Mojtaba Salem is a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou (Kühne Logistics University), Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke (Kühne Logistics University), and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Deller (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg) since December 2015. In his research, Mojtaba is interested in applying behavioral leadership theories in a humanitarian environment. More specifically, he seeks to examine the impact of humanitarian leaders on the performance of humanitarian development and relief aid operations.
Mojtaba completed his Bachelor program in Business Administration at the American University of Afghanistan where he graduated with highest honors (i.e., summa cum laude) and received outstanding student leader award. In 2013, he joined Kühne Logistics University (KLU) and completed the Master of Science Program in Management for which he received the KLU Best Student Award (Class of 2015). Highlighting the under-researched issues pertaining to intergroup relations between aid workers, his master thesis investigated the impact of leader boundary-spanning behaviors on leadership effectiveness in humanitarian organizations. Mojtaba has also gained valuable experience during his research internship with Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut. In April 2015, he became a research assistant at the KLU.
Research Assistant at Kühne Logistics University
Research Assistant - Internship at Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut, Hamburg, Germany
Teaching Assistant at American University of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
PhD Candidate in Leadership at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, and Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg, Germany
Semester Abroad, Participation in Executive MBA at Özyeğin University, Istanbul, Turkey
|2013 - 2015||Master of Science in Management at Kühne Logistics University|
|2012||Summer School at American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan|
|2009 - 2012||Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at American University of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan|
Salem, Mojtaba, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Maria Besiou (2018): How field office leaders drive learning and creativity in humanitarian aid: Exploring the role of boundary-spanning leadership for expatriate and local aid worker collaboration, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39 (5): 594-611.
Abstract: Many humanitarian aid workers receive training prior to being dispatched into the field, but they often encounter challenges that require additional learning and creativity. Consequently, aid organizations formally support collaboration among the expatriate and local workers in a field office. At best, those aid workers would not only exploit their joint knowledge but also explore novel ways of managing the challenges at hand. Yet differences between expatriate and local groups (e.g., in ethnicity, religion, education, and salary) often thwart intergroup collaboration in field offices and, by extension, any joint learning or creativity. In response to this issue, we study the role of field office leaders—specifically, how their boundary-spanning behavior may inspire collaboration between the two groups and therefore facilitate joint learning and creativity. We propose that a leader's in-group prototypicality additionally catalyzes this process—that is, a leader's behavior has more impact if s/he is seen as representing his/her group. We tested and found support for our hypothesized moderated mediation model in a field sample of 137 aid workers from 59 humanitarian organizations. Thus, our study generally highlights the pivotal role that field office leaders play for crucial outcomes in humanitarian aid operations. Furthermore, we offer concrete steps for field office leaders who want to inspire better collaboration between the expatriate and local aid workers they lead.