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Westerhuis, Gerarda


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Full Name

Gerarda Westerhuis

Date of Birth




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Gerarda Westerhuis is assistant professor at the Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University. Her research focuses in particular on corporate governance, CEOs and boards, entrepreneurship, elites and financial history. She combines theories and methodologies from economic and sociological sciences applying the long term perspective of a historian. She makes use of large data sets, in-depth archival research, and interviews.

As part of the research project on Business in the Netherlands in the 20th century (BINT) she wrote a book on the corporate governance and financing of business in the Netherlands during the 20th century (Boom, forthcoming 2015). She obtained her PhD from Utrecht University with a dissertation on the expansion of Dutch banks and insurance companies to the United States, published under the title Conquering the American market. ABN AMRO, Rabobank and Nationale-Nederlanden working in a different business environment, 1965-2005 (Boom, 2008). She also holds an MA in Social and Economic History from the University of Groningen, and worked for three years as a project manager in the Marketing department of Fortis Bank.

Recent projects:

  • In April 2013 she started her research project (NWO Veni grant), entitled Unraveling the origins of a banking crisis: changing perceptions of risk and managerial beliefs in Dutch banking, 1957-2007.
  • Since June 2015 she is part of the European funded project (Horizon2020) on Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES), in which she is jointly responsible for work package 2 on Institutions and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Europe: past, present and future.
  • She is co-initiator and coordinator of an international project The power of corporate networks: a comparative and historical perspective. The project resulted in an edited book by Routledge (2014). Recently, the project was extended and continued, now with a focus on interpersonal ties by focusing on business elites.
  • In yet another project she analyzes Dutch CEOs (tenure in relation to firm performance, CEO turnover, changing backgrounds) in a long term perspective.



+31 (0) 30 2531623





Working Days


Office Hours


Visiting Address

Drift 6, room 1.19

Post Address

Drift 6, 3512BS Utrecht

Curriculum Vitae

2015-present Assistant professor, Economic and Social History (Utrecht University, Department of History and Art History).
2013-present     Researcher, Utrecht University, VENI grant: Unraveling the origins of a banking crisis: changing perceptions of risk and managerial beliefs in Dutch banking, 1957-2007.
2013-2015     Lecturer, Department of Finance, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
2008-present     Teacher, bachelor courses Business History, Utrecht University.
2010-present     Contract researcher, Utrecht University. Writing company history of Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (co-authored)
2008-2013        Postdoctoral researcher, Utrecht University. NWO project: The corporate governance of Dutch business during the 20th century: structural change and performance
2002-2007        PhD student in business history at Utrecht University
1999-2001        Project manager at Fortis Bank
1997-1998        Student internship at Nutreco, Madrid, Spain


Arjen Mulder and Gerarda Westerhuis, ‘The determinants of bank internationalisation in times of financial globalisation: Evidence from the world’s largest banks, (1980-2007)’, Business History (forthcoming 2014).
Matthias Kipping and Gerarda Westerhuis, ‘The Managerialization of Banking: From Blueprint to Reality’, Management and Organizational History (forthcoming 2014).
Matthias Kipping and Gerarda Westerhuis, 'Strategy, Ideology, and Structure: The Political Processes of Introducing the M-form in two Dutch Banks', in Steven J. Kahl, Brian S. Silverman, Michael A. Cusumano (ed.) History and Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Volume 29, 2012), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.187-237. 
Gerarda Westerhuis, 'Multinationals en het managen van buitenlandse dochterondernemingen. een historisch onderzoek naar de relatie tussen ABN AMRO en LaSalle', Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis (TSEG) 8:1 (2011), 83-110.
Mitchell J. Larson, Gerhard Schnyder, Gerarda Westerhuis, and John Wilson, 'Strategic responses to global challenges: the case of European banking, 1973-2000, Business History 53:1 (2011), 40-63.
Abe de Jong, Keetie Sluyterman, and Gerarda Westerhuis, 'Strategic and structural responses to international dynamics in the open Dutch economy, 1963-2003', Business History 53: 1 (2011), 63-84.
Abe de Jong, Ailsa Roell, and Gerarda Westerhuis 'Changing national business systems: corporate governance and financing in the Netherlands, 1945-2005', Business History Review 84 (Winter 2010): 773-798.
Gerarda Westerhuis and Abe de Jong, Over geld en macht. De corporate governance en financiering van het Nederlands bedrijfsleven (Amsterdam: Boom Publisher, forthcoming)
Thomas David and Gerarda Westerhuis (eds.), The power of Corporate Networks: a comparative and historical perspective (New York and London: Routledge,  forthcoming 2014).
Jozef Vos and Gerarda Westerhuis, Kredietwaardigheid Verzilverd: BNG Bank 1914-2014 (BNG Bank 2014).
Book chapters
Gerarda Westerhuis, 'The Dutch corporate network: Considering its long persistence', in: Thomas David and Gerarda Westerhuis (eds.), The power of Corporate Networks: a comparative and historical perspective (New York and London: Routledge, forthcoming 2014).
Thomas David and Gerarda Westerhuis, ‘Comparing corporate networks in a long term perspective’, in: Thomas David and Gerarda Westerhuis (eds.), The power of Corporate Networks: a comparative and historical perspective (New York and London: Routledge, forthcoming 2014).
Abe de Jong, Ailsa Roell and Gerarda Westerhuis, 'Evolving Role of Shareholders in Dutch Corporate Governance', in: Keetie Sluyterman (ed.), Varieties of Capitalism and Business History. The Dutch case (New York and London: Routledge, Forthcoming).

