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Now magazine for the nyenrode community • issue


spring 2010

program round-up SCHOOL OF BUSINESS DEGREE PROGRAMS Master of Science in Management FULL-TIME, 16 MONTHS, STARTS IN AUGUST

Part-time Master of Science in Management PART-TIME, 36 MONTHS, DUTCH-LANGUAGE, STARTS IN JANUARY




magazine for the nyenrode community • issue


Bachelor of Science in Accountancy PART-TIME, 54 MONTHS, DUTCH-LANGUAGE, STARTS IN AUGUST




Public Sector MBA


Executive Master of Finance & Control

NyVu Modular Executive MBA





For information, go to or contact the Nyenrode Program Information Center, +31 346 291 291,


OPEN EXECUTIVE PROGRAMS Nyenrode’s open executive programs, in Dutch and English, vary from one-day masterclasses to management development programs of up to 11 months. The subjects of these programs are: • Strategy/Management • Leadership • Marketing/Sales/Innovation • Finance/Tax/Pensions • Human Resource Management


Kopjaar Internal/Operational Auditing (RO)



Credit Rating Advisor


spring 2010

4 the mix News@Nyenrode: the print version 7 theme control Now you have it, now you don’t. An introduction to the concept of control 8 finance An insider’s views on the financial control of Randstad, the world’s second largest HR services company 11 in-control statements Blessing or curse? Dean Leen Paape on the state of the statements 12 leadership Maurits van Rooijen wants Nyenrode to be engaged in society without being controlled by it 16 music Conductor Otto Tausk controls his orchestra as a musician among musicians 19 faculty Five of Nyenrode’s faculty members define what control means in their fields 20 veerstichting Students met with movers and shakers in society at a conference homing in on control 22 healthcare How we experience our own health 24 society Watchdogs and whistle-blowers are two of the parties with a role to play in the control and regulation of Dutch society 27 campus Control meets wilderness in the landscape of the estate



For information, go to or contact +31 346 295 813, Nyenrode NOW Magazine for the Nyenrode Community, Issue 1, spring 2010

Nyenrode also offers specific programs on the following subjects: • China-related Issues • Corporate Governance • Emerging Technologies • Entrepreneurship • India-related Issues • Professional Services • Strategic Talent Management • Sustainability For information go to or contact +31 346 291 581

LIFELONG EDUCATION Nyenrode offers tailored programs and courses in the fields of financial management, accountancy and controlling.

Published by Nyenrode Business Universiteit Editor-in-chief Frank Tebbe Associate editor/writer Terri J. Kester Layout U-Cap, Cynthia Schalkwijk Cover Olga Westrate

Short courses (PE or Lifelong Education) are available for controllers, accountants and other financial experts. In addition, in cooperation with KPMG, the university also provides the possibility to earn PE points through monthly meetings (PE-Café). All programs are in Dutch.

Editorial board Judith Droste, Hanna Emmering, Helm Horsten, Terri J. Kester, Sanne Lichtendahl, Cynthia Schalkwijk, Pol Schevernels, Frank Tebbe Contributors Gert Immerzeel,

For information contact Nick Vos, +31 346 295 851,

Steve Korver, George McDonald, Olga Westrate, John Widen Rector Magnificus/CEO Nyenrode Business Universiteit Maurits van Rooijen

CUSTOMIZED EXECUTIVE PROGRAMS Tailormade in-company programs are developed in close collaboration with our clients. These learning partnerships have included clients such as Achmea, KLM, SNS, DHL, Koninklijke BAM Groep and many others. For information contact Nel Hildebrand, +31 346 291 448,


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

FACILITIES Nyenrode Business Universiteit reserves

Corporate relations of the Nyenrode Business Universiteit may request the use of university facilities for seminars, conferences or meetings with clients.

the right to edit contributions. Nyenrode Business Universiteit

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough,” American racing driver Mario Andretti once said. Total control, however, is an illusion, a Utopian ideal we can strive for but will never achieve. Even a measure of control – of a situation, an organization or one’s own life – is not easy to attain. It requires perseverance, experience and, last but not least, education. The head, heart and hands that summarize Nyenrode’s educational philosophy have to work together. Control is the theme of this issue of Nyenrode NOW. Too much control can kill creativity, while not enough control can lead to disaster. So the truism is that you should make sure you have enough control – but not too much. The next question is: what is enough control for a particular organization, at any given time? If you get the answer to this basic question wrong, things could get messy. The combined arts of leadership and management, the key to success, lies in the way you handle the control dilemma. Where in the spectrum of control, between laissez faire and blueprint, should you be? How do you relinquish control, how do you delegate responsibility, and do you trust others to do the right thing? Bearing the quote from Mario Andretti in mind, we try to find some answers in the pages of this magazine. Last winter, I took control as Rector Magnificus and CEO of Nyenrode Business Universiteit. What a wonderful place I have found here, offering so much opportunity, so much alumni involvement and so many hidden jewels among the faculty. In an interview in these pages I am sharing some insights on Nyenrode with you. I would also like to use this opportunity to invite you to get back to me with some of your thoughts. I’m sure I will find them very helpful. After all, we control the future of Nyenrode together. For now, I hope that this edition of Nyenrode NOW will make inspiring and enjoyable reading.

Straatweg 25, 3621 BG Breukelen

For information, go to or send an e-mail to

The Netherlands Tel. +31 (0)346 291 211

Maurits van Rooijen Rector Magnificus and CEO of Nyenrode Business Universiteit

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now



the mix more musical masters

good show in rankings

pitbull from holland

Academic rankings are increasingly taken into account in the selection of higher education institutes. So it was good news for Nyenrode that its Executive MBA topped last fall’s listing for career progress in the Financial Times. The ranking, which compares alumni’s level of seniority and the size of the companies they work for before and after their MBA, is part of a survey that awarded the program an overall ranking of 69. Nyenrode’s MSc in Management, which tends to attract younger students than the MBA, also beat the competition in the National Student Survey published by ResearchNed and TNS-NIPO. It was the second time the MSc, which has recently been fine-tuned to strengthen its focus on personal development and leadership, came top of the list.

