Strategy & Leadership

Create your own career opportunities by writing papers

December 8, 2015

After writing a paper alumnus Pier Dolmans was asked to take on a new role within his company. "It shows that you can pave your own career path by writing papers. The condition is that you take your research and the question from within the organization seriously."

Pier Dolmans moved from a technical position to that of a process manager and line manager and then made it to an executive management team. "At the time I was actually mainly involved in general management and less with the content. When some of my friends started an MBA, I realized that I too wanted to acquire knowledge in this field. I had done courses and attended training events in the years before and could therefore practice many skills. Now I was looking for academic knowledge."

Why did you choose the Master in Management and Organization?

"I first thought of an MBA. I compared the two MMO and MBA programs. My feeling was that MMO is TIAS' most general management program, while an MBA focused more on finance. But the decisive factor was the papers I had to write after each block in MMO. Those papers are actually mini studies within the organization. It is the best possible way to get to know the organization in the light of different disciplines."

Asked for a role in the USA

Can you give an example of such a mini study?

"To complete the Business Process Management and Logistics Management block I researched what a quality management organization at Tennant, my employer at the time, had to look like. During this research, I received a lot of support from my employer, but I also took an active role. For example, I interviewed the business process managers in the United States. When a global leader had to be appointed to set up this organization, I was offered that role. It was a position in the U.S. and that was the reason why I could not accept the job. "But it does demonstrate that you can pave your own career path by writing papers. The condition, however, is that you take your research and the question from within the organization seriously."

What insight do you still use on a daily basis?

"That is not so much knowledge as a way of working. Before I start with a plan, I now always check what information is already available about that topic. I had to do that for my papers too. Each paper starts with a literature review. In business practice people sometimes forget to first look around, although often best practices already exist. Before I write, I first do research. Sometimes I look for academic papers on the subject, but Google is a good source of knowledge too.

Valuable knowledge came back

Can you give an example of that?

"At Tennant, I was asked to create a knowledge database of the service organization. These service employees worked scattered across a variety of locations. I first did some research. I found an academic article that said that there must be trust between you and the remote staff in order to gather knowledge. We, therefore, first concentrated on building a relationship of trust. That did not only make gathering that knowledge easier, lots of valuable knowledge was also provided by these service employees. That would have been impossible without that trust."

What did MMO eventually give you?

"I partly owe my job at ASML to the training. ASML posed the hard criteria that a job candidate had to have a management training and technical education. I now possess that combination. At ASML I am responsible for the quality of the logistics processes in all warehouses. This entails responsibility for introducing process improvements. I do not know if I would have ended up in a logistical role without MMO.
Meanwhile, I have managed activities in such disciplines as R&D, manufacturing, engineering, and now logistics. I think that managing a combination of all those disciplines would be a wonderful challenge. But there is no timeframe for that, that may still happen in the coming years."

Would you also like to pave your career path?

Pier Dolmans completed the TIAS Master of Management and Organization. The Master of Management and Organization is an interdisciplinary management program for result-oriented and responsible shaping and managing of your company.

Read more about the TIAS Master of Management and Organization