Jeroen Neckebrouck wins Vlerick Researcher of the Year Award 2017

From left to right: Dean Marion Debruyne, Jeroen Neckebrouck and Research Manager Eva Cools (large view)

From left to right: Dean Marion Debruyne, Jeroen Neckebrouck and Research Manager Eva Cools


Every year, Vlerick Business School highlights exceptional research results by means of the Vlerick Researcher of the Year Award. All the professors and researchers who achieved an A* publication in 2017 could apply. After comprehensive discussions, the interuniversity jury finally selected researcher Jeroen Neckebrouck, who recently successfully defended his PhD on family businesses at Ghent University. 

Before he even finished his PhD, Jeroen managed to get a paper published in the Academy of Management Journal, one of the most highly regarded professional publications in the management arena. “And that is truly a unique achievement,” says Eva. “The path which Jeroen has followed with his PhD is undoubtedly a source of inspiration for other PhD students. By giving him this award at such an early stage in his academic career, we hope to encourage him to be equally ambitious in the future and to keep setting the bar for academic research just as high.”

No sooner said than done, as it turns out. For Jeroen, who is delighted to have won, the award has indeed turned out to be a source of motivation: “It's great to see that academic research into intriguing and practically relevant issues is high on Vlerick Business School's agenda. Research is a process which involves courage, persistence and the ability to be critical. During my PhD research on the collaboration between family businesses and external investors, the school and my supervisors Sophie Manigart and Miguel Meuleman provided a stimulating environment. This allowed me to acquire well-substantiated insights into these kinds of ‘new phenomena’, with which we can continue to inspire both students and companies.”

Milestones in Jeroen Neckebrouck's research include the following:

  • his publication in the Academy of Management Journal
  • his international PhD programme, for which he attended the university of St. Gallen (Center for Family Business) in Switzerland in 2016 and the David Eccles School of Business (University of Utah) in the US in 2017
  • the successful defence of his PhD on family businesses at Ghent University in December 2017 (the research was made possible by a grant from the ICM-FWO)
  • various best paper awards and best reviewer awards
  • his ongoing efforts to translate his academic insights into relevant management advice for family businesses

“Alongside Jeroen, professors Sophie Manigart, Kristof Stouthuysen and Veroniek Collewaert also took part. Incidentally, Veroniek won the award last time,” says Research Manager Eva Cools. “The interuniversity jury were full of praise about the achievements of all the candidates. During the evaluation, not only do we assess how their achievements tie in with our research strategy, we also evaluate the balance between academic research, applied research and teaching innovation. In the end, they chose Jeroen Neckebrouck.”