During his repeated visits to Nyenrode, where he arrived in style in the latest Spyker model, Victor Muller proved himself to be a charismatic and inspirational speaker. In 2006 we featured him on the cover of Nyenrode NOW. At the time, no one could have imagined that the ‘pitbull from Holland’, as he was dubbed in Sweden, would buy Saab, a European icon, from US automotive behemoth General Motors. When Muller announced the successful conclusion of the takeover negotiations in January, he pledged to restore Saab’s original character.

room for improvement in risk management The results of a risk management study carried out by Groningen University, Nyenrode, Royal NIVRA and PricewaterhouseCoopers do not reflect well on Dutch companies: the way they manage their risks was found to be inadequate, inefficient and too superficial. On the occasion of NIVRA’s Accountant Day, Dean Leen Paape presented these findings to an audience of finance professionals. On page 11 of this edition of Nyenrode NOW, Paape puts the study into perspective.

The coach house is proving an excellent venue for classical music. An opera concert held there late last year as part of the festivities commemorating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York sold out well in advance. The presence of the US ambassador lent extra prestige to the concert, which included

compositions by Copland, Barber and Gershwin. The next concert in the Musical Masters at Nyenrode series, featuring violinist Liza Ferschtman, will be held on March 28 – an appropriate date to present the Spring and Summer concertos from Vivaldi’s bestknown work, The Four Seasons.

exemplary expat

harvard award for mba students

The Undutchables Recruitment agency, service website Expatica, a government-linked foreign investment organization and Nyenrode have put their heads together to create more recognition for the 150,000-odd expatriates, who make a significant contribution to the Dutch economy. They jointly created the Expat of the Year Awards. On March 23, when the winners have emerged after an online vote at, they will be presented with their awards in a ceremony hosted by Nyenrode.

A paper analyzing the creation, current position and future success of the petrochemical cluster in the Port of Rotterdam, which was written by five MBA students, has been singled out for an award by the Harvard Business School. The report was produced in the context of a course on the microeconomics of competitiveness, developed by a team led by Professor Michael Porter and taught by the Nyenrode Strategy Center. Universities from all over the world presented a total of 89 papers.


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

youtube new tool for scholarship candidates Nyenrode has become the first business school to offer candidates for a scholarship the option of applying on YouTube. They were given just two minutes of video time to convince the judges that they were worthy of a place on the program. After the first batch of scholarship recipients had been selected in this way, MSc program director Eric Melse commented: “YouTube makes it possible to better assess personality and has the added bonus of allowing us to form an immediate bond with the students.” A Russian student singled out for a scholarship returned the compliment: “It was an excellent way for me to focus on the specific reasons why I wanted to study at Nyenrode. And it was fun!”

boosting dutch polish trade relations Last fall the Dutch Polish Trade Award, aimed at stimulating trade relations between the two countries, was presented at Nyenrode for the fifth time. The lucky winner was Zeelandia, a company producing ingredients for bakeries. Zeelandia’s managing director and Nyenrode alumnus Coen Meijer (left) received the prize from the hands of Janusz Stanczyk, the Polish ambassador to the Netherlands.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now



theme control

new books by nyenrode faculty

acting local

Annemieke Roobeek, Nyenrode’s Professor of Strategy and Transformation Management, and Marjanne van der Helm are the main authors of netwerkend werken en intelligent opsporen (working by networking and intelligent detective work). Published by the Dutch Council of Police Chiefs, the book unveils a new model for police investigation that makes use of networking techniques. Nyenrode contributed to the project by hosted a number of brainstorming sessions and an international seminar on new approaches to intelligence work and networking.

For the third year in a row, Nyenrode is showing its involvement in the local community of the historic town of Breukelen by hosting an exchange which brings together local companies and organizations. The municipality has made sustainability its focus for 2010, and the exchange, known as Beursvloer Breukelen, is following suit. On March 25, local entrepreneurs and representatives of a wide range of organizations will be heading for Nyenrode to find partners interested in their ideas and initiatives.

A compilation of articles by Pheijffer and Hoogenboom previously published on websites has now appeared in print under the title accountancy en andere zaken onder de loep (accountancy and other things under the microscope). In the introduction, accountant and editor Tom Nierop observes: “The armor plating around the universe of accountants may not have been completely dismantled, but people are hammering on the hatches.” A transformation for a new approach to management and business practice that makes better use of spirituality is the focal theme in an English-language book co-edited by Sharda Nandram, associate professor at the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Margot Esther Borden. spirituality and business, exploring possibilities for a new management paradigm, includes a contribution by Paul

de Blot.


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

If business enterprises had shown a little more soul, the financial crisis might not have hit so hard. That seems to be the conclusion from the findings of the Nyenrode Monitor, which this time investigated business spirituality. Half of the respondents, drawn from managers and entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, felt that the crisis was caused by the private sector acting soullessly. Approximately 50 percent took the view that the bonuses paid to executives undermine the sense of community within an organization.

olga westrate

In a new book entitled financiële decadentie, toezicht en compliance (financial decadence, supervision and compliance) Bob Hoogenboom and Marcel Pheijffer of the School of Accountancy and Controlling discuss financial and economic crime, the erosion of norms and values, greed and related issues. The authors question the widely held view that regulation and compliance are the solution to the current economic problems.

a little more soul please

royal decoration for paul de blot On the 63rd Founders Day, Professor Dr Paul de Chauvigny de Blot received the title of Knight in the Order of OrangeNassau at Nyenrode. De Blot (85), who was born in the Dutch East Indies, has had a long and distinguished career as a thinker and a scientist. After World War II he joined the order of the Jesuits and in 2006 he was installed at Nyenrode as professor of business spirituality, a very contemporary field. In his PhD thesis, published two years earlier, he compared modern management techniques with the way the Jesuit order was run in the 16th century.

