dr. R.J.A. Klein Woolthuis

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+31 20 59 86189
school of business & economics ( i,l&i )
Associate Professor

Brief résumé

Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis (1970) studied business economics and got her PhD from the University of Twente. She has published in various academic journals such as Organisation Studies, Technovation and Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and has published books and book-chapters on trust, clusters and collaboration.

Next to working at the VU University, she works as a senior scientist at TNO. She has broad experience in consulting work for regional, national and international governmental organizations, such as Ministries and the European Commission.

The core of her research interest since 1992 is how economic prosperity and growth come about through processes of innovation in the broadest sense. Since several years she explicitly includes the requirement that these innovations should als be sustainable. To examine this research question she has studied processes of collaboration, networks, clusters and other factors such as learning, public-private and industry-university partnerships, institutions, policies and system- and market characteristics that hinder or stimulate (sustainable) innovation.

Research Program

Research Program: Waves of Change

Research interest

Institutional theory
Diffusion of innovation and institutional change
Systems of innovation and clusters
Inter-firm collaboration for innovation – trust, contract, and dependence


Dr. Klein Woolthuis teaches the course Management of Sustainable Innovation. This course provides a management concept for sustainable innovation management in commercial and governmental organizations. It provides answers to the question how people, teams, projects, companies and governments can create value and competitive advantage by adopting sustainability as a key driver for their innovation processes.

A paradigm shift is happening at this moment. Where over the past decades firms were focused on creating shareholder value, the creation of ‘shared value’ is now gaining terrain: leading management scholars like Peter Senge and Michael Porter are describing how companies from Nike to Tesco create value by including all stakeholders in their firm’s strategies. New strategies are centered around respect for the environment, employees, and other stakeholders as to create positive self-reinforcing cycles of value creation. This requires fundamentally different management models in which collaboration with a wide array of stakeholders in key.

Sustainability is hence no longer a story of wishful thinking or environmental activists, it is at the core of corporate strategy and decision making. Moreover, growth in sustainable markets as renewable energy, organic food, and e.g. fair trade products is double digit year after year. Sustainability is not a fashion or an attempt of firms to ‘look good’, empirical evidence suggest that proper sustainability management improves firm performance and creates new entrepreneurial opportunities in rapidly growing markets. One only has to think of the successes of the Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s and Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.


Vakpublicaties in het Nederlands

List of publications