Dr. Friedrich Jungheinrich Award for Dr. Susan Reh

This year, the Dr. Friedrich Jungheinrich Foundation's prize for the best dissertation went to Dr. Susan Reh. The KLU alumna received the award, which is endowed with 1,000€, at the graduation ceremony on September 13th. Susan Reh’s work examines social behavior in companies; it proves that employees can also feel threatened by colleagues who are below them in the company hierarchy.

The dissertation entitled "A Temporal Perspective on Social Comparisons in Organizations" was rated technically outstanding and of high practical relevance for managers in daily business practice by the jury. Dr. Reh's research contributions have appeared in high-ranking scientific journals in her field and have also been well received by the press (Wirtschaftswoche, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt).

Talents, logistics, and the port

"It is very important for us to support excellent talent like Dr. Susan Reh by awarding prizes such as this one. We regard this as our socio-political responsibility," says Andreas Jansen, designated Chairman of the Board of Management of the Dr. Friedrich Jungheinrich Foundation. "As an internationally recognized and renowned university, we think that KLU serves as an excellent partner for this purpose. There are even more things uniting us such as our common passion for logistics and our shared home port of Hamburg."

Truly international PhD program

Dr. Susan Reh was elated to receive the award. Looking back on her time as a doctoral candidate, she reflected, "It is the internationality of the PhD program at KLU that is its most striking characteristic to me. It is something that I found great about the master's program as well. The PhD program benefits especially from the international background of the professors, and the opportunities to meet scientists from all over the world at international conferences, summer schools, and research stays abroad.” Her work at KLU was supervised by professors for Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Niels van Quaquebeke and Christian Tröster.

The award-winning dissertation is particularly relevant for companies that use incentive systems to spur competition among their employees. A closer look at possible negative psychological consequences could be necessary as these may have a stronger impact than previously assumed. Dr. Susan Reh: “In a nutshell, employees may kick up to defend their present status but they may also kick down against future rivals to defend their status in the future.”

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