by george m c donald


ontrol is easy to lose. It happens all the time and it’s almost always bad news. Take sport, for instance. A Formula One driver goes into a sharp corner too fast and spins off the track: he lost control. A tennis player lobs past her opponent at the net and the ball lands just outside the line: she lost control. A soccer team leading 2-1 with five minutes to go make two errors costing them two goals: they lost control. Losing control is not a good thing. You’ll rarely hear anyone say: “It’s OK, no problem – we just lost control.” In aviation, there’s air traffic control; nobody wants those guys to lose it. Businesses have their financial controller, internal controls and cost controls. We’ve all seen how the current financial crisis has led to calls for more controls. Everybody knows a control freak or someone with no self-control, and has had a usually unpleasant encounter with them. The Mafia control the drug trade, and woe betide anyone trying to take it away from them. Border controls help to keep us safe. Hooligans are out of control. Even children’s favorite Thomas the Tank Engine has to deal with the Fat Controller. And then we’re not even considering the question of who controls the controllers.

Chaos theory, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Murphy’s Law, even life itself – they have all taught us that the universe is a risky place, and that it is far safer to stay in bed. Since staying in bed is usually not an option, we like to make ourselves believe that we are in control. Is there anything to be said for not being in control? Well, one of the reasons given for the collapse of Communism is that the system tried to control everything; its own rigidity helped to kill it. That same kind of suffocating control is present in many companies and organizations. Yet if innovation and progress are to take place at all, there must be some space between having too much and too little control, where initiative has room to breathe. The art of management is to identify that space and place people in it who know how to use it. They will need strong nerves. And when something goes wrong, as sooner or later it will, they will also need a very good explanation. George McDonald is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to Nyenrode NOW

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control finance

and has operational responsibility for several of the 46 countries where it operates. he reflects on aspects of financially controlling the world’s second largest hr services company. by john widen


ince joining Randstad nine years ago, Robert-Jan van de Kraats has given his local CFOs a relatively high degree of autonomy, maintaining what he calls a “dotted but active line” to them from his Amsterdam office. Most of the company’s business is conducted locally, he reasons, so it must be controlled by local teams. “Not one of my CFOs is recruited without my personal approval, and I am also involved with all appraisals and target setting.” He acknowledges that there could be a clash between his responsibilities as CFO and for operations, but there isn’t: “There are even benefits, because I live in the same world as my colleagues.”

“alive and kicking”. To obtain the necessary finance for its pre-crisis acquisition of staffing company Vedior, Randstad sketched a hypothetical scenario for the way it would cope with a normal downturn, assuming three consecutive years of limited revenue shrinkage. When the crisis hit, the company suffered a 30 percent decline – in a single year. At that point, a blueprint for survival was already in place, but the necessary measures were much harsher. Van de Kraats:

Paradox Van de Kraats explains that Randstad’s business model is a relatively simple yet paradoxical one. On the one hand its strong operational focus makes the model fairly straightforward, while on the other its almost unlimited commercial potential adds complexity. At Randstad, controlling is split into financial control, which encompasses accounting and financial consolidation, and business control, which focuses more on real-world strategy, productivity, strategic targets and performance measurement analyses. “The CFO, however, is more than the person in charge of financial control, which is a purely technical discipline. He also adds value by being the navigator or business controller.” Navigators, Van de Kraats continues, ensure that at local and group levels processes are in place to underscore a strategy with financial targets and the milestones and benchmarking tools to facilitate their realization. To boost competitiveness and make improvements, it’s essential to balance market and internal dynamics. If staff turnover is too high, market share suffers. If it’s too low, it reduces flexibility. “There are many elements to monitor in the dashboard and we have to constantly point out what’s happening and where we can do better.” International operations account for 80 percent of Randstad’s revenues, so they strongly affect the overall dynamics and are key to the corporation’s growth potential. That said, Van de Kraats is satisfied with the company’s current geographical spread, although he would like to strengthen its presence in existing operations. “In Germany we are market leader, but our market share is only 16 percent. Globally, we are present in almost 90 percent of the HR services market. So we don’t need to expand into other countries.”

Alive and kicking

p h oto g r a p h s co u r t e s y o f r a n d s ta d




robert-jan van de kraats is cfo and vice chairman of the executive board of randstad holding

r o b e r t - j a n va n d e k r a at s : «we suffered some people d a m a g e , b u t r e l at i v e ly little financial damage»

Randstad was severely affected by the current economic crisis, but Van de Kraats points out that the company is emerging from it


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control finance

theme control in-control statements

Smokescreen or added value? whether in-control statements are a blessing or a curse depends on who you are talking to. leen paape gives his take on the phenomenon.


“A decline of 30 percent calls for the same tools as one of 10 percent; you just have to use them better. We have suffered some ‘people damage’ but relatively little financial damage, so we survived without the need for any refinancing.” There are now signs of growth in Randstad’s US operations, and in Europe the downturn appears to be bottoming out. Van de Kraats expects to see the marginal contraction he anticipates in early 2010 to turn into marginal growth at year’s end. “We’re usually the first to benefit from a recovery, so our challenge will be to meet this growth by increasing productivity, not costs. We still have overcapacity, which will be used first.”

Business game Van de Kraats’ activities are not limited to Randstad. He is a board member of the New Venture initiative, a business game with a €25,000 prize in which potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to develop a business plan to attract investors and form real companies. He likes its pragmatic character: “It works. It has already created about a thousand companies and thousands of jobs.” Van de Kraats is also on the supervisory boards of two other companies, which he feels provides benefits all round. “It prevents me from being blinkered to a Randstad perspective, and I pick up on elements that I can apply here. What I bring to the party is my day-to-day experience of managing a large company. I can relate to the problems of other organizations, making it easier for me to evaluate their performance and advise them.” Van de Kraats has come a long way since starting a degree course at NIVRA 20 years ago when, by his own admission, he barely knew


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

the difference between debit and credit. “It was tough and highly intensive,” he recalls, “but very beneficial too, because it gave me practical and theoretical experience in a good combination of the elements I now apply at Randstad.”

