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Personal profile

Research interests

Mirjam Werner is Associate Professor in the Business-Society Management Department at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

In her research, she focuses on the processes by which people and organizations challenge the status quo and fight for a more equitable and sustainable world. She is particularly interested in the ways in which marginalized groups fight for inclusion and acceptance, by breaking societal taboos and challenging processes of stigmatization and exclusion. For instance, an important research stream within Mirjam’s current research agenda explores the detrimental impact of the taboo around menstruation, and the way in which social enterprises globally are changing the menstrual product industry.

The innovative and novel ways in which people and organizations go about this fight, how they make sense of their actions and what drives them, then, is core to Mirjam’s work. She explores these issues in the context of social entrepreneurship, social movements and political activism, and intra-organizational change. She has studied social enterprises such Yoni (menstrual products) and Fairphone (mobile phones), as well as global certification organization RA. She has also studied citizen initiatives in the energy sector and healthcare industry.

Other research projects in which she is involved focus on emotions in organizational settings, leadership loneliness, and the Belt and Road initative in China.

As an anthropologist, Mirjam is trained as an ethnographer and her research generally draws on an in-depth qualitative and interpretive approach. She also enjoys theoretical and conceptual work. Her research has been published in various top tier journals such as the Academy of Management Annals, Journal of Management Studies and Organization Studies.

Mirjam holds an MSc in cultural anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a PhD in political and social science from the University of Leeds, UK.

Research interests: framing and sensemaking, social entrepreneurship; taboo and stigma; social movements and political activism; organizational change, organizational identity and culture, and emotions

Topics: Menstruation taboo; stigma; gender (in)equity; citizen initiatives; sustainability

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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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