dr. P.J. Peverelli (李彼德博士)

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+31 20 59 86188
school of business & economics ( management en organisatiekunde )
Assistant Professor


Peter Peverelli combines very different fields of expertise: China and organization theory. He started learning Chinese at an evening course at age 14, while still in high school. He studied Chinese Language and Culture at Leiden University (1974 – 1979), which included a year in China (1975 – 1976). After a period of academic work in Leiden (1979 – 1982) and Beijing University (1982 – 1984), he decided to shift his career to the commercial world and joined Gist-brocades N.V. (now part of DSM) in 1985. He received his PhD Lit. on a "The History of Modern Chinese Grammar Studies in 1986.

He was stationed in China for the company from 1986 to 1991, after which he established his own consulting practice, advising European companies in their long term relations with Chinese partners. Meanwhile, he had starting acquiring academic knowledge in business administration through self-study, which led to a second PhD (Cognitive Space - A Social Cognitive Approach to Sino-Western Cooperation) in Business Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2000, in which he further developed the Social Integration model of social-constructioninst organization theory, launched by Henk van Dongen and his team in the 1980s.

He joined VU University the year after, on a part-time basis, still continuing his consulting practice. He is affiliated with FEWEB, but more recently also has taken on the responsibility for the China business for the entire university in the VU International Office.

A noteworthy expertise is that Dr. Peverelli has been active in research in the Chinese food & beverage industry since 1985. 


Dr. Peverelli’s long term research goal is to continuously develop Social Integration Theory, an organization theory initiated in Rotterdam in the 1980’s, within the larger social constructionist paradigm. More concretely, he has applied the model on (Chinese) corporate identity, showing that corporate identity is not a matter of the organization, but emerges from social interaction of people in the organization with people in the environment. He recently switched his research to (Chinese) entrepreneurship. Here the research focuses on how the entrepreneurial identity emerges from the combination of several other social identities of the entrepreneur. Sub-topics in this research project include: social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and religion, co-entrepreneurship between enterprises en government organizations. This research is conducted in close cooperation with colleagues of the Renmin University School of Business, the Chinese partner organization of FEWEB.

Dr. Peverelli has launched the VU China Research Centre in 2012. Although still mainly based in FEWEB, it includes research in a number of other faculties, thus gradually becoming a centre for contemporary China studies in the Netherlands.


Dr. Peverelli has developed a number of non-generic courses: Organization Perspectives & Dynamics is a third-year introductory course in social constructionist organization theory. Diversity in Organizations is a course in the HR Master. The unique feature of this course is that it does not only take account of differences between different people on the work floor, but also of the different identities of each single actor. Social Dynamics in Entrepreneurship is part of the Master of Entrepreneurship and shows how entrepreneurs are not the heroes that often feature in the media, but that entrepreneurship is a social identity always competing with other identities. He also teaches this course in China.

Popular writings

Dr. Peverelli strongly believes that a proper academic should be able to enlighten a broad non-academic audience with the fruits of his research. He regularly publishes about the Chinese food and beverage and nutrition industries and more recently has also started to publish essays on current Chinese culture and society. You can download his essay on Chinese social media here.


Recent publications
Publications (incl Non-academic publications)

Personal webpage