«besides being in charge o f f i n a n c i a l co n t r o l , t h e c f o a l s o a d d s va lu e b y b e i n g t h e n av i g ato r »

Judging by recent events he must be applying himself very well, because he was voted the Netherlands’ financial top man in 2006 and 2008. Although clearly proud of the achievement, he stresses that the credit should be shared with his team and with Randstad, which gave him the room to maneuver and hire the right people. “Like everything in business, you cannot achieve something like this alone.” John Widen is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to Nyenrode NOW.

e recently carried out research on the state of the art of risk management in the Netherlands. We surveyed almost one thousand organizations, each with revenues exceeding €10 million. We also looked at the practice of in-control statements and learned that only about one third of all organizations subject to corporate governance regulations provided one. Of the corporations not bound by the regulations, a meager one in five produced an incontrol statement. Two-thirds of the total number of statements that were produced only included the financial reporting risks and controls, with just one third giving details of all risks and controls. We were, to put it mildly, disappointed with these results. We had to conclude that, apparently, even organizations with a legal requirement to provide transparent information about the quality of their risk management systems refused to do so.

ment. Not surprisingly, they gave themselves significantly higher grades: 6.5 on average. In our view, this overrating of the quality of their risk management systems may lead to the creation of an even denser smokescreen.

Worthwhile undertaking Other research results revealed that providing in-control statements leads to lower cost of capital, higher shareholder value, less fraudulent behavior and fewer restatements of the annual report. It is therefore our opinion that providing an in-control statement adds value, making it a worthwhile undertaking. It focuses the attention and obliges the organization to take a closer look at the quality of its risk management and control systems. This will most likely lead to improvements and correction of flaws. In the end not only the shareholders, but all stakeholders will benefit.

Transparency is crucial The current economic and financial crisis makes financial transparency all the more crucial. Critics point out that, although many reputable organizations have provided in-control statements, these did not stand the test of the economic downturn. The critics put this view in perspective by explaining that, for organizations which have published such a statement, the risks of being held accountable when surprises occur outweigh their potential benefits. Too much transparency might also harm their competitive position. While those arguments should not be brushed aside, there is proof that providing an in-control statement enhances the quality of risk management. In our research we graded the quality of risk management of our respondents. The results showed that organizations that follow mandatory regulations requiring in-control statements had higher grades than those that don’t. On a scale from 1 to 10 – with 1 being very poor and 10 outstanding – the average grade was 4.5. We also asked respondents to grade the quality of their own risk manage-

« i n t h e e n d n ot o n ly t h e shareholders, but all s ta k e h o l d e r s w i l l b e n e f i t »

Sure, the in-control statement may itself be perceived as a smokescreen. There are no guarantees whatsoever that control systems can prevent all crises and economic downturns. But as long as they soften the impact and prevent even one major crisis, the benefits are certain to exceed the costs. Leen Paape is Dean of the Nyenrode School for Accountancy & Controlling.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control leadership

Nyenrode’s broad canvas

in an in-depth interview, maurits van rooijen discusses his plans for nyenrode and its relevance for education, business and society at large.

by terri j. kester

The end of your first 100 days as Rector Magnificus and CEO coincided with the beginning of the New Year. Have you formulated a vision?

match what I’ve seen in the worlds of business and education with Nyenrode’s historical and current strengths, image and branding.

One can easily get too excited about vision and get to a point where there’s too much vision and not enough work. It’s not my personal vision that matters, but the institutional vision. What I can do is

What do you see as Nyenrode’s main strength?


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

Nyenrode is the only universiteit which is recognized by the Dutch state and yet financially independent. Don’t get me wrong; we should

not adopt an arrogant attitude toward the public universities. Every university has its own voice. There clearly is a need for diversity, and I want to stress that there’s nothing wrong with the purely academic education offered by other universities. However, Nyenrode is a different kind of animal. While we too are committed to a high level of academic rigor, we have to combine this with relevance to society. I realize that relevance is an ambiguous concept. I mean that, in order to remain relevant, we should not just respond to the demands and desires of our stakeholders but keep ahead of what happens in society. We must focus on our impact on society, through our graduates and our consultancy work. That is the exciting challenge facing us. Nyenrode

is important for this country and rooted in society. If we don’t stay firmly focused on what society needs, we will lose our raison d’être.

Can you give an example of areas where business and society are intertwined? Sustainability is a good example. Leaving the ideological aspect aside, we see sustainability as a business case and we study the role of leadership in it. Another example is spirituality. Professor Paul de Blot spoke about this recently, when he received a royal decoration. These are business discussions as well as ideological ones. The study of the business angles of such fields is what makes Nyenrode relevant and innovative.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control leadership

maurits van rooijen (1956), who assumed his duties as Rector Magnificus and CEO of Nyenrode on October 1, 2009, is an economic historian who graduated at Utrecht University, where he also obtained his doctorate for his research on green urbanization. He has held positions as an academic, administrator and executive at Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Victoria University Melbourne, the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. In 1993 he joined the staff of the University of Westminster in London. As a member of the senior management team and later of the executive team, he assumed responsibility for international and institutional development. The transformation of a locally-oriented, undergraduate-focused institution into an internationally acclaimed university with

What do the groups making up the Nyenrode community have in common?

the business community and society at large, has to extend beyond the campus.

They have all made a conscious choice to come here. People come to us at different stages in their lives. Young graduates, MBA students, accountancy students, middle management and board members all have their own reasons to come to Nyenrode. We have a broad canvas to work on. The overall picture is that we all understand what entrepreneurship and leadership are about. As for the students, they are investing in their future. They’re not just here to acquire knowledge, because knowledge alone doesn’t make you successful in life. Even if you know how to use your knowledge but lack the drive and attitude that should go with it, you’ll fail. You have to test your abilities in the real world. At Nyenrode we understand and facilitate this, and we’ll do so even more in the future.

