MSc thesis opportunities/1: Individual competencies, organizational structures and dynamic capabilities for stakeholder orientation in Netherlands

To see all the currently available research opportunities with the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, click here.

MSc thesis 1: Individual competencies, organizational structures and dynamic capabilities for stakeholder orientation in Netherlands

Suggested supervisors: Dr. Renate WesselinkDr. Valentina MateriaDr. Domenico Dentoni

Since long time, agribusiness companies realized that to seriously develop sustainable sourcing, R&D and marketing strategies they need to Sense, Interact, Learn and Change based (SILC) on the needs and demands of multiple stakeholders (Dentoni and Peterson 2011, Dentoni et al. 2012a; Dentoni and Veldhuizen 2012) or, in short, to be stakeholder oriented (Dentoni et al. 2016). But how can a company structurally develop its stakeholder orientation? One way to become stakeholder oriented is by investing on its people and, in particular, on the individual competencies of its employees, mid-managers and top managers (Dentoni et al. 2012b; Wesselink et al. 2015; Osagie et al. 2016). Another way is changing its organizational structure, for example reducing hierarchies, increasing communication challenges and encouraging informal mechanisms of knowledge-sharing (Veldhuizen et al. 2013; Jager 2016).

What is still missing in the management theory and practice, though, is an understanding of how individual competencies and organizational structures together influence companies’ stakeholder orientation. To fill this gap, our research team has already collected quantitative data from a sample of mid-managers working in sustainability projects at Dutch companies across multiple sectors (Aberson 2016). Now we are seeking a MSc student – preferably in Management, Marketing and Economics (MME) and interested in sustainability strategies, multi-stakeholder partnerships and in developing her/his skills set of quantitative analyses –  to 1) analyze the secondary data already collected with the use of multi-variate statistics (e.g. confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modelling; Hair et al. 2010) and, if possible, 2) collect a second round of primary data based on the same questionnaire to further expand the database on this topic.


Aberson, W. (2016). The Influence of Individual Competencies and Organizational Adaptability on the Dynamic capability for Stakeholder Orientation in a CSR context. MSc Thesis, Wageningen University and Research.

Dentoni, D., Bitzer, V., & Pascucci, S. (2016). Cross-sector partnerships and the co-creation of dynamic capabilities for stakeholder orientation. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(1), 35-53.

Dentoni, D., Blok, V., Lans, T., & Wesselink, R. (2012). Developing Human Capital for Agrifood Firms’ Multi-Stakeholder Interactions. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(A), 61-68.

Dentoni, D., Hospes, O., & Ross, R. B. (2012). Managing wicked problems in agribusiness: the role of multi-stakeholder engagements in value creation: Editor’s Introduction. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(B), 1-12.

Dentoni, D., & Peterson, H. C. (2011). Multi-stakeholder sustainability alliances in agri-food chains: A framework for multi-disciplinary research. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 14(5), 83-108.

Dentoni, D., & Veldhuizen, M. G. (2012). Building Capabilities for Multi-Stakeholder Interactions at Global and Local Levels: An Executive Interview with Jan Kees Vis, Berton Torn and Anniek Mauser. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(B), 95-106.

Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Babin, B. J., & Black, W. C. (2010). Multivariate data analysis: A global perspective (Vol. 7). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Jager, W. (2016). From organizational structuring to learning: The role of authority and communication in translating individual competencies into the organizational capability of learning from stakeholders. MSc Thesis, Wageningen University and Research.

Osagie, E. R., Wesselink, R., Blok, V., Lans, T., & Mulder, M. (2016). Individual competencies for corporate social responsibility: A literature and practice perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 233-252.

Veldhuizen, M., Blok, V., & Dentoni, D. (2013). Organisational drivers of capabilities for multi-stakeholder dialogue and knowledge integration. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 13(2), 107-117.

Wesselink, R., Blok, V., van Leur, S., Lans, T., & Dentoni, D. (2015). Individual competencies for managers engaged in corporate sustainable management practices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 497-506.


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Posted on January 29, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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