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Elco van Burg is full professor of Organizational Theory and Head of Organizational Theory Section at the School of Business and Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He holds a PhD from Eindhoven University of Technology in entrepreneurship, as well as an MSc. Degree (cum laude) in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from the same university and an M.A. degree (cum laude) in Theology from Utrecht University. After several academic positions at both Eindhoven University of Technology and VU Amsterdam, Elco has been working in a social enterprise in the rural highlands of Papua (Indonesia) for a period of six years, where he is still involved. 


Elco's research is situated at the intersection of organization theory and entrepreneurship. He studies primarily the following topics: social networks and interorganizational collaboration, managerial imagination and decision-making, design perspectives on organizing, organizing for the public good (social entrepreneurship and religious organizations), and modern organizational trends such as lean and agile organizing. 


Elco teaches courses on organization theory and on research methods. Moreover, he supervises Master's theses and is involved in the supervision of more than five PhD students.  


Elco got the following research and teaching grants.

  • ZonMw and NWO (2020-2022): Kwetsbaar in Amsterdam: De organisatie en effecten van de ondersteuning van kwetsbare groepen tijdens en na de coronacrisis
  • ESA and NSO (2014-2019): Funding for a PhD project on entrepreneurship and technology transfer in the space sector, funded by the European Space Agency and the Netherlands Space Office. 
  • Nuffic (2013), Bhutan: Tailor-made-training for business developers from Bhutan on the topic ‘business development and strategic financial and investment analysis”.
  • EU Directorate Enterprise - E-Force (2009-2011): This project involved the development of  21 high quality teaching cases on entrepreneurial decision making (total sum: € 684.000), with seven partners from The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Norway. For more information, see
  • SenterNovem - CASINDO (2010-2011): Training university staff in Indonesia in technology transfer, cooperation between  universities and industry and academic entrepreneurship.
  • EU SUCCESS (2009): Start-up summer school for researchers and potential entrepreneurs in green energy, with TKK and HSE (Finland), as a ‘pre-KIC’ for the EIT.
  • EU Interreg IIIC – Mateo IV E-Clue (2006-2007): Work package in which we developed a web-based entrepreneurship course. 

Ancillary activities

  • STTR Wamena | Wamena | Docent | 2021-01-27 - present
  • Yayasan Lentera Papua | Wamena | Adviseur | 2021-01-27 - present
  • Bijzondere Noden | Woerden | Projectcoordinator Papua (Indonesia) | 2021-02-03 - present
  • VCORG (Basisonderwijs) | Dordrecht | Bestuurder | 2021-10-28 - present
  • EYA Aviation Indonesia | Wamena | Financieel manager | 2021-12-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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