How do you see Nyenrode’s place in the international arena? Nyenrode was founded over 63 years ago as an organization with an international mission. Somehow, this mission has receded in recent years. That is something we have to address. We can considerably raise our profile, both in the Netherlands and abroad, by being more visible in the international domain. We need to develop a more focused cooperation with other business schools and make our teaching more international. The full-time MSc program in particular would benefit from a higher percentage of foreign students. Things are happening in this area already – we have joined the EuroMediterranean University initiative of the European Parliament for example, and we’re going to set up an international academic council of leading business school deans – but we can do much more. This is a part of my assignment that I’m very much looking forward to. Due to the withdrawal of the student bank loans, we were forced to postpone the start of our International MBA. Though this is not the kind of thing you want on your desk when you start a new job, we have managed to turn a negative into a positive. The new-style MBA that will start in September is going to be more typically Nyenrode and more in step with the emerging needs of the 21st century. In fact, this incident has created a wonderful opportunity for us.

an extensive portfolio in postgraduate education did not go unnoticed. On two occasions the University of Westminster received, quite uniquely, the UK’s highest business award for achievement in export, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. While based in London, Van Rooijen was also involved in the founding of universities in Africa and Asia. He currently chairs the Euro-Mediterranean University, which was recently founded as an initiative of the European Union. Other international positions held by him include the presidencies of the Spain-based Compostela Group of Universities, one of the largest consortia of its kind with some 80 members, and of the World Association for Co-operative Education in Boston, Massachusetts, which seeks to bring together business and universities.

You are the first Rector Magnificus who is also CEO of Nyenrode. Was your appointment the reason to reorganize the leadership? The reason lies partly in my background. My 16 years in the UK and my experience in the US and Australia have made me see the logic of combining a university’s operational and managerial responsibilities with the academic leadership. In a modern organization, the two are interdependent. Clear leadership, in the context of a team, is particularly important for a private institution like Nyenrode.

When you were appointed, the media emphasized that you are an outsider because you don’t belong to Nyenrode’s ‘old boys network’. Sometimes you need an outsider to appreciate the value of something. I already knew that Nyenrode has a strong alumni network, but it’s even better than I expected. Even in a global context it’s a truly unique resource, further strengthened by the School of Accountancy and Controlling. If we organize it in a more structured way, we can generate more interaction between degree students and alumni, who are very generous with their time and energy. As an outsider, I don’t take the network for granted.


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

What, in your view, is the place of executive education? Our executive programs enable us to say to companies: “You don’t need to set up your own corporate university. Nyenrode is your corporate university. You can come to us for all your training needs.” We start teaching where other universities stop – and go way beyond that point. Even on a global scale, very few institutions understand what teaching in the 21st century should be about. Today’s higher education should deliver people who not only understand leadership and entrepreneurship, but who also know how to link theory and practice. Coming from a work-integrated learning environment, they should look beyond the classroom and move to a learning-integrated work environment. Our involvement with our students doesn’t end when they graduate. This university can be a partner for life to all its stakeholders.

The theme of this edition of Nyenrode Now is Control. Do you intend to keep a tight rein on Nyenrode? I have no desire to exercise strict top-down control, because it would stifle the creativity and excellent work that is done here. In a medium-sized institution like this, you don’t need much control. You have to safeguard your autonomy and make clear that you cannot be bought. You should be free to express provocative opinions, the truth as you see it, and be engaged in the outside world without being controlled by it. Of course excesses in terms of behavior, by students as well as professors, have to be controlled. Another area where control mechanisms have to be firmly in place is cost control. To protect our independence, we need to develop a better financial buffer. We should also control – or rather coordinate – our message to the outside world. But apart from that I advocate no more control than is absolutely necessary.

You strongly emphasize the importance of listening to everyone. If you listen carefully, you learn more quickly. Listening is not something you do from nine to five; you also do it in the bar or at an alumni event. It’s one of the reasons why I live on the campus. People don’t listen enough to each other. I encourage them to talk to each other rather than about each other, because dialogue is the most important part of communication. I don’t just want to follow my own leadership style, but also address the anxieties and resistance of the people around me and play to their strengths. We have a gathering of very intelligent, highly creative people at Nyenrode, with strong opinions. Everything I say will be viewed critically – perhaps even skeptically. This is not a bad thing; on the contrary, there’s strength in that. It’s what shapes a genuine community, to which people are committed. But it comes at a price.

What is the price you have to pay? Having to do a lot of talking and explaining. Otherwise people will not commit to working with me. To lead Nyenrode, I must be aware of both the internal and external perceptions. Our message, that we are a different kind of university relevant for students,

m a u r i t s va n r o o i j e n : « s t r i c t to p - d ow n co n t r o l w o u l d s t i f l e t h e c r e at i v i t y a n d e xc e l l e n t w o r k t h at is done here»

Do you expect to be here long enough to carry all your plans through? I returned to the Netherlands because Nyenrode is a very exciting institution, and I’m going on the assumption that I’ll be here for the rest of my working life. I don’t think it would be good for the organization if I thought otherwise. Terri J. Kester is a freelance journalist and associate editor of Nyenrode NOW.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control music

The conductor as sheepdog far from displaying the totalitarian tendencies of which some conductors are accused, otto tausk uses more subtle means to impose his musical personality on the orchestras he leads. by steve korver


raditionally, conductors have had a certain reputation. Arturo Toscanini and Gustav Mahler were untouchable gods, alone on their mountains. Artur Rodzinski was said to bring a revolver to rehearsals to deal with motivational issues. So it is a relief that Otto Tausk (1970) has quite different ways of staying professionally in control in today’s modern world. Regarded as the most successful Dutch conductor of his generation, he is the chief conductor of the Holland Symfonia – when he is not gathering prizes or acting as guest conductor to the great orchestras

p h oto g r a p h y m a r co b o r g g r e v e

« t h e a g e o f t h e lo n e ly b o s s i s ov e r . i a m m o r e a m u s i c i a n among musicians»

of the world. He has built up a startlingly diverse repertoire that runs from Verdi’s Requiem to the latest opera by contemporary Dutch composer Michel van der Aa. He has also collaborated with the decidedly non-classical likes of Loes Luca and Henny Vrienten. He describes himself as “a very convinced non-specialist”. Tausk comes across as a nice guy whose energy and enthusiasm for music are infectious.

