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. He received KLU’s best overall teaching award twice. His recent research on "respectful inquiry” as a leadership tool received the biennial innovation award by the IO chapter of the German Psychological Society (DGPs). His work has furthermore 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.
Wenzel, Ramon and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2018): The Double-Edged Sword of Big Data in organizational and management research: A Review of Opportunities and Risks, Organizational Research Methods, 21 (3): 548-591.
Abstract: While many disciplines embrace the possibilities that Big Data present for advancing scholarship and practice, organizational and management research has yet to realize Big Data’s potential. In an effort to chart this newfound territory, we briefly describe the principal drivers and key characteristics of Big Data. We then review a broad range of opportunities and risks that are related to the Big Data paradigm, the data itself, and the associated analytical methods. For each, we provide research ideas and recommendations on how to embrace the potentials or address the concerns. Our assessment shows that Big Data, as a paradigm, can be a double- edged sword, capable of significantly advancing our field but also causing backlash if not utilized properly. Our review seeks to inform individual research practices as well as a broader policy agenda in order to advance organizational and management research as a scientifically rigorous and professionally relevant field.
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.
Reh, Susan, Christian Tröster and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2018): Keeping (future) rivals down: Temporal social comparison predicts coworker social undermining via future status threat and envy, Journal of Applied Psychology, 103 (4): 399-415.
Abstract: The extant social undermining literature suggests that employees envy and, consequently, undermine coworkers when they feel that these coworkers are better off and thus pose a threat to their own current status. With the present research, we draw on the sociofunctional approach to emotions to propose that an anticipated future status threat can similarly incline employees to feel envy toward, and subsequently undermine, their coworkers. We argue that employees pay special attention to coworkers' past development in relation to their own, because faster-rising coworkers may pose a future status threat even if they are still performing worse in absolute terms in the present. With a set of two behavioral experiments (N = 90 and N = 168), we establish that participants react to faster-rising coworkers with social undermining behavior when the climate is competitive (vs. less competitive). We extended these results with a scenario experiment (N = 376) showing that, in these situations, participants extrapolate lower future status than said coworker and thus respond with envy and undermining behavior. A two-wave field study (N = 252) replicated the complete moderated serial mediation model. Our findings help to explain why employees sometimes undermine others who present no immediate threat to their status. As such, we extend theorizing on social undermining and social comparison.
Van Quaquebeke, Niels and Will Felps (2018): Respectful inquiry: A motivational account of leading through asking questions and listening, Academy of Management Review, 43 (1): 5-27.
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 (2017): The aura of charisma: A review on the embodiment perspective as signaling, The Leadership Quarterly, 28: 486-507.
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.
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)