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Onno Bouwmeester is Associate Professor in Management Consulting and Business Ethics. He holds Msc degrees in Philosophy (1993) and economics (1994) from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and a PhD in business adminstration from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2008). He has worked six years as a management consultant at KPMG Bureau voor Economische Argumentatie. In 2001 he started at the School of Business and Economics. From 2010-2021 he was head of the management consulting section at the M&O department, and member of the department's management team. In 2015 he served as deputy head of the deparment for one year. Currently he is responsible for the master specialisation Management Consulting in the MSc program Business Adminstration and director of the VU Center for Consulting and Professional Service Firms.


Onno's research is focused on Management Consulting and Business Ethics. He has written three mongraphs, one on Economic Advice and Rhetoric with Elgar, one on The Social Construction of Rationality with Routledge, and one on Business Ethics and Critical Consultant Jokes to be published with Springer. His methods are usually interpretative and text or interview based, and he likes to apply rhetorical analysis and argumentation analysis. His studies on business ethics concentrate on the various good reasons we have to motivate our decisions, including non-economic forms of rationality such as social or expressive rationality. Next to that he has publishd on moral disengagement strategies and moral leadership. His studies on consultants explore their rhetoric and reputation, uncertainty in the consultant-client relation, experiences of stress, work-life balance, psychologically dirty work, and the role of consultants as intermediary in the relevance gap debate. His studies on entrepreneurship focus on their rhetorical strategies when convincing investors. Overal his focus is on strategy and policy making, considering the demands of different audiences.


Onno is program coordinator of the MSc Managment Consulting and here he coordinates and teaches the courses Strategy Evaluation and Advice, and Business Ethics in Management Consulting. Next to that he participates in the master course Management and Practce of Consulting.His Master students have been nominated two times for the VU Thesis Award, and with several of his master students he could publish in academic journals. He teaches a PhD course on writing up the data section when doing qualitative research. Three of his PhD students have defended their thesis successfully, and several more are on their way. He is also involved in executive education for management consultants.

Ancillary activities

  • De Beuk | Hippolitushoef | Lid van bestuur | 2014-08-04 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Business Ethics
  • Management Consulting
  • Policy
  • Strategy
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Argumentation Analysis
  • Virtue Ethics


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