Volunteer Tausk didn’t start his career by lining up his teddy bears and waving a pretzel stick in front of them. As a child, he was a gifted violin


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control music

theme control faculty

to the musicians. The age of the lonely boss is over. I am more a musician among musicians. I don’t dictate. I just try to convey the importance of what we are doing and connect everyone to the music, and I feel responsible for that.”

Defining control

Undemocratic But of course leading an orchestra remains a fundamentally undemocratic process. “They once experimented in communist Russia with a conductor-free orchestra and the results weren’t that bad,” says Tausk. “But it took at least ten times as many rehearsals before everyone had had their say. “Talking takes up so much time and it’s not always useful. Just look at these amazing Japanese, Korean and Chinese conductors. In fact, their musical technique became excellent because they could not speak the language of the orchestras they worked with. With fewer words, they could create a more direct relationship with the music.” So conducting is less about working on your totalitarian tendencies and more about developing a strong musical personality? “Absolutely. For example with Gergiev, I would rehearse with the orchestra for days, really sweating over all the details, and then he would walk in and be able to impose his musical personality upon a piece almost immediately.”

Prima donnas

ot to ta u s k : « co n d u c t i n g i s a b o u t t r a n s l at i n g w h at t h e co m p o s e r i n t e n d e d i n to w h at i w a n t »

player. Soon after starting to play with orchestras, he became frustrated by having to focus on just one part of a score. “So when one day a conductor called in sick, I volunteered to give it a try.” Tausk ranks his time as assistant to Valery Gergiev at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as formative. “I call him the greatest conductor on earth, and it’s with that orchestra that I gained my pilot hours.” He describes his studies at the conservatory in Vilnius, Lithuania, as “very inspiring because of the hardships there. People were really dedicated to the music. They were even willing to practice in temperatures of -20 when the heat was shut off. I was pretty isolated there from my friends and family and could just immerse myself in music.” He also had time to meditate on the true role of the conductor. “It’s about translating what the composer intended into what I want. I have to stay musically true to myself while being respectful


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

But how does he control the first violinists? Surely they are still the prima donnas they always were? Surely some of the stereotypes still exist? Tausk sticks to his guns by remaining a diplomat: “Actually, they are usually a great help as a conduit between conductor and orchestra.” Sven Arne Tepl, the acclaimed first viola player and artistic manager of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, worked with Tausk at the Holland Symfonia. He claims he has never seen Tausk lose control. “Otto has a natural authority and he always has room to digest surprises. He is very self-critical and open to feedback. This evaluation process is a healthy way for an artist to evolve. Besides, making music is not about control but about creating freedom within a framework.” Tausk himself, however, admits to sometimes losing control. “Usually it’s when the orchestra is not completely with you.” Luckily, unlike Rodzinski, he feels no need to bring a revolver. “Dealing with such a situation is normally about doing less, not more. Using smaller movements makes the orchestra more aware of the disconnection, so they start listening more. It’s the same with sheepdogs: the young ones keep running around like crazy to keep the sheep together, while the older ones get away with making very little effort because they know the sheep know they are being watched.” Instead of taking control of the interview by asking Tausk how he thinks musicians would feel about being compared to sheep, I decide to try harder to take control of my own life. Thanks, Otto.

we asked some members of nyenrode’s faculty what control means in their fields.

dr. lidewey van der sluis full professor of strategic talent management “The labor market needs people who are in control, with composure, discipline and self-awareness in the most essential aspects of their talent development: knowledge, expertise and character.”

lineke sneller researcher and phd candidate (with information technology as area of expertise) “I see control in information systems as a combination of mastery and balance – not as domination. But I would not venture to say whether the use of information technology in the fight against terrorism leads to balanced mastery or domination.”

dr. sharda nandram researcher, psychologist and associate professor of entrepreneurship and business spirituality “Control puts the brakes on creativity, because the former is imposed from outside, while the latter usually comes from within.”

dr. désirée van gorp director international department and associate professor of international business (with global sourcing as an area of expertise) “In moving activities abroad, geographical proximity is associated with a high degree of control. In practice, however, cultural compatibility is often more significant in creating or enhancing a sense of control.”

dr. barbara majoor professor of accountancy “Control implies a confirmation of the justified confidence of your stakeholders. Their confidence should be justified; you can confirm this by exercising control.”

Steve Korver is a freelance writer and editor. More information on

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control conference

individual views and stories. On the first day, for example, a lecture by Piet Hein Donner, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, was followed by a presentation by Manon Ossevoort, who traveled on a tractor to the South Pole and back in pursuit of a dream.

factual data. Yet its impact was such that, several months after the event, Claartje van Dam confesses that not everything she’s taken on board during those two hectic days has yet sunk in. “I am someone

High-profile names

Thoughts that count

While the speakers and moderators – the latter included highprofile names like Antoine Bodar, Carolina de Bourbon and Arthur Docters van Leeuwen – addressed thought-provoking aspects of the theme, the program also offered plenty of opportunity to interact, eat and drink. The entertainment included street dance, live music and a show by the American comedy group Boom Chicago. The main venue of the conference was Leiden’s imposing Pieterskerk, and the 500 participants were made up of equal numbers of ‘designers of society’ and students. The latter, 200 from the Netherlands’ most prestigious universities and 50 from abroad, were selected on the basis of essays they submitted. Sharon Pruss was one of five MSc students from Nyenrode. She enjoyed the interaction with other participants and left with the notion that control is an illusion. “At the end of the conference, some people were cheering enthusiastically while others were more reserved. But everybody had a twinkle in their eyes which showed that the VeerStichting had spiritually challenged them and got them thinking.”

