B.T. (Björn) Atterstam

Björn Atterstam
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate (parttime programme)
Affiliated since 2015

Björn is an educator, facilitator and leadership expert. For more than 20 years he has worked with large organizations across the world to create novel and impactful approaches for developing strategy, organizations and individuals.

His research interests reside in the intersection of psychological functioning and organizational performance.

PhD Track Adaptive leadership as taking and granting leadership

The topic of leadership is high on the agenda for many large organizations across

the world and senior business leaders have an increasing sense of urgency when it

comes to raising the number of diverse leaders who can lead their businesses

through strategic changes (Korn Ferry, 2015). This is because companies across all

industries find themselves caught in maelstrom of rapidly changing market

conditions, new technologies and an upheaval in customer preferences and

expectations. This fast-changing world is sometimes referred to as a V.U.C.A. world

(Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous), an abbreviation that has its roots in

the United States Armed Forces (Pasmore et al, 2010). Related to this we are seeing

a big shift in workplaces to more and more knowledge workers (Drucker, 1995). This

because the more complex challenges at hand require a more and more highly

educated and skilled workforce, which in turn demands new forms of leadership.

In this “new world”, the basic assumptions underlining much of what is taught and

practiced in the name of management are hopelessly out of date (Uhl-Bien et al.,

2007). Many of the ways in which we think about business and leadership seem

passé and have outlived their time (Drucker, 1998). Companies have an increasing

awareness of this and are therefore continuously investigating new ways to stay

competitive by re-inventing themselves, transforming their inner workings and

improving their people performance.

As companies are doing this, many of them arrive at the insight that the role of the

leader in the organizational context have to change dramatically from how it used to

be. We are observing the need to shift leadership from something that is

individualistic, top-down and one-directional to a view of leadership as something

that is adaptive, shared, and a social process that emerges from the interplay

between leaders and followers (DeRue, 2011). Our research aims to shed further

light on this still nascent, but much needed, view of leadership.

Time frame
2015 -


Visiting address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam