Prior to joining academia, I worked as a senior executive for large multinational corporations - primarily Unilever - in the Netherlands, South Korea, the Philippines, Germany and Australia, and as an independent consultant for companies such as CBA, Westpac, Lendlease, and Colgate Palmolive. My main motivation to exchange my international business career for doing a PhD and joining academia, was a deep unease with the lack of theories and tools I had as a practitioner to respond to the big challenges of the 21st century.
My research focusses on contributing to our understanding of the evolving role of large multinational corporations in shaping our society. More specifically, I seek to excavate the underlying systemic forces that shape our current reality, in order to help international managers make better choices for the future. Unless we develop a better understanding of the complex mechanisms that perpetuate climate change, inequality, loss of biodiversity etc., managers of these powerful institutions may unknowingly continue to exacerbate these problems (or create new ones) despite sincere commitments to being a force for good.
From This Author
Is there an ideal structure for large multinational organisations? UNSW Business School’s Jacqueline Mees-Buss examines how Unilever has adapted to changing times