No conclusions The symposium did not set out to draw any conclusions or produce

« w h e n yo u ’ r e a s t u d e n t , yo u c a n d o a n y t h i n g . b u t t h i s f r e e d o m a l s o m a k e s yo u a w a r e o f r i s ks a n d d a n g e r s . yo u s ta r t lo o k i n g f o r c e r ta i n t i e s , yo u f e e l t h e n e e d f o r co n t r o l »

who likes to keep control. But if the past year has taught me anything, it’s that control is not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes you should just let things happen.”

The conference was chaired by writer and presenter Jeroen Smit

last year the veerstichting, an organization that stimulates communication between university students and those who shape society, staged a conference examining the concept of control. by terri j. kester


he most significant character in Everything Under Control?, the title of the symposium organized last year by the VeerStichting (Veer Foundation), is the question mark. In our complex world, complete control is, at most, an illusion. Whether we should even try to achieve it remains an open question. Founded in 1979 by students from Leiden University, the VeerStichting aims to stimulate communication between students and what it calls the designers of society, a group that includes policy makers, government officials, academics, media personalities and creative people of all kinds. The foundation’s annual two-day symposium in Leiden’s historic city center is the main focus of its activities.

Deep end Every fall, a committee of five students suspend their studies to get to work on the following year’s symposium. In 2009, the theme and


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

the composition of the program were the responsibility of Claartje van Dam, a 22-year-old law and political science student. “We were thrown in at the deep end; I had to start from scratch,” she says. “For almost a year, I talked to Iots of people and visited artists, politicians and philosophers to find out how they felt about control.” Even before joining the committee, Claartje was interested in the concept of control. As a student, she was struck by the tremendous freedom she experienced. “When you’re a student, you can do anything. But this freedom also creates tension and makes you aware of risks and dangers. You start looking for certainties, you feel the need for control. That’s why the symposium also addressed freedom and creativity and the way they are affected by control. Rather than solutions, we wanted to offer food for thought by asking questions.” Claartje drew up a program for the conference that started with a broad perspective and then narrowed the focus to speakers with highly

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control healthcare

Toward a better quality of life simply put, joost stalpers earned his cum laude phd by studying how people experience their own health. the practice of healthcare can benefit from his findings. by hanna emmering

Your thesis discusses the psychological determinants of subjective health. What exactly does that mean? In its present form, healthcare is largely based on the assumption that the individual’s experience of his or her health runs parallel with the biological and physiological state of the organism. In other words, if you have the flu you don’t feel well, and as you get better physically your experience of your health also improves. My research shows, however, that apart from the physical aspects other factors also influence health experience. The degree to which we think we can control the state of our health can play a part. Other factors are whether or not we can accept this, and to what extent we are willing and able to adjust our behavior.

their patients’ concerns. Since the subjective experience of your own health governs when and how you enter, move through and leave the healthcare chain, these insights make it possible to anticipate future healthcare requirements.

How relevant is your research for specific target groups? The comparison of the treatment of individual patients in particular produced remarkable results. For example, women perceive their own health more negatively than men, possibly because they are more inclined to interpret physical phenomena as symptoms of disease or disorder. However, in terms of the psychological factors influencing experienced health, there is no difference between men and women.

Is intelligence a factor in subjective health perception?

« h i g h ly e d u c at e d p e o p l e h av e a m o r e p o s i t i v e i m a g e o f t h e i r h e a lt h t h a n t h o s e w h o h av e s t u d i e d l e s s »

Yes it is. My research showed that highly educated people have a more positive image of their health than those who have studied less. Perhaps the highly educated are better able to accept disease as an integral part of human existence, rather than seeing it as an inevitable disaster that strikes them from outside. This means they are more inclined to see a link between their health and their behavior. I also found that for the chronically ill the acceptance of their fate and the perception of control over their disease are of crucial importance.

co u r t e s y o f r a n d s ta d

Given your conclusions, what is your advice for medical practitioners? In your thesis you say that doctors and other medical practitioners should pay more attention to the subjective health perception of their patients. In the course of my research I identified the essential psychological determinants of subjective health. I combined them in a model in order to study the relative effects of these various determinants. This enables healthcare professionals to get a better insight into


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

If doctors structurally consider the experiences and ideas of their patients in deciding on their treatment, they may arrive at better diagnoses, draw up better treatment plans, instill greater willingness to follow the prescribed therapy and ultimately have more satisfied patients. This in turn will increase both the efficiency and quality of healthcare and bring us a step closer to improving our quality of life.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control society

Too little

too late? investigative journalists, pressure groups, websites and whistle blowers all have their part to play in counterbalancing the proliferation of top-down regulatory organizations in the netherlands. by pol schevernels


he instruments and activities for the top-down regulation of Netherlands-based organizations have increased considerably in recent years. The main reason for this is the rise in social and economic abuses in nearly every sector of society. Yet when push comes to shove, the new instruments are not proving sufficiently effective. In addition, they only seem to be used or enforced if individuals or groups signal their discontent. The perpetrators don’t seem inclined to reflect on their actions and mend their ways. Thanks to more inventive alliances, the signals from the bottom up have become louder rather than fading away. Beside more legislation, more regulation and control have made many areas of Dutch society easier to manage and police. A number of new authorities have been created: AFM (Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets), NZa (Dutch Healthcare Authority), OPTA (Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority) and the Voedsel- en Waren Autoriteit (Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority), in addition to independent supervisory bodies like DNB (Dutch Central Bank), Milieu Inspectie (Environmental

Inspectorate) and KOAG (Inspection Board for Public Advertising of Medication). While all these bodies have led to a differentiation of top-down regulation, the various consumer organizations, arbi-

« a w h i s t l e - b low i n g w e b s i t e l i k e w i k i l e a ks g ua r a n t e e s i t s co n t r i b u to r s a n o n y m i t y »

tration boards and ombudsmen are also trying – and failing – to put a stop to the excesses and lapses of control we have seen and which continue to occur across the board. We’ve seen them in the incomprehensible financial products that are on offer; in the

Pieter Lakeman (far left) and Dirk Scheringa (above) were two of the main protagonists in the bankruptcy of the DSB bank


