Personal profile

Research interests

Rob van Tulder, PhD (1956) is emeritus Professor of International Business-Society Management. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences (international political economics) from the University of Amsterdam. Since 1997, he has been working as full professor at RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 1998 he co-founded the department of Business-Society Management, which has become one of the leading capacity groups in the world studying and teaching about the contribution of business and leaders towards society’s ‘grand challenges’. In 2009, Van Tulder founded the Partnerships Resource Centre, a capacity group that studies and supports cross-sector partnerships between firms, NGOs and governments for sustainable development. From 2009 to 2023, he additionally acted as academic director of the Partnerships Resource Centre in his capacity as full professor. Van Tulder has served as visiting professor in various universities in both the global North and South, and as consultant to international organisations (e.g., the United Nations, the European Commission, the International Metalworkers Federation), multinational enterprises, non-governmental organisations and ministries around the world. For more than ten years, he worked together with UNCTAD to compile the annual list of ‘the world’s largest TNCs’ published in The World Investment Report.

For his work, prof. van Tulder received numerous accolades, including the CCSI Life Time Achievement Award from the Cross-Sector Social Interactions network, and the Gunnar Myrdal Award from the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy. He is elected member of the Academia Europaea, and fellow of the Academy of International Business (AIB).

Van Tulder takes an active, impact-oriented role in helping organisations across the globe to contribute to realization of the SDGs and to fill research and data gaps to advance sustainable development. Presently, he acts as chair of the Supervisory Board of the Wage Indicator Foundation – a global network of researchers that developed and sustains an up-to-date database of 2600+ regions across 165+ countries in 50+ languages on wage-related issues, including ‘living wage’, ‘minimum wage’ and ‘collective agreements’. He is also member of the SDG advisory board of Robeco (an institutional investor) to help redraft their sustainable investment portfolio and support the sustainability efforts of their global client base (10.000 companies). He is member of the advisory board of the OPEN Foundation, responsible for the collection and recycling of all e-waste in the Netherlands on behalf of all producers of electrical appliances. He is also initiator and chair of the advisory board of the ‘Social Enterprise and Institutions of Collective Action’ endowed chair, which focuses on bridging scientific research and societal initiatives related to ‘new business models’ and hybrid (collaborative) organisation types that address the 'grand challenges' of the present era.

Over the years, Van Tulder published more than 130 scholarly articles in an array of academic journals, including Journal of Management Studies, California Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of International Business Policy, Research Policy, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of World Business, Business & Society, World Development, Transnational Corporations, European Management Journal, Journal of International Organization Studies, Industrial and Corporate Change, Review of International Political Economy. To further scholarly publications on the SDGs in the ‘International Business’ (IB) discipline, he acted as co-editor of three special issues in the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of International Business Policy and Critical Perspectives on International Business. Since 2010, Van Tulder acts as co-editor of the book series Progress in International Business Research (PIBR), annually publishing volumes that are aimed at broadening the societal scope of engaged IB scholarship. Since 2018, he acts as co-founder and area editor of the Journal of International Business Policy, the official journal of the Academy of International Business aimed at addressing policy-relevant areas of IB.  

His latest book publications include: Principles of Sustainable Business. Frameworks for Corporate Action on the SDGs (2023, with Eveline van Mil; Routledge); International Business and Sustainable Development Goals (2023, Emerald); International Business in Times of Crisis (2022, Emerald); International Business in a VUCA World (2020: Emerald); Getting all the motives right. Driving International Corporate Responsibility to the next level (2018: SMO books); Business & The Sustainable Development Goals (2018, RSM Series on Positive Change); The Challenge of the BRIC Multinationals (2017: Emerald); International Business and Sustainable Development (2014: Emerald); Managing the Transition to a Sustainable Enterprise (2014, Earthscan), Doing Business in Africa, a strategic guide for entrepreneurs (2013); Corporate Responsibilities in Turbulent Times, (2012, 2010; China Economic Publishing House – in Chinese); Skill Sheets: an integrated approach to research, study and management (3th Edition 2018; Pearson International); International Business-Society Management  (2006, with A. van der Zwart; Routledge).

In addition to publishing numerous book chapters, practice-oriented articles, policy papers and (government-commissioned) reports, Van Tulder produced a variety of validated open-access tools developed to serve specific audience needs, including: (1) the Better Business Scan (in five languages) for organisations to measure the gap between their sustainability intentions and realisation; (2) partnering alignment tools to help cross-sector partnerships create more impactful configurations and theories of change; (3) the ‘Wicked Problems Plaza’, a multi-stakeholder dialogue model for getting parties with diverging interests work together on common solutions to societal problems (supported by an interactive Wickedness Assessment tool); (4) ‘CANVAS+’, a business model innovation approach to help corporations develop core strategies that limit negative externalities, optimise positive externalities and create (net) shared societal value.

Fields of Scholarship

International Business and multinational enterprises | Corporate responsibilities | CSR | Sustainable Development | Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Sustainable business models | Cross-sector partnerships | Strategic stakeholder management | Wicked problems and systems theory | Skill Development | Regional integration | Core technologies

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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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

chair Advisory board chair social enteprise and institutions of collective action

chair supervisory board Wage indicator Foundation

member SDG advisory board Robeco

member advisory board Stichting Open


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • international political economy
  • strategic management
  • cross-sector partnerships
  • JZ International relations
  • multinational enteprrises
  • hybrid governance
  • globalization
  • L Education (General)
  • skills development
  • education of heart
  • HB Economic Theory
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable business models
  • value-based organizing


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