Prof. Christian Tröster, PhD

Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Dr. Christian Tröster is Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the KLU. A sociologist by trade, he received his PhD with a focus on organizational behavior from the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) (NL). He is a frequent visitor to top business schools around the world and had been a visiting Assistant Professor at the Singapore Management University from 2010-2011 before joining KLU.

In his research, Christian Tröster explores questions regarding people’s selves and their identity. Specifically, he investigates why people often respond in adverse and sometimes self-defeating ways when they do less well than others and how they can develop ways to use this information for their benefit. Second, he is interested in how one’s identity influences a person’s behavior in a culturally diverse workforce to understand why diverse groups often underperform in comparison to more homogeneous teams (and to change this). Finally, he uses (social) psychological theory to research how people shape and at the same time are being shaped by the complex – and to them often unknown - patterns of social networks surrounding them. His research has been published in top-tier journals and is currently funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Currently, he serves on the editorial board of the Leadership Quarterly.

Dr. Christian Tröster teaches how to be more effective when dealing with people from other cultures (intercultural communication), how to better understand what motivates people in organizations (leadership and organizational behavior), and how companies can make better use of data (applied statistics). He teaches both students and executives in top-ranked programs and delivers trainings for companies around the globe.


Tel: +49 40 328707-246
Fax: +49 40 328707-209



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Selected Publications

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Abstract: Expatriation research has predominantly focused on company-backed expatriates (CBEs), who are sent abroad by their employer, and on examining how their levels of on-the-job embeddedness affect their intention to prematurely repatriate. Yet, most expatriates are not CBEs but self-initiated expatriates (SIEs). In this article we hypothesize that for their behavioral and demographic features, CBEs and SIEs differ substantially in their levels of on-the job and off-the-job embeddedness. Moreover, these difference lay ground for moderating effects resulting in different explanations for the repatriation intention of CBEs and SIEs. Drawing on a unique sample of 345 expatriates from 40 different countries we show that while SIEs experience a higher degree of off-the-job embeddedness than CBEs, the two expatriate types do not differ in their levels of on-the-job embeddedness. Also, off-the-job embeddedness is more important for explaining the repatriation intention of CBEs than of SIEs. Most importantly, whereas for SIEs low levels of on-the-job embeddedness increase their intention to repatriate, for CBEs high-not low-levels increase their intention to repatriate. Our findings carry important theoretical implications for research on expatriates and provide managerial implications related to the choice, hiring criteria, and support programs for expatriates.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1108/S0742-332220150000032007

Abstract: Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) plays an important role in explaining firm performance. In this study, we investigate the relation between EO and performance at the strategic business unit (SBU) level and examine the influence of decision-making mode and social capital of the focal business unit manager. Adopting the attention-based view (ABV) as our main theoretical perspective, we examine the impact of decision-making mode (i.e., participative vs. autocratic) on the EO–performance relation. In addition, we investigate the extent to which strong network ties with actors at lower, similar, and higher hierarchical positions, respectively, enable SBU managers to effectively engage in participative decision-making processes when leveraging EO. Our findings based on 119 SBUs of one large international company provide nuanced insights into how local conditions interact to shape EO’s influence on performance.

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Academic positions

Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Kühne Logistics University, GER

Visiting Assistant Professor at Saunder Business School, University of British Columbia, Vancouver/CAN

2011 - 2016

Assistant Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Kühne Logistics University, GER


Visiting Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SIN


Visiting Researcher at Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SIN


Visiting Researcher at Links Centre, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, USA


Internship at the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) at the University of Groningen, NL



Ph.D. in Management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL


MSc. in Sociology at the University of Groningen, NL


BSc. in Sociology at the University of Groningen, NL