Meet the Team: Maurik de Groot

19 Dec 2023 11:25 | Entrepreneurship

Who are the researchers of the Research Group Entrepreneurship and what do they do? In this new series we would like to introduce you to one of the researchers from the Research Group! This time we introduce to you the energetic Maurik de Groot. An avid marathon runner, he recently took part in a half marathon in Manchester as a warm-up for the 42.2 km full marathon in San Sebastian last month. Not only does he seek challenge in sports, he also goes for the highest achievement academically. Indeed, he recently earned his DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) from the Business School Lausanne. But first, who is Maurik and what does he do?

From account manager to Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Maurik teaches Sales & Marketing in the Commercial Economics program at the HvA. He started his academic path at the Hotelschool, after which he continued his studies at the Hogere Hotelschool, did a premaster at the VU and eventually obtained his master's degree 'Business Administration and Management' there as well. Before joining the HvA, he worked for years as an account manager and sales manager. While working, Maurik noticed that entrepreneurs did not pay enough attention to sales and their knowledge and skills in that area. Eventually, this turned out to be a gap in the scientific literature, which is why Maurik devoted his doctoral research to this topic!

What is his research about and why this topic?

His research focuses on how the entrepreneur in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fills his or her sales role specifically in the business-to-business environment For his doctoral research, three studies were central to answering his research question. In the first study, he examined and concluded that entrepreneurs indicated that personal ineffective sales performance contributed to a failure experience, such as quitting a particular product or going out of business. Entrepreneurs indicated either that they had not put enough time into sales or that they lacked experience in that area.

In a second study, he saw that the motive why an entrepreneur starts doing business determines how that entrepreneur fills the sales role and to what extent an entrepreneur is proactive and systematic in sales activities.

He also examined how entrepreneurs themselves view their sales role, their so-called Entrepreneurial Selling Role Orientation (ESRO), and whether that has an effect on financial results and on sales performance (how proactive or systematic an entrepreneur is). It was found that someone who has a high ESRO has a more proactive and systematic sales approach. In addition, it could be determined that entrepreneurs who have taken sales training can do so more effectively. It was also found that quite a few entrepreneurs seem to overestimate their sales skills and that personal support from sales trainers and coaches can help as a reflection mechanism and to close the gap between current and desired sales performance.

Swiss adventure

Maurik did his doctoral studies at the Business School Lausanne in Switzerland for a "professional doctorate. It appealed to him that a professional doctorate requires both a theoretical and practical slant/insertion. To meet this requirement, Maurik developed a training package for entrepreneurs as a result of his research. With this training package he helps entrepreneurs with the question of where they are in the field of sales, where they want to go and how to get there. This way he can mean something to entrepreneurs and really make an impact with his research. Maurik enjoyed the PhD process. It was a 3.5-year journey in which the proverbial leaden last year weighed the hardest. He learned a lot about the subject and the scientific process and is proud of his tenacity! He sees his DBA as icing on the cake of his intellectual development, but Maurik wouldn't be Maurik if he didn't want to take on another challenge. What that challenge will be, he is still pondering!