Personal profile

Personal information

Onno Bouwmeester is Professor in Consulting and Business Ethics at Durham University Bussiness School since 2023, and also Director of the VU Knowledge Hub for Consulting and PSF at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 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). First he worked for six years as a management consultant at KPMG Bureau voor Economische Argumentatie, and then moved to the School of Business and Economics in 2001. From 2010-2021 he was head of the management consulting section at the M&O department, and also member of the department's management team. In 2015 he served as deputy head of the deparment for one year. He founded the master specialisation Management Consulting in the MSc program Business Adminstration at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2009 and was responsible for the program until 2023.


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 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 was program coordinator of the MSc Managment Consulting for 15 years. He still coordinates and teaches the courses Strategy Evaluation and Advice, and Business Ethics in Management Consulting. Three of his Master students have been nominated for a best 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

  • Durham University Business School | Durham | Professor | 2023-01-01 - present
  • Wetenschappelijke Raad van de Orde van Organisatie Adviseurs (OOA) | Lochum | Lid van de raad | 2024-01-01 - 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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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