Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior and Head of the Management Department at the KLU. He is recognised as one of the Top100 German speaking business scholars under 40 in the last two Handelsblatt rankings. A psychologist by trade, he pursued his PhD at the University of Hamburg and as a visiting scholar at various business schools around the globe. In 2008, he received the ERIM top talent post-doc fellowship at the Rotterdam School of Management of the Erasmus University where he later also taught as an Assistant Professor
In his research, Van Quaquebeke focuses on the issue of leadership. Among others, he explores the communicative basis of successful leadership, the importance of values in leadership, ways of leading ethically, and the function of interpersonal respect. As a researcher, he is currently involved in the Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid (RILOHA), which seeks to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian aid via psychological insights, the Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies, which seeks to generally understand the role of leadership as an asset in organizations, and the metaBUS project, which seeks to curate all empirical studies in management and applied psychology in the last 20 years.
Van Quaquebeke currently serves on the editorial boards of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP), Leadership Quarterly (LQ), and the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (JOOP). He was awarded repeated scholarships by Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) as well as an award by the German government for the innovative approach of the RespectResearchGroup which he headed for ten years. His work has been sponsored with more than 200.000 Euro from varying funding organizations and is frequently mentioned in the public media.
Before turning academic, Van Quaquebeke has worked in various internal and external consultancy roles. Today he bridges the gap from science to practice with his spin-off re|spic|ere and as part of KLU executive education.
Tröster, Christian, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Karl Aquino (In press):Worse than others but better than before: Integrating social and temporal comparison perspectives to explain executive turnover via pay standing and pay growth, Human Resource Management.
Abstract: Organizations often pay greater salaries to higher-ranking executives compared to lower-ranking executives. While this method can be useful for retaining those at the organization’s apex, it may also incline executives at the bottom of the pay pyramid to see themselves at a disadvantage and thus exit the firm. Naturally, organizations often want to retain some of their lower-paid, but highly valuable executives; the question, then, is how organizations can reduce the turnover of lower-ranking executives. By integrating social with temporal comparison theory, we argue that, when executives earn relatively less than their peers, more pay growth (i.e., individual pay increases over time) leads to less turnover. By the same token, we also argue that pay growth is unrelated to the turnover of executives who already earn substantially more than their peers. The results of our analysis, which covered almost 20 years of objective data on a large sample of U.S. top executives, provide support for our theory.
Van Quaquebeke, Niels and Will Felps (In press):Respectful inquiry: A motivational account of leading through asking question and listening, Academy of Management Review.
Abstract: Practitioners repeatedly note that the everyday behavior of asking followers open questions and attentively listening to their responses is a powerful leadership technique. Yet, despite such popularity, these practices are currently under-theorized. Addressing this gap, we formally define the behavioral configuration of asking open questions combined with attentive listening as “Respectful Inquiry”, and then draw on Self-Determination Theory to provide a motivational account of its antecedents, consequences, and moderators within a leader-follower relationship. Specifically, we argue that Respectful Inquiry principally satisfies followers' basic psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Against this background, we highlight ironic contexts where Respectful Inquiry is likely to be especially rare, but would also be especially valuable. These ironic contexts include situations where interpersonal power difference, time pressure, physical distance, cognitive load, follower dissatisfaction, or organizational control focus are high. We additionally outline how the effect of Respectful Inquiry behaviors critically hinges upon the interaction history a follower has with a leader. More generally, we make the suggestion that the leadership field would benefit from complementing its traditional focus on “gestalt” leadership styles with research on concrete and narrow communicative behaviors, such as Respectful Inquiry.
Reh, Susan, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Steffen R. Giessner (In press):The aura of charisma: A review on the embodiment perspective as signaling, The Leadership Quarterly.
Abstract: Charismatic leaders have consistently been shown to affect followers’ performance, motivation, and satisfaction. Yet, what precisely constitutes charisma still remains somewhat enigmatic. So far, research has mainly focused on leader traits, leader behaviors, or the leader follower- relationship, and the subsequent consequences of each on followers’ self-concepts. All of these approaches share the notion that leader charisma depends on an explicit interaction between leader and follower. With the present review paper, we extend extant theorizing by arguing that charisma is additionally informed by embodied signals that flow directly from either the leader or the immediate environment. We introduce the embodiment perspective on human perception and describe its utility for theoretically understanding the charismatic effect. Correspondingly, we review studies that show which concrete embodied cues can support the charismatic effect. Finally, we discuss the variety of new theoretical and practical implications that arise from this research and how they can complement existing approaches to charismatic leadership.
van Dijke, Marius, David De Cremer, Lieven Brebels and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2015):Willing and Able: Action-State Orientation and the Relation Between Procedural Justice and Employee Cooperation, Journal of Management, 41(7): 1982-2003.
Abstract: Existing justice theory explains why fair procedures motivate employees to adopt cooperative goals, but it fails to explain how employees strive toward these goals. We study self-regulatory abilities that underlie goal striving, abilities that should thus affect employees’ display of cooperative behavior in response to procedural justice. Building on action control theory, we argue that employees who display effective self-regulatory strategies (action-oriented employees) display relatively strong cooperative behavioral responses to fair procedures. A multisource field study and a laboratory experiment support this prediction. A subsequent experiment addresses the process underlying this effect by explicitly showing that action orientation facilitates attainment of the cooperative goals that people adopt in response to fair procedures, thus facilitating the display of actual cooperative behavior. This goal striving approach better integrates research on the relationship between procedural justice and employee cooperation in the self-regulation and the work motivation literature. It also offers organizations a new perspective on making procedural justice effective in stimulating employee cooperation by suggesting factors that help employees reach their adopted goals.
van Gils, Suzanne, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Daan van Knippenberg, Marius van Dijke and David De Cremer (2015):Ethical leadership and follower organizational deviance: The moderating role of follower moral attentiveness, The Leadership Quarterly, 26: 190-203.
Abstract: The literature on ethical leadership has focused primarily on the way ethical leaders influence follower moral judgment and behavior. It has overlooked that follower responses to ethical leaders may differ depending on the attention they pay to the moral aspects of leadership. In the present research, we introduce moral attentiveness as an important moderator for the relationship between ethical leadership and unethical employee behavior. In a multisource field study (N = 90), we confirm our hypothesis that morally attentive followers respond with more deviance to unethical leaders. An experimental study (N = 96) replicates the finding. Our paper extends the current leader-focused literature by examining how follower moral attentiveness determines the response of followers to ethical or unethical leadership.
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Teaching at KLU
Visiting Scholar at Business School, University of Western Australia, AUS
Visiting Scholar at Business School, University of Otago, NZ
Full Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Kühne Logistics University, GER
Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Kühne Logistics University, GER
Director of RespectResearchGroup, GER
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Research Institute in Management & Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies, NL
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Top Talent Program) Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Research Institute in Management & Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies, NL
Visiting Scholar at University of New South Wales, Australian Graduate School of Management, Center for Corporate Change, AUS
Visiting Scholar at Monash University, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, AUS
Visiting Scholar at Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management, Department of Organization and Personnel Management, NL
Visiting Scholar at Aston University, Aston Business School, Work and Organizational Psychology Group & Aston Centre for Leadership Excellence, UK
Lecturer at University of Hamburg, Psychology Department, Social Psychology, GER
Doctoral Degree (Dr. phil equivalent to Ph.D.) in Psychology at the University of Hamburg, GER
Diploma in Psychology at the University of Hamburg, GER (Cooperation project with Fraunhofer Institute IPK Berlin)