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PhD: Understanding Strategic Decision-Making through AI-enabled methodologies - job post

TU Eindhoven
43 reviews


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  • Fulltime



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Job description

Are you eager to work on uncovering the cognitive processes that drive strategic decision-making in inter-organizational relationships? Are you excited about integrating innovative methodologies leveraging AI and experimental design to help understand decision-making behavior in strategy and innovation? Are you are eager to understand how managers decide to form inter-organizational collaborations during uncertainty? If so, this PhD project opportunity awaits you, offering a chance to delve into strategic decision-making through novel research methodologies.

This PhD project will tackle the primary challenge of unraveling the complexities of strategic decision-making behaviors in forming, maintaining, and dissolving inter-organizational relationships in the context of innovation. You will be at the forefront of the research group’s efforts, contributing to understanding “the microfoundations of managing and organizing collaborative innovation”, where you will collaborate with like-minded experts in the field.

The research project revolves around the pivotal role of inter-organizational relationships within the broader ecosystem of organizations. These relationships significantly influence the strategic decisions managers make, particularly concerning their choices to form or join ecosystems in uncertain situations. To study decision-making processes, this PhD project is methodologically comprised of two interrelated parts: the first part involves using machine learning techniques (i.e., LLM) and big data to create scenarios, which will serve as input for the experimental design methodologies in the second part.

Consequently, candidates with expertise in programming and familiarity with advanced language models will play a vital role in harnessing the potential of big data resources and transforming them into actionable, experimental scenarios. This multifaceted research approach promises to contribute to a deeper understanding of managerial decision-making within inter-organizational relationships for innovation, and its implications for the contemporary business landscape and beyond.

You will be supervised by dr. Maral Mahdad, dr. Arjan Markus, and Bob Walrave, who are part of the ITEM group at Eindhoven University of Technology. The PhD candidate will benefit from the vibrant group of existing PhD’s and professors. In addition, the candidate will have the opportunity to join the emerging Hub for Open Innovation, which is currently being established with a mission to foster a stronger synergy between scientific expertise and practitioners, active within the deep-tech region of Eindhoven.

Job requirements

  • A Master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in information management, innovation management, business economics, behavioral economics, data science, or machine learning or related fields.
  • Strong expertise in text mining and large language models, proficiency in languages commonly used in data analysis and machine learning.
  • Proficiency in data collection, preprocessing, and analysis, with the ability to handle large datasets efficiently.
  • Affinity with experimental design and behavioral economics research methods.
  • Excellent communication skills to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and convey research findings to diverse stakeholders.
  • Adaptability to address the challenges of working in a data-rich environment and evolving technology landscape.
  • A fearless attitude towards experimentation and innovation to push the boundaries of traditional research methodologies.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

You will be embedded in the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing (ITEM) group. The ITEM group is responsible for the disciplinary areas of innovation, technology entrepreneurship, and marketing. The group teaches courses on, among others, strategy and technology management, new product development, open innovation, and system dynamics. Its research focuses on new product and business development processes for the high-tech industry.

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager Maral Mahdad, email

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services, email

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • One-page research proposal outlining the approach to investigate this research topic.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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