Organisational Behaviour


The effective management of human resources is acknowledged as a critical factor in building sustainable competitive advantage within organisations. Understanding this, key issues underpinning the research activities of the Organisational Behaviour (OB) theme of ERIM’s Organisation programme relate to the nature of work itself and how best it can be organised; how organisations and managers can motivate and develop their employees, achieve synergy among teams, and realise the full potential of their workforce for learning, creativity and innovation.

Recognising the many groundbreaking contributions ERIM has made in the field of Organisational Behaviour, research by the programme’s faculty members has been published in many leading management science journals such as Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Organization Science.

Excellence in research

ERIM’s approach to research is that it must be undertaken with the express purpose of developing new knowledge that expands the boundaries of management science while at the same time offering meaningful value to practitioners and their organisations. To this end, the ERIM OB research theme focuses on the micro levels of analysis in management and organisation – the behaviour of individuals and work groups.

Researchers within the OB theme benefit from collaborations with other top research institute around the world as well as with leading industry players. Additional signs of external recognition and academic leadership include a strong presence in editorial positions in and editorial board memberships of leading academic journals including Academy of Management Journal.

Societal relevance and impact

The OB research theme at ERIM has a successful track record in securing substantial amounts of grant money from both Dutch funding agencies (for example, NWO) and international sources. This includes the largest EU grant ever received by Erasmus University Rotterdam for the COMPOSITE, a cross-national research project on organisational change in the police.

This research theme incorporates a variety of issues and research methodologies, with the primary emphasis being on quantitative research in two areas: leadership and team performance.


The OB theme’s leadership research has contributed significantly to a variety of areas including the championing of a social identity theory of leadership, which emphasises the leader’s roles in shaping and connecting with a shared team or organisational identity. Research within the theme also includes topics such as ethical leadership, leadership and emotions, visionary leadership, and servant leadership.

In 2007, the Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies was founded as a means of furthering leadership research in collaboration with a variety of organisations as well as experimental research in carefully controlled laboratory environments. The centre helps organisations resolve leadership issues while increasing their understanding of the role of leadership and its effects on firm and employee performance.

Find out more: Erasmus Centre for Leadership Studies

Groups and teams

Research undertakings by the OB theme into the areas of groups and teams have a strong emphasis on team diversity and team cognition. This has resulted in a conceptual model of team diversity and performance that provides an integrative account of the performance effects of diversity: the Categorisation-Elaboration Model. This continues to inspire top-tier publications on diversity and issues related to team knowledge-sharing and team creativity.


ERIM takes great pride in fostering a positive and collaborative work environment where researchers share common goals and strive together to achieve the highest academic standards.