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now


theme control society

Media watchdogs Acting on their own initiative or after being alerted by aggrieved or concerned citizens, investigative journalists frequently draw attention to these lapses and excesses. Next to TV consumer programs like Kassa and Radar, other Dutch media are also claiming their share of the action. As early as 2006, after being swamped by complaints from the public, Radar presenter Antoinette Hertsenberg coined the term woekerpolis for extortionate insurance policies. In August 2009, Pieter Lakeman was appointed chairman of the Stichting Hypotheekleed (Mortgage Distress Foundation) and given ample air time on television news shows. His foundation was one of about a dozen organizations set up by customers of DSB, a small but high-profile Dutch bank that got into financial hot water and finally went bankrupt in October last year. Following the bankruptcy, a TV news program laid its hands on documents calling into question the role of the Dutch Central Bank in the downfall of DSB. Although the documents were posted on the program’s website, the Public Prosecutor’s office dismissed the demand from the Central Bank for a criminal investigation into the affair.

« to r e i n f o r c e t h e c r e d i b i l i t y o f t h e co n t r o l to o l s , i t i s v i ta l t h at b ot to m - u p i n f o r m a n t s p l ay a pa r t i n t h e n e w r e g u l ato r y p o l i c i e s »

In addition to reporting on aggrieved individuals and consumer groups, the media increasingly assume the role of self-appointed investigator. Around the time this magazine is published, the Dutch News Monitor will report its findings on the role of the media in the DSB affair. Other organizations, including the Dutch Central Bank and the independent Scheltema Commission, are carrying out their own investigations, which are expected to result in new regulatory measures.


nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

Even if they refuse to disclose their sources, the traditional audiovisual and print media nonetheless exercise a measure of control. With the rise of the digital media, this control has unfortunately evaporated. A whistle-blowing website like Wikileaks guarantees its contributors complete anonymity. In 2008 this practice was endorsed by a court in California, where a Swiss bank tried to defend itself against accusations of money-laundering. The Dutch website www.klokkenluider also takes pains to protect those who are willing to blow the whistle. At a time when anyone who has a mobile phone and a computer can post photos and video footage on the Internet, accurate reporting is crucial to prevent the control function of the media and its informants being discredited.

More rights for whistle-blowers In the Dutch public sector, the Algemene Rekenkamer (Court of Audit) has long carried out satisfactory top-down control. The Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid (Dutch Safety Board) is also improving its performance in this respect. However, until recently the position of whistle-blowers, who provide bottom-up control, sharply contrasted with these venerable institutions. Fortunately, this situation is being rectified. A group of experts, including several former whistle-blowers, has drawn up new regulations making it easier to report wrongdoings while at the same time protecting the rights of the whistle-blowers. The final hurdle for these regulations is the Raad van State (Council of State), which has yet to approve them. Work is also underway on an advice and referral service for whistle-blowers and a central reporting office for integrity violations. The new top-down regulation and control tools improve the situation, but only slightly. They are complemented by various investigations and inquiries. In Amsterdam, for example, the excessive overspending on the North-South metro line was recently investigated, and at national level a committee is finding out why public transport came to a halt last winter as a result of heavy snow. ROVER, the association of public transport users, which has played an important role in bottom-up control since the early seventies, is pleased with the new initiatives. However, it is vital that bottom-up informants also play a part in the new top-down regulatory policies which are described above. This will reinforce the credibility of the many control tools we already have and stimulate discussion on further improvements. Pol Schevernels is a communications architect, boardroom counselor, publicist and editor of VCV Magazine. His book Acties naar aanleiding van publieksreacties (actions taken in response to public reactions) was published in 1987.

p h oto g r a p h y g e r t i m m e r z e e l

plagued construction industry; in the fees charged by medical specialists; in violations of the income norms in the public sector; and in the poorly controlled bonuses paid in the private sector.

theme control campus

A controlled wilderness the landscape styles of the renaissance and the romantic movement both contributed to the nijenrode estate as it is today. by gert immerzeel


omo sapiens has an innate desire to control the world around it. On the surface, it would seem that modern technology has increased the possibilities to do so, but the failure of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, for example, shows how powerless our leaders can be to truly move in the right direction. Instead, we often see nature as a source of wealth, which we exploit without heeding the consequences. Authorities on nature like Sir David Attenborough try to teach us some humility. After all, we need the planet and its resources more than they need us. Respect for nature is our guiding principle in managing the Nijenrode estate (for the estate, we use the Dutch spelling of our name). We know that nature can only be shaped up to a point. The more you try to control it, the more energy you need. The formal gardens that were all the rage during the Renaissance expressed man’s desire for maximum control of nature. The reaction to this tight control came at the time of the Romantic Movement, when the English landscape garden recreated Arcadian vistas with lakes, ruins and bridges. This new approach to the landscape offered opportunities to partner with nature instead of counter-

acting its ways. With certain limitations – such as some essential maintenance and respect for the shape of paths and banks – English landscape gardens give a wide berth to natural processes in a controlled wilderness. Leaving dead trees where they fall, for example, generates a wealth of living organisms, much of which is all but invisible to the human eye. In a forest, approximately 40 percent of all organisms – from bats and birds to mushrooms and insects – are sustained by dead wood. The beauty of this is that everyone benefits: on one hand more ecological management requires less labor, while on the other it creates a richer and more sustainable landscape. Nijenrode favors a two-pronged management of the estate. The rose garden, a splendid example of the Renaissance style, has great cultural and historic value, so we are dedicated to keeping it under control. At the same time, we take a more relaxed approach to the part of the estate that follows the English landscape principle. The result is a rich and varied park. Gert Immerzeel is estate manager at Nyenrode.

issue 1, spring 2010 • nyenrode now



nyenrode now • issue 1, spring 2010

Nyenrode Now Issue 1, Spring 2010  

Magazine for the Nyenrode Community. Theme: Control

Nyenrode Now Issue 1, Spring 2010  

Magazine for the Nyenrode Community. Theme: Control