Behind the scenes at RSM: Professor Finn Wynstra


Finn Wynstra
Finn Wynstra

Finn Wynstra is Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management at RSM. He says he finds it “really refreshing” to work with the wide range of different students across RSM’s MBA, EMBA, master and bachelor programmes.

“I find the variety of their backgrounds, expertise and ambitions fascinating,” says Wynstra. “And the broad range of expertise amongst faculty is also very attractive, as it offers many collaboration possibilities.”

In MBA education, Wynstra encourages students to take initiative. “Some of the MBA students have in-depth work experience regarding specific themes. I think it’s valuable to take advantage of this in the classroom,” said Wynstra, who also weaves in guest lectures by senior managers to show actual practice and demonstrate real-life use of tools and concepts that are discussed in class.

Wynstra always brings a mix of elements to his lectures. He addresses current themes and challenges, highlights business’ best practice and demonstrates what academic research has to say about effectively meeting these managerial challenges.

 

“I bring in the knowledge gained through research. Sometimes this is more structured, such as a teaching case or an article. Other times I use the knowledge or research for illustration purposes.” Wynstra adds, “For some lecture themes I can obviously draw more directly on my own research than for others.”

Wynstra’s research focuses on buyer-supplier relations and strategic sourcing. “At the moment, we are studying how organisations learn to develop and implement ‘performance-based’ contracts with suppliers. Several of these projects are funded by business.”

Through collaborative research projects, training activities and other forms of interaction, Wynstra stays in touch with practitioners. “It’s important to keep an eye on what’s relevant. The great advantage we have as researchers is that we often have the chance to look across different sectors and industries,” he said.

A real challenge for Wynstra is that “more than in any other programme, the MBA students at RSM represent a truly international and experienced audience of professionals. This helps me in reflecting on any biases I may have in discussing certain topics.”

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Wynstra is the Associate Director of ERIM, the joint research institute of RSM and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). He’s also a member of the Executive Board of the department of Management of Technology and Innovation.

Regarding his personal life, Wynstra says he has a weakness for the Nordic region. “My favourite place is Norway. I love skiing, ice skating and mountain-walking.” Wynstra enjoys reading novels and watches the Danish television show “The Killing”. He also reads books to his two young sons, such as Astrid Lindgren’s The Brothers Lionheart, which is perhaps Wynstra’s all-time favourite book.

“I studied in Rotterdam myself,” says Wynstra, who now lives in Vlaardingen with his wife and children. “It was great to come back to Rotterdam ten years later.” He says it’s a real privilege to develop a group of educators and researchers in strategic sourcing at a renowned school such as RSM. “Just being here is very rewarding!”

 

Behind the scenes at RSM: Professor Finn Wynstra

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