Meet MSM's faculty members: introducing Jeroen van Wijk


Maastricht School of Management provides scientific knowledge allowing managers and entrepreneurs to make evidence-based decisions. To achieve our mission we encourage and support our faculty members in a broad range of areas. MSM’s faculty members are passionate about what they do and tenacious in finding solutions to the toughest business challenges. Each month MSM will highlight one of its faculty members and this month the spotlight is on Jeroen van Wijk.

Let me introduce myself…
My name is Jeroen van Wijk and I am an Associate Professor Global Value Chain and Partnerships at MSM. In this position, I teach Global Value Chain analysis in MSM’s MBA, MM, and short Executive Education Programs. In addition, I am involved in business support projects in Low and Middle-Income Economies, run by MSM’s International Project Department (IPD).

Besides my position at MSM, I am Associate Consultant with the social enterprise Fair & Sustainable Consulting in Utrecht where I am involved in value chain development projects (especially in Africa and Asia). Furthermore, I am working as independent consultant on geopolitical issues.

I hold a Master’s degree in Political Sciences and a PhD degree in International Relations, both from the University of Amsterdam. I have always had an interest in the way global food production is organized and particularly in the role food and biotechnology multinationals play in this process. My PhD dissertation focused on the political powerplay behind the intellectual property protection of food crops.

The research areas I focus on…
I have a particular interest in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the extent to which this initiative helps African countries industrialize. China has been investing massively in infrastructure and manufacturing in African countries, increasingly now under the banner of the BRI. These investments make sense considering Africa’s low manufacturing capacity and its gap in respect of ICT, transport, power, water and sa­nitation infrastructure. But obviously, the Chinese support is not free and comes at financial and political costs. The question that keeps me busy is to what extent African governments can influence and steer the Chinese investments so that they fit their own industrialization plans. My last paper addressed this question in respect of Ethiopia.

My four most recent publications are:

  • Van Wijk, J.M., van Wijk, J., Drost, S., & Stam, W. (2020). Challenges in building robust interventions in contexts of poverty: Insights from an NGO-driven multi-stakeholder network in Ethiopia. Organization Studies. DOI: 10.1177/0170840619878468.
  • Schouten, G, Vellema, S. & van Wijk, J. (2016). The diffusion of global multi-stakeholder sustainability standards: an assessment of the institutional fit of the ASC-shrimp standard in Indonesia. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 56(4), Jul-Aug: 411-423.
  • Vellema, S. & van Wijk, J. (2015). Partnerships intervening in global food chains: the emergence of co-creation in standard-setting and certification. Journal of Cleaner Production, 107: 105-113.
  • Drost, S., van Wijk, J. & de Boer, D. (2014). Including conflict-affected youth in agri-food chains: agribusiness in northern Uganda. Conflict, Security & Development, 14(2): 125-150.

For corporate managers, value chains are the networks in which their companies operate…
Studying value chains is relevant to both the public and the private sector. Policy makers in emerging and developing economies need to understand the policies that help industry sectors link to regional or global value chains in order to raise exports, attract foreign capital and knowledge, and create jobs. For corporate managers, value chains are the networks in which their companies operate. To enhance business performance, they need to understand the dynamics within and around these value chains. MSM offers a 5-day executive Value Chain Analysis program in which I am the lead trainer.

Through teaching and research, we can address these important issues…
The world is facing two major challenges that affect everyone: climate change and increasing economic inequality. Our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere appear to be insufficient, while OXFAM reminds us that the world’s richest 1% have more than twice the wealth of the rest of humanity combined. That is a hugely unsustainable situation, and for me, the context for my work at MSM. Through teaching and research, we can address these important issues, analyze them, and develop practices through which private and public sectors can contribute to tackle them. 

MSM’s international environment is very interesting in this respect…
You can only deal with global challenges on an international and cooperative manner. However, this can be difficult considering that countries tend to have different political and economic interests, and hold different values. MSM’s international environment is very interesting in this respect. MSM’s degree and short executive education programs bring together professionals from all over the world, with different backgrounds and in this way promote a bonding process that often creates very personal and life-long, international networks. To overcome our differences, these kinds of networks are very important.

Where I will be speaking in the near future…
Coming July, I will participate in a workshop on State Capitalism and State-led Development in the 21st Century: China and Beyond, which is part of the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). The University of Amsterdam will organize the conference.

In my spare time you can often find me…
During holidays, my wife and I love cycling somewhere in Europe, but usually in France. Cycling through the southern French lavender fields in the early morning is truly addictive. Next to this, I am a passionate violin player. Most of my life I have been playing Irish traditional music. During the weekends, you can often find me in jam sessions in the Netherlands or Belgium, or, obviously, Ireland. Music is incredibly energizing and my personal cure for all ills.

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