Themes of Education

Business history
Global economic and social hisory

Current Education Activities

  • Lecturer Onderzoeksseminar III (2013/2014)
  • Tutor eerstejaars Geschiedenis studenten (2013/2014)
  • Coordinator and organizer (with Jan Luiten van Zanden) of the following course: Challenges of Social and Economic History: An Introduction into the Debates of Global History. This course is part of the Interuniversity Posthumus Research Master in Global Economic and Social History

Sideline Activities

Academic leadership
  • 2015-present: Member of the executive board FIRES project (Horizon2020)
  • 2014-present: Member of the editorial board Business History
  • 2013-present: Book review editor Management & Organizational History
  • 2012-present: Member of the advisory board of the Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief (NEHA), Amsterdam
  • 2008-2015: Coordinator, BINT research project. Project examines the competitiveness and changing characteristics of the Dutch business system during the 20th century, involving various Dutch universities and researchers
  • 2008-2014: Chair of the Dutch Association of Business History
  • 2009-2011: Project manager (with prof. K.E. Sluyterman) of N.W. Posthumus research program on The evolution of national business systems
Organization of conferences, workshops and seminars
  • 2014: European Business History Association (EBHA) conference, Utrecht University. Member of the Local Organizing Committee, the Program Committee and the Best Paper Prize Committee; 200-250 participant.
  • 2012: International conference on Corporate Networks, University of Lausanne. Co-organizer (30+ participants)
  • 2011: Weekly Economic and Social History lunch seminars, Utrecht University. Organizer and chair (20-30 participants)
  • 2010: International conference on Corporate Networks, Utrecht University. Organizer (30+ participants)
  • 2008-14: Various business history seminars, Utrecht University. Organizer and chair (35-40 participants)

      Interesting Links

      FIRES Project:

      Business history at UU:

      Stichting Bedrijfsgeschiedenis:

      European Business History Association:


      Business history, financial history, multinationals, internationalisation, banking, insurance, risk management, financing, corporate governance, interlocking directorates, elites, and institutions.

      Working Papers

      link to open item(with Abe de Jong), Governance transitions in family firms: a meta-analysis
      link to open item(with Abe de Jong), The individual manager and the transfer of "corporate fashions": measuring the effects of the Dutch corporate network, 1948-2003
      link to open item(with Hugo van Driel and Abe de Jong), Family involvement, innovation and growth: a PLS and case survey analysis
      link to open item(with Jan Dul, Tony Hak and Abe de Jong) Necessary condition analysis and M&A success
      link to open item(with Jan van de Ende), Communication technologies and their effects on vertical integration: a historical analysis of the securities trade
      link to open item(with Matthias Kipping) Strategy, structure, performance: the introduction of the M-form in Dutch banks
      link to open item(with Thomas David), The evolution of corporate networks: a comparison between the Netherlands and Switzerland, 1903-2008
      link to open itemThe evolution of risk management in banking: evidence from the Netherlands, 1957-2007
      link to open itemThe flow of people: globalisation and the organisation of the international workforce in multinational companies

      Research Projects

      link to open itemBedrijfsleven in Nederland in de Twintigste Eeuw (BINT)
      link to open itemHonderd jaar Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten
      link to open itemThe Corporate Governance of Business in the Netherlands during the 20th century; structural change and performance


      link to open itemBusiness history
      link to open itemCapital markets
      link to open itemContract research
      link to open itemEconomic history
      link to open itemFinancial markets


      Created at 20-8-2008 11:23 by Luijt, M. van (Martin)
      Last modified at 7-9-2015 15:34 by Westerhuis, G.K. (Gerarda)
      Department: Westerhuis, Gerarda