teams function; and the part played by ethical culture and leadership in attracting and retaining top talent and fostering professional commitment.

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4. Data-Driven Decision-Making

D3M’s team focuses on research areas including disruptive technologies and business models, consumer and workforce analytics, risk and uncertainty quantification, big data’s role in official statistics, pensions, financial markets and asset pricing, micro- and labour economics, digital platforms, and fields such as large-scale optimisation and related mathematical systems. As opportunities to understand consumer behaviour grow and firms’ business models are redefined; as governments use new data sources for everything from pothole repair to economic forecasting; as international organisations such as the European Union set policies on food security and clean energy; and as academics in all disciplines work with ever more powerful research tools, the Data-Driven Decision Making team’s goal is to help improve decision-making at all levels of society.

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5. Human Decisions and Policy Design

Taking a highly interdisciplinary approach, this team of some 30 core and affiliated researchers draws on the methods and insights provided by cognitive and social neuroscience, economics, finance, accounting and marketing. Their work, which builds on the long-standing strengths of the cross-faculty Maastricht University CEnter for Neuroeconomics (MU-CEN), includes both fundamental and applied research, and will centre on three key areas: human behaviour and motivation, incentives and governance, and financial well-being.

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6. Learning and Work

The Learning and Work team comprises some 50 senior researchers and nearly 40 PhD candidates drawn from economics, educational research and development, accounting and information management, finance, quantitative economics, marketing and supply chain management, organisation and strategy, as well as the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). Cross-faculty collaborations enlist the insights of disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, epidemiology, medicine and data science.

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7. Sustainable Development

Inspired by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Sustainable Development research theme aims to draw on an interdisciplinary wealth of expertise at SBE and in the broader Maastricht University community (including UNU-MERIT and its Maastricht Graduate School of GovernanceECCEMC4E and MSI) to create high-quality, high-impact, socially relevant research into entrepreneurship and innovation. From financial regulation and corporate governance to the circular economy, the team focuses on understanding value-creation strategies that resolve the trade-off between company profitability and broader social value.

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