Kick-off: Joint leadership research with Mercuri Urval

Professor Niels Van Quaquebeke smiling

A joint research project between Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke and his PhD candidate Jennifer Ulrich on “first time leaders” has been kicked off in cooperation with the supply chain function of the consultancy Mercuri Urval.

The research project focuses on first time transitions into leadership roles. Such transitions mark a far-reaching event in the professional biography of employees. Often for the first time, these employees become responsible for other employees, are confronted with tasks for which they had little or no professional preparation, and find themselves isolated at the helm of a pyramid with no peers readily available to talk to. The question of the research project is what happens to those leaders, specifically what happens to their behaviors vis-à-vis others and what happens to their own psychological health. Naturally, the follow-up question is what can companies do to better assist in the transition so that consequences are beneficial to all involved.

The KLU Leadership Center of Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke has been sponsored with 20.000 Euro by Mercuri Urval to undertake the research. In addition, while the KLU focuses on the design and analysis of the study, Mercuri Urval vitally assists by finding and contacting suitable companies for the study. Insights will be given to cooperating companies first and discussed with these in a closed practitioner circle before being published in academic outlets.

Mercuri Urval was founded 47 years ago in Sweden with the vision of helping companies finding and developing the right people so that they can deliver the best possible business results. In that time, Mercuri Urval has grown organically to become a world-leading consultancy with more than 800 consultants worldwide. Each year, its consultants work with more than 3,000 clients in over 50 countries. Commensurate with their growth, Mercuri Urval’s services have expanded to include a range of Board and Executive, Talent Management and Business Transformation solutions.

Companies that are interested in the KLU Leadership Center or the joint project with Mercuri Urval are invited to contact Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke.

More information about Niels Van Quaquebeke.
More information about Jennifer Ulrich.

Mercuri Urval


Pia Isabell Schmidt

Michael Schafer michael.schafer(at)