Our research strategy

Credible research with practical applications

The four pillars of our research strategy: rigour, relevance, reach and responsibility 

We are an academic business school – which means we strive for rigour and relevance. At the same time, we engage stakeholders to create synergies between our research and learning activities, and we want to have a positive impact on society.  

  • Rigour underpins our academic credibility. It points to our use of academic models, our accuracy, our doctoral work and the work we publish in high-level academic journals. This rigour sets us apart from consulting companies and other business educators. 
  • Relevance shows our research starts and ends with real, substantiated challenges faced by the business world and society as a whole. 
  • Reach is about the way we communicate and share our research results – and its usefulness in solving real business challenges. We make our research output as visible as possible.  
  • Responsibility means we want our research to have a positive impact on society and to be conducted according to the highest ethical standards.

We’re engaged in both fundamental academic research and research for business and society.  

These two focal points are interdependent. Our doctoral research, for example, should have broader business application. At the same time, our joint research with companies is based on the rigour of sound academic practice. 

This makes our research for business approach unique. Via our research centres and long-standing partnerships and memberships, we create truly practical relevance for the business community. 

Interdisciplinary research is becoming ever-more important in finding answers to today’s business challenges. Because of this, we join forces across our own domains – and with external international faculty and with faculty from our parent universities in Ghent and Leuven.  

We then integrate knowledge gained from solid research into our teaching activities, by developing tools, business games and simulations.  

The need for sound academic practice is also something we instil in our students – with critical reflection and business research methodology being essential components of their projects. 

The Vlerick research charter 

Research for its own sake is out of the question at Vlerick. Our research is based on four principles: It must be accuraterelevant, responsible and have a broad impact

To make sure our research strategy is widely supported within the school, we’ve created the Vlerick Research Charter. It sets out the ways we work to produce credible research. It safeguards our robust academic practices – and it provides a framework for academic integrity and ethics. All faculty, researchers and DBA participants sign our charter as a commitment to adhere to its principles of sound academic conduct.  

And of course, as an institute, we take responsibility for creating an environment that supports and stimulates sound academic practice with training, mentorship, necessary infrastructure and guidelines. 

We support the push towards open science put forward at both European and national level. And we believe that the exchange of information is at the heart of science itself. 

In line with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity code, we adhere to the principle, “As open as possible, as closed as necessary”. Within Vlerick, we take a pragmatic approach and implement policies around open access and data management sensibly – and in support of the open science movement.  

How we conduct research 

In 2019, Vlerick became an institutional partner of the Responsible Research in Business & Management (RRBM) network. As signatories of the RRBM vision paper, we endorse the principle that academic research should play a role in developing knowledge that benefits businesses and wider society – with the ultimate goal of creating a better world.  

As a partner, we support their seven principles: 

  • Service to society 
  • Valuing both basic and applied contributions 
  • Valuing plurality and multidisciplinary collaboration 
  • Sound methodology 
  • Stakeholder involvement 
  • Impact on stakeholders 
  • Broad dissemination 

We are one of the few business schools in the world to be recognised as a “RRBM Pioneering Institution”. This designation recognises our commitment to the principles and vision of RRBM – and that we are a source of best practice. It also highlights that we strive to have societal impact through our research and teaching programmes. 

RRBM Label Pioneering Institution logo

Being relevant to both business and society means we involve stakeholders. This may appear to be an obvious thing to do – but in the academic world, this isn’t always so. We are always alert to gaps that exist in fields of knowledge highlighted by stakeholders – and we explore them with academic rigour. We know that the world needs research that makes impact – and we are committed to delivering it. 

Get in touch!

Eva Cools

Eva Cools

Research manager