Rohlfer, Sylvia
+34 91 448 08 92
C/ Leonardo Prieto Castro, 2
28040, Madrid
Formación académica
Áreas de interés
Trayectoria profesional
Publicaciones destacadas


Sylvia Rohlfer, PhD (Warwick, UK) is an Associate Professor and member of the research centre "Nonaka Centre of Knowledge and Innovation" at CUNEF with a specialization in industrial relations and small business management from a comparative perspective. Her research interests include the impact of industrial relations systems on SME management, trade union strategies as a reflection of business environment dynamics and enterprise performance, and human resource management challenges for entrepreneurs and small business owners. More recently she has lead a research project on people management in SME financed by FUNCAS (2015/2016) and takes part in international research projects with research grants from the European Commission (2014-2016; 2017-2019). Apart from being an Associate Editor of the international journals management revue and Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business, she has published in indexed international management and industrial relations journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics, Relaciones Industrielles/Industrial Relations and European Business Review.


Research projects financed by Spanish and European entities

Principal researcher (work package "Employee role for firm's innovativeness") under the European "Knowledge and Innovation in,to and from emerging markets (KITFEM)" project, Horizon 2020 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, 2017-2019

Principal researcher, "People management in micro and small companies: A cross-country, cross sector analysis", financed by FUNCAS, Spain (2015-2016).

Collaborating researcher, "Explaining the nature of technological innovation in Chinese enterprises (E.N.T.I.C.E)", European Commission 7th Framework Program - FP7-SP3-People (2014-2016)

Collaborating researcher, "Internationalization of Chinese firms in Spain", financed by Huayi Compressor, Spain.(2014)

Formación académica

PhD in Business Studies, Warwick University, Warwick Business School, 2006

MA in European Industrial Relations, Warwick University, Warwick Business School, 1999

BA Verwaltungswissenschaften, Konstanz University, 1998

Diplom-Verwaltungswirt (FH), Applied University of Mannheim, 1996

Áreas de interés

Research interests:

Small business people management, industrial relations at national and European level, organizational employment relations, case studies,

Teaching Portfolio:

Human Resource Management, Organizational Design and Theory, Creation of Business, European Industrial Relations;

For more details see

Trayectoria profesional

Visiting Researcher, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, 2017 (2 months) 

Visiting Researcher, Renmin University, Renmin Business School, Beijing, China, 2014 (2 months)

Associate Professor, CUNEF, Madrid, Spain since 2010

Adjunct Professor, Saint Luis University, Madrid Campus, Spain - 2009-2010

Adjunct Professor, Schiller International University, Madrid Campus, Spain - 2008-2012

Assistant Professor, Warwick Business School, Warwick University, UK - 2003-2007

Publicaciones destacadas

Refereed journal articles

´Culture studies in international business: paradigmatic shifts´, co-authored with Zhang, Y. (2016), European Business Review, 28(1), 39-63, Outstanding Paper in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. 

´People management in micro and small companies - a comparative analysis, co-authored with C. Salvador Muñoz and A. Slocum, (2016), Estudios de la Fundacion, Serie Análisis FUNCAS

´A call for novel research in entrepreneurship´, co-authored with Hormiga, E. (2016), Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business, 1(1).

Book review: Gumbrell-McCormick, Rebecca / Hyman, Richard Trade unions in Western Europe: hard times, hard choices. Oxford, Oxford University Press, management revue, 2014, 25 (1), 67-68.

'Teaching Business Ethics through strategically integrated micro-insertions', co-authored with A. Slocum and C. G. Canton, Journal of Business Ethics, 2014, vol. 125(1), 45-58.

'Does industrial relations research support policy? a comparative assessment of research on Spain´, Relations Industrielles / Industrial Relations, 2013, vol. 68 (3), 431-456.

'Perspectives on Social Pacts in Spain: Social Dialogue and the social partners', Management Revue, 2012, vol. 23(1), 49-65.

'Benchmarking concepts in the UK and Germany: a shared understanding among key players?' Benchmarking: An International Journal, 2004, vol. 11(5)

Book contributions

`Does University education develop entrepreneurial qualities?`, co-authored with S. Pulgarin, In: Gonzalez-Sanchez, V.M. (eds.) 2015, Economy, Politics and Governance Challenges for the 21st Century, Nova: New York, chapter 5.

´Huawei Technologies: A lion in the intensely competitive ICT sector?´, co-authored with Y. Zhang,  In: Y. Zhang and Y. Zhou (2015), "The source of Innovation in China" Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 54-69.

´Lenovo: Create a new legend´, co-authored with Mu Tian, In: Y. Zhang and Y. Zhou (2015), "The source of innovation in China", Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 212-225.

'Incubators', H. Linwood Cousins (ed.): Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity, Sage: London, 2014.

Merger and Acquisitions (impact on jobs), V. Smith, J.G. Golson (Eds.):  Sociology of Work: an Encyclopedia, Sage: London, 2013.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

'Strategy processes in internationalization: organizational acculturation' coauthored with Y. Zhang, C. Albrecht, l. Tian and Y. Zhou, European Academy of Management Conference (2017), June, Glasgow. 

'Employee voice in SMEs: a systematic literature review and empirical analysis', coauthored with C. Salvador Muñoz, European Academy of Management Conference (2017), June, Glasgow. 

´Employee voice in SMEs: filling the gaps`, coauthored with C. Salvador Muñoz, RENT Conference (2016), Novembre, Antwerp.

`Filling the gaps: formal and informal particiatin in micro and small enterprises`. European Academy of Management (2016), June, Paris.

´Thinking about employee voice in smaller enterprises: review and reearch agenda´, coauthored with A. Slocum, RENT Conference (2015), Novembre, Zagreb.

´Does university education develop entrepreneurial qualities´, co-authored with S. Pulgarin, EURAM Conference (2015), June, Warsaw.

`What do trade unions do to entrepreneurship? Discovering an ambiguous relationship`, RENT Conference XXVIII (2014), November, Luxembourg.  

‘Generating entrepreneurial dynamics: the relevance of industrial relations for entrepreneurs', European Academy of Management Conference 2014, June, Valencia.

‘The relevance of Industrial relations for entrepreneurs – the case of Spain'. Invited presentation to the International Workshop in honor of Prof Paul Marginson ‘Mapping and Understanding the Internationalization of Employment Relations', June 2014, Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK – on invitation.

'Are industrial relations relevant for entrepreneurs? A conceptual exploration', with A. Slocum, 2nd Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy (GIKA) annual Conference 2013, Valencia

'Teaching business ethics through strategically integrated micro-insertions', co-authored with A. Slocum and C.G. Canton, Society for Business Ethics Annual Meeting 2012, Boston

'Learning through comparison: lessons from Spanish industrial relations research', Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) 2011, Barcelona

'Cross-cultural studies in Western and Asian management research: review, challenges and future research directions', co-authored with Y.Y. Zhang, Conference on Leadership and  Management 2011, Athens

'Unlocking organizational learning through managerial practice? The embedded character of benchmarking and the consequences for organizational learning' 21st European Group for Organizational Studies 2005, Berlin

'Benchmarking and its implications for employment relations in the UK and Germany', 13th International Employment Relations Association Annual Conference 2005, Denmark

Other peer-refereed publications

'An integrated micro-insertion teaching strategy for business ethics', co-authored with A. Slocum, Saint Luis White Paper Series, Focus on Teaching and Learning, 3rd edition, 2010, Saint Luis University, US

'The different faces of benchmarking: structural limits to benchmarking and the limits for HRM'. Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations, no. 83 (2007), Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK

'Benchmarking concepts in the UK and Germany: between standardization and local variation', Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations, no. 69 (2002), Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK

Published teaching material

'MAPFRE: Upholding its Spanish market leadership in times of crisis' (2014) co-authored, The Case Centre case collection, UK.

'MAPFRE: From multinational to global in times of crisis' (2014) co-authored, The Case Centre case collection, UK.

´CaixaBank: Redefiniendo el futuro¨ (2012) co-authored, CUNEF Business Case Competition, CUNEF  

'MAPFRE: un modelo de éxito. El reto de seguir creciendo en tiempos de crisis´ (2013), co-authored, CUNEF Business Case Competition, CUNEF.

'MUTUA MADRILEÑA: cómo mantener el crecimiento tras la crisis' (2014), co-authored, CUNEF Business Case Competition, CUNEF.