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  3. PhD Candidate - Organization Studies / Human Resource Studies / Social Psychology (1.0 FTE, 4 years)

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PhD Candidate - Organization Studies / Human Resource Studies / Social Psychology (1.0 FTE, 4 years)

This project focuses on digital outsourced labor platforms and the implications for workers in the Global South. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the project, the Departments of Organization Studies, Human Resource Studies and Social Psychology at Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) join forces and invite applications for a PhD position. Starting date preferably per 1 December 2021.

3 maanden geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


The multidisciplinary PhD project is a collaboration between the Departments of Organization Studies, Human Resource Studies and Social Psychology, funded by The Herbert Simon Research Institute at TSB. It also involves local academic partners in South Africa (North-West University) and Ethiopia (School of Commerce, Addis Ababa University). You will collect secondary data (e.g., from OLPs’ websites), and primary data (via online questionnaires and fieldwork in Africa), and apply qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the following research questions:

  1. What types of governance models do OLPs adopt?
  2. How do OLP governance models affect workers’ working conditions and well-being?
  3. How do OLP governance models affect client firms’ behavior towards workers in terms of opportunistic and unethical practices?
  4. What resources (e.g., job resources, community resources) and strategies (individual or collective) do workers in the Global South deploy to address challenges inherent to OLPs’ governance models and client firms’ behavior hampering their well-being?


  • A (Research) Master’s degree in organization studies, global management of social issues, human resource studies, business administration, international business, social psychology, work & organizational psychology or another related field with direct relevance for the project 
  • Academic excellence, as demonstrated by grade transcripts and CV
  • Excellent qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and data analytical abilities
  • A strong interest in the social implications of digital technologies
  • Affinity with or strong interest in the Global South and eagerness to conduct fieldwork and dissemination activities in Africa
  • Interest for interdisciplinary work combining the perspectives of organization studies, human resource studies and social psychology
  • Enthusiastic, independent, proactive, with a positive learning attitude, strong motivation and ambition for research excellence
  • Good communication skills and team spirit
  • Interest in conducting teaching tasks (20% of the total time)
  • Excellent command of English and academic writing skills (Dutch or French are a plus but not necessary)


The PhD candidate will be employed by Tilburg University, which is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. The appointments are intended to lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. 

  • We offer a full-time position. The PhD appointment begins with a period of 12 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 36 months will be based on performance evaluation.
  • The gross salary for the PhD position amounts to € 2.395 per month in the first year, rising to € 3.061 per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% (annually).
  • Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary (the 30% tax regulation). The University will apply for such an allowance on their behalf.

The collective labor agreement of the Dutch Universities applies.

Additional information

Project description
Firms in developed countries are increasingly outsourcing services (e.g., software development, data verification, data processing, etc.) to the Global South through digital outsourcing labor platforms (OLPs). OLPs act as intermediaries that connect client firms, mostly in the Global North, with independent workers, mostly in the Global South, to perform well-defined, short-term tasks ranging for more complex (e.g. app design) to simpler (e.g. tagging). For independent workers, joining OLPs provides opportunities (e.g., employment), but also risks (e.g., exploitation) that might have important implications for workers’ wellbeing and working conditions. This multidisciplinary project focuses on organizational- (OLP governance models and client firms’ behavior) and individual-level factors (workers’ resources and strategies) and investigates how these interrelate in affecting the working conditions and well-being of workers in the Global South, specifically in Africa. The PhD project will entail both quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Francesca Ciulli, Assistant Professor, Department of Organization Studies (F.Ciulli@tilburguniversity.edu).