If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Personal information

Onno Bouwmeester is Associate Professor in Management and Consulting. He received Msc degrees in Philosophy (1993) and economics (1994) from the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He first worked as a secondary school teacher in economics, and then six years  as a management consultant at KPMG Bureau voor Economische Argumentatie. In 2001 he became assistant professor at the School of Business and Economics. In 2008 he recieved his PhD degree, based on a dissertation with the title Advice as Argument. Since 2010 he is head of the management consulting group at the M&O department, member of the department's management team, and responsible for the master specialisation Management Consulting in the MSc program business adminstration. In 2015 he was active as deputy head of department for one year.


Onno's research is focussed on management consultants and decision making. His studies are interpretive, with special attention for argumentation analysis. Current projects explore the reputation of consultants as expressed in internet jokes and self-reflections, consultants and stress, consultants as stakeholder in the rigor and relevance debate, change and employee participation, and argumentation strategies of entrepreneurs to convince their investors. Argumentation analysis is also applied to  analyse rationality behind policy decisions. The identified 'good reasons to act on' are context dependent, as outlined in his most recent monograph: The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons (Routledge 2017). Good reasons are found to be expressive, social or instrumental rational in different combinations.


Courses Onno is coordinating the courses Second Opinion Writing and Business Ethics for students in the master specialization Management Consulting. Next to that he participates in the master course Management Consulting: a Human Perspective. He also participates in executive education for management consultants. His thesis students have been nominated two times for the VU Thesis Award.

Ancillary activities

  • De Beuk | Hippolitushoef | Member of the supervisory board | 2014-08-04 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Management
  • Consulting
  • policy
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Rhetoric
  • Argumentation Analysis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where O. Bouwmeester is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

rationality Social Sciences
social construction Social Sciences
management consultant Social Sciences
argumentation Social Sciences
management counsulting Social Sciences
Decision making Engineering & Materials Science
occupation Social Sciences
status group Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2019

The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons

Bouwmeester, O., 29 Mar 2017, London: Routledge. 202 p. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy; no. 228)

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review

social construction
value rationality
instrumental rationality
Social Norms

Pitching a business idea to investors: How new venture founders use micro-level rhetoric to achieve narrative plausibility and resonance

van Werven, R., Bouwmeester, O. & Cornelissen, J. P., 10 Jan 2019, In : International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship. p. 1-22 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

New ventures

Hoe Kabouter Buttplug Rotterdam veroverde: Rationeel adviseren over kunst

Bouwmeester, O., 2018, In : M&C. 2018, 1, p. 52-55 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleProfessional

Moral or Dirty Leadership: A Qualitative Study on How Juniors Are Managed in Dutch Consultancies

Bouwmeester, O. & Kok, T. E., 9 Nov 2018, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 15, 11, p. 1-22 22 p., 2506.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2001 2017

  • 13 Lecture / Presentation

Debated rationality and irrationality of investment decisions

O. Bouwmeester (Speaker)
5 Jul 2017

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

What jokes can tell about consultant ethics

O. Bouwmeester (Speaker)
31 Oct 2014

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Ethical criticisms as signaled by humorous consulting discourse

O. Bouwmeester (Speaker)
26 Jun 2013

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

The social construction of ‘special people’: stretching consultants´ boundaries to cope with stress

J. Muhlhaus (Speaker), O. Bouwmeester (Speaker)
5 Jul 2012

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Economic advice and rhetoric

O. Bouwmeester (Speaker)
21 May 2012

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Benedictine University Outstanding Paper on Ethical Issues in Management Consulting

O. Bouwmeester (Recipient) & R. van Werven (Recipient), 6 Aug 2010