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Breaking the rules to rise to power       

When observing current and previous leaders such as Berlusconi, Strauss-Kahn, Blatter, and Trump, one might wonder how these people got to these positions in the first place. Their behavior is characterized by a disregard of common rules and norms, which should be accompanied with falling from grace. However, our research has shown that under certain circumstances, breaking the rules actually signals power and as a result can help norm violators to climb the hierarchical ladder. Within this line of research, we are currently extending our understanding of the contingencies of norm violation effects, and are further examining the effects of different types of norm violations.                  

Van Kleef, G. A., Wanders, F., Stamkou, E., & Homan, A. C. (2015). The social dynamics of breaking the rules: Antecedents and consequences of norm-violating behaviour. Current Opinion in Psychology, 6, 25-31 .

Stamkou, E., Van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., & Galinsky, A. (in press). How norm violations shape social hierarchies: Those who stand on top block norm violators from rising up. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. DOI:10.1177/1368430216641305

Narcissistic leaders

In contemporary Western society, with its emphasis on independence, self-confidence, extraversion, and high self-esteem, narcissistic tendencies seem to be well-appreciated: highly narcissistic individuals tend to emerge often as leaders. Why and when do individuals appreciate narcissistic individuals as leader? Do highly narcissistic individuals perform better, and is that why they rise as leaders? And if so, under what circumstances do they show high performance? What is narcissistic leaders' impact on followers, groups, organizations and society at large? These and other questions are what we are currently working on. 

Nevicka, B., Baas, M., & Ten Velden, F. S. (2015). The bright side of threatened narcissism: Improved performance following ego threat. Journal of Personality. DOI:10.1111/jopy.12223

Nevicka, B., Ten Velden, F. S., De Hoogh, A. H., & Van Vianen, A. E. (2011). Reality at odds with perceptions narcissistic leaders and group performance. Psychological Science, 22, 1259-1264.

A-prototypical leadership         

With the development of a more flexible workforce and changing societal dynamics (like immigration, globalization, and an aging work force), leadership processes have also become more dynamic. Whereas the prototypical leader is still often seen as an older White male, younger, female, and ethnic-minority leaders are likely to become more common. Within our research we examine the challenges that such "a-prototypical" leaders face, and we test factors that can help these leaders to overcome these challenges. Additionally, we are interested in understanding under which conditions members of such groups apply for leadership positions.

Buengeler, C., Homan, A. C., & Voelpel, S. C. (in press). The challenge of being a young manager: The effects of contingent reward and participative leadership on team-level turnover depend on leader age. Journal of Organizational Behavior. DOI:10.1002/job.2101

G√ľndemir, S., Homan, A. C., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Van Vugt, M. (2014). Think leader, think white? Capturing and weakening the implicit pro-white leadership bias. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e83915. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083915

Faculty working on Power and Leadership are: Astrid Homan, Barbara Nevicka, and Annelies van Vianen.

PhD students